The Fathering Project was established in 2013 by Professor Bruce Robinson in Western Australia. Today, it has expanded to a national level and offers programs in schools, communities, workplaces, and local Dads groups. The project aims to empower fathers to benefit their children and wider family. It is a responsive and ambitious initiative.

We were thrilled to offer Seasons for Growth training to Tim, the Community Fathering Case Manager, as part of the Southwestern Sydney Primary Health Network funding that Mackillop received. Tim undertook the adult program training, which equipped him to implement the seminar and small group program for dads, as well as the program for children and young people to engage further in schools.

We later discovered that Stan, a Chaplain whom we had trained, was working in schools, and conducting activities for the Fathering project too. This led to a great collaboration.
It is well-documented that positive relationships between fathers and children have significant benefits. However, maintaining these relationships can be difficult when difficult events, such as family separation, occur and fathers can become absent in their children's lives. The impact on these relationships is often influenced by the grief and loss that come with such experiences.

The Fathering Project has a clear mission. They transform lives through better fathering and educate, connect, and mobilise fathers and families to create brighter futures for children. The Fathering Project and the Seasons for Growth programs offer great benefits to schools. When professionals with a shared goal collaborate, the potential of these programs is heightened.

As Tim describes “In my work at The Fathering Project, we support fathers and father figures who have encountered a large amount of grief during their lives. This takes many forms and is so unique to individual circumstances.” 

The Fathering Projects supports men who are: 

  • Grieving relationship breakdowns 
  • Grieving the loss of a child 
  • Single parenting and grieving their family hopes and loss of career 
  • Grieving their past selves 
  • Grieving their future as they don’t see hope. 
  • Grieving the loss of their own fathers (from the perspective of personal loss as well as loss of advice potential) 
  • Grieving the loss of their mental and physical health  

“The work and support MacKillop Seasons offers is so important to allow us, these dads, and their kids to have a common language to work through some of these feelings and create a plan full of hope and goals for their future”, Tim says.

Tim and Stan will be offering the Seasons for Growth small groups to students and the adult program seminar to fathers at the school in Southwestern Sydney.