Relationships Australia marked its 75th anniversary with a celebration at the National Gallery in Canberra on Tuesday November 14
The event was attended by Relationships Australia members, past and present, from across the federation as well as Ministers, stakeholders, and other dignitaries.
“I extend my sincere gratitude to all those who have joined us to celebrate our remarkable journey of 75 years in advocating for and supporting respectful relationships. At this significant juncture, it is crucial to reflect upon our history, acknowledge our partners, and chart a course for our future,” said Mr Nick Tebbey, National Executive Officer for Relationships Australia.
The evening highlighted the history and journey of Relationships Australia. Beginning in 1948 with the inception of the Marriage Guidance Council of Melbourne, as a group of dedicated individuals addressing the pressing need for secular counselling and support for marriages. This was the seed from which Relationships Australia grew.
Guests were invited to explore an exhibition, mapping the history of Relationships Australia. This exclusive exhibition was curated in partnership with Swinburne University of Technology, and Relationships Australia are most grateful for their support and passion for this incredible project.
Professor Lyn Littlefield OAM, Chair of the National Council of Relationships Australia, shared a range of insights on the evolution of Relationships Australia over the past 75 years and explored the organisation that it has become.
Key guest speakers at the event included the Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP, Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, and the Assistant Minister for Employment. Dr Leigh is a well-known author of over ten publications, charting the role of relationships and connection and their interconnectedness with our economy.
The Hon. Amanda Rishworth, MP, Minister for Social Services also shared some insights into the role Relationships Australia provides supporting the Australian community. Minister Rishworth and Dr Leigh have been very generous with their time and great supporters of Relationships Australia in recent years.
“Our history is intrinsically tied to the broader social and political landscape of Australia. Major cultural movements, including the advocacy for civil rights by First Nations people, women’s groups, LGBTQIA+ communities, refugee movements, and the rights of people with disability, have influenced our service developments. Over the 75 years we have adapted and expanded to embrace Australia’s evolving identity,” said Mr Nick Tebbey, National Executive Officer for Relationships Australia.
Sarah Decrea, Aboriginal Families Practice Leader at Relationships Australia South Australia shared how First Nations’ wisdom, knowledge and practice is the underpinning for her work, and how this ancient knowledge benefits not only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families but all families, and how Relationships Australia can incorporate this generous gift of wisdom and knowledge in their work across the country.
The event closed with gratitude and acknowledgment of everyone who has been a part of the 75 year journey of Relationships Australia.
“Today we not only pay homage to our past and acknowledge our present but also reaffirm our commitment to expanding support in the future. Our vision is one where every member of the community can access transformative support services that empower them to overcome relationship difficulties and lead fulfilling lives,” said Mr Nick Tebbey, National Executive Officer for Relationships Australia.
Relationships Australia is a leading provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities. We aim to support all people in Australia to achieve positive and respectful relationships. We are a community-based, not-for-profit Australian organisation with no religious affiliations.