Couple Relationships

A great many of the social problems we face in the Australian community are rooted in the decline in our capacity to form and maintain safe, stable and nurturing families in which children are raised. 

There is a strong consensus among researchers that children do best in safe, stable and nurturing families. However, there has been a sharp decline in family stability in recent decades. Furthermore, the clear evidence in Australia is that the social environment for children is deteriorating, with more and more children needing out of home care, and rising levels of anxiety disorders, depression and self-harm. Family instability is associated with poverty, especially female poverty, and this affects the life chances of children. Conversely, financial struggles impact on family stability in a variety of ways. 

In this section, we explore the facts about these issues and promote discussion of ways in which these problems can be better addressed.


In Australia, as in other Western countries, there has been a sharp deterioration in adolescent mental health over the last decade. Around 40% of young women, and 20% of young men, now have an anxiety disorder. Around 20% of young women, and 10% of young men now have an affective disorder such as depression. These patterns in Australia are mirrored in other parts of the Western world.

Dr Michael Schluter

Dr Michael Schluter on the importance of relational thinking

Dr Michael Schluter CBE, founder of the Jubilee Centre and Relationships Foundation in the UK, gave this video message at the commencement of the Building Right Relationships Colloquium, organised jointly by Publica, Alphacrucis University College and the Lachlan Macquarie Institute in October 2023. Michael introduces the importance of relational thinking for public policy and identifies five factors that matter to the formation of relationships in a community.

loneliness disability

One Day You Will Feel Lonely

Learning from people with disability about loneliness and social isolation. In August 2023, Australia had its first-ever Loneliness Awareness Week, the result of a growing body of evidence indicating that loneliness is a significant societal issue requiring attention. Australia is not alone.

Couple Relationships

Couple Relationships

Author: Paul R. Amato Overview Many changes have occurred in Australia since the establishment of