Annual Report 2005‚Äď06

Minister's foreword

Foreword from the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Growing Up in Australia: the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, is an exciting and important social policy research project that is providing high quality data to better understand children's development in Australia's current social, economic and cultural environment.

The Government is committed to understand how families can give their children "the best start in life" to help them grow up strong.

Growing Up in Australia is the first comprehensive national study examining Australian children as they grow up, and with each wave of data collected, knowledge and understanding of children's development will increase in breadth and scope. The objective of Growing Up in Australia is to provide an evidence base for family and children's policy over the long term as part of the Australian Government's Stronger Families and Communities Strategy initiative.

I would like to thank Professor Alan Hayes and his team at the Australian Institute of Family Studies for their continuing dedication to delivering such a high quality product for social and policy research.

The release of Wave 1.5 data builds upon the Australian Government's commitment to providing quality data as an evidence base for social policy in Australia. By funding and promoting Growing Up in Australia, the Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, in partnership with the Australian Institute of Family Studies, has established itself in a position of significant leadership in Australian social research.

This year the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs has helped to build the evidence base by commissioning research that uses Growing Up in Australia data to examine a range of issues relating to children and families, such as the use of child care, children's health and development, parenting and work-family life balance, to assist in developing policies that will improve the lives of Australians.

Growing Up in Australia has already made a valuable contribution to research into aspects of Australia's children and families and I look forward to an ever greater wealth of knowledge that will become available as further waves of data are collected and released.

The Hon. Mal Brough MP
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

 

Director's foreword

Understanding the impact of Australia's unique social and cultural environment on the next generation of Australians is crucial to the future of Australia. Growing Up in Australia: the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children is designed to provide this information and, following the release of the first wave of data in 2005, is beginning to realise this potential.

This report marks the end of a productive year for Growing Up in Australia. As I write, the fieldwork for Wave 2 is being conducted. Given the tight timelines for Wave 2, this has represented a significant challenge for those involved in Growing Up in Australia. I'm pleased to report the challenge has been met successfully.

With analysis of the Wave 1 data now well underway, it is encouraging to see that the information collected in this study is already being used. Researchers are examining the data to further our understanding about what children's lives are like and what they do in their early years and how these might influence later life outcomes. Data from future waves of the study will undoubtedly add to the depth of analysis possible with Growing Up in Australia.

The success of Growing Up in Australia is the result of the contributions of many people. I would like to acknowledge the commitment and contribution of the families who have generously given their time to participate in Growing Up in Australia. Without the time, experience and insight they have given and continue to share with us, the Growing Up in Australia study would not be possible. The commitment to Growing Up in Australia shown by the Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs has been outstanding and I want to thank them for their continuing support of the study.

Growing Up in Australia has also benefited from the knowledge and skill of many, including the Consortium Advisory Group, other consultants and both data collection agencies - I-view (as the data collector for Wave 1) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (as the data collector for Waves 2-4). The collaborative nature of the partnerships between these parties and Growing Up in Australia has been a highlight and has added to the wealth of expertise that already exists among those involved with the development of the study.

Professor Alan Hayes
Director
Australian Institute of Family Studies

 

Key personnel

AIFS Management Team

Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Growing Up in Australia Project Team

Consortium Advisory Group members

Consultants

Scientific and Policy Advisory Group

Australia

Canada

New Zealand

UK

USA

Australian Bureau of Statistics

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