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10 Stories of Single Mothers premier

SingleMum.com.au Report | 31 March 2014





Mothers converge on Canberra to fight single parent Newstart poverty

10 Stories of Single Mothers premier

On 25 March SingleMum.com.au attended the world premier of the documentary 10 Stories of Single Mothers, held at the House of Representatives, Parliament House.

10 Stories of Single Mothers is a collaborative production of several organisations, and was filmed to highlight the plight of single mothers and their children moved from Parenting Payment Single to Newstart Allowance when their youngest child turns eight years old.

On 1 January 2013, many thousands of "grandfathered" (previously protected from the policy) single parents were moved en-mass to Newstart. This documentary explores ten single mother families who were impacted by the short notice and sudden drop in income - and the resulting slide into dire poverty whilst subsisting on the lower payments.



Terese Edwards, NCSMC (centre) with Karen McNamarra MP and four of the mothers from the 10 Stories of Single Mothers documentary - Wendy, Barbara, Bianca and Kerry

Terese Edwards, NCSMC (centre) with Karen McNamarra MP and four of the mothers
from the 10 Stories of Single Mothers documentary - Wendy, Barbara, Bianca and Kerry


Hosted by Andrew Wilkie MP and organised by Terese Edwards, CEO of the National Council of Single Mothers and their Chldren, the event was attended by high-profile Parliamentarians, supporting organisations and mothers featured in the Newstart-expose documentary.

Four of the featured mothers who bravely aired their stories of attempting to survive on Newstart, Wendy, Kerry, Barbara and Bianca attended the premier and met with Members of Parliament afterwards.

After the 10 Stories of Single Mothers screening, several emotive speeches by Parliamentarian representatives followed.

Jenny Macklin MP, Clive Palmer MP, Cathy McGowan MP, Senator Nick Xenephon, Senator Rachel Siewert and Bob Katter MP all spoke in support of the documentary and condemned Newstart as an inappropriate and inadequate welfare payment for single parent families.

Jenny Macklin MP admitted that the Gillard government had "got it wrong" by moving single parents off the Parenting Payment Single onto the Newstart Allowance.



Kerry Davies, CSMC, in discussion with Karen McNamarra MP, Prime Minister Tony Abbott's official representative

Kerry Davies, CSMC, in discussion with Karen McNamarra MP, Prime Minister Tony Abbott's official representative


Clive Palmer, federal leader of the Palmer United Party and Member for Fairfax spoke of his strong support for Australian single parents to be moved back onto the Single Parenting Payment. He went on to produce a supporting Media Release the next day.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott sent his representative to the function, Member for Dobell Karen McNamara, who spent the morning locked in conversation with National Council of Single Mothers and their Children CEO Terese Edwards and Project Worker and featured 10 Stories of Single Mothers documentary mother Kerry Davies from the Council of Single Mothers and their Children, Victoria.

Overall, the event was seen as a positive step forward in starting the conversation for change to substantially increase or replace the Newstart Allowance for Australian single parents and their families.

10 Stories of Single Mothers is proudly sponsored and supported by the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children (NCSMC), The Sydney Community Foundation (SCF), The Snow Foundation, Filmstretch and The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS).








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What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the

kids

are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.

Centrelink

plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a

divorce

or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

Please remember the bigger font words,because we will use it often in our website.