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Family Matters article

December 2011

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A look at books on family-related topics recently added to the Institute’s Family Information Centre, available through libraries, the Family Information Centre, via the Inter Library Loan system, or for purchase from good book shops. Prices are given as and when supplied.

Marginalised young people, surveillance and public space: A research report

(2010). Dean Wilson, Jen Rose and Emma Colvin. Melbourne: Youth Affairs Council.

This report examines young people's perceptions of surveillance and security in the City of Melbourne. Thirty-nine young people aged between 16 and 24 years were interviewed with regard to what they knew about surveillance and security; if surveillance made them feel safe; and what sort of interactions they had with security and surveillance. It was found that the young people were concerned about issues of image storage and use; they felt disproportionately targeted by security guards who stereotyped them because of their age and appearance; and they felt vulnerable because the media, law, police and general public saw them as being perpetrators of crime. The authors conclude with policy recommendations based upon the research data and taking into account the findings of the Victorian Law Reform Commission's investigation into surveillance in public places.

Available online: <>

Walking this path together. Anti-racist and anti-oppressive child welfare practice

(2009). Susan Strega and Sohki Aski Esquao (Eds.). Nova Scotia, Canada: Fernwood Publishing.

This Canadian publication is a collection of chapters from writers who share a belief that both anti-racist and anti-oppressive practice is necessary and possible in child welfare practice. Chapters include: racial and cultural difference in social work encounters; the practice of child welfare in Indigenous communities; what parents say; supporting youth in care; engaging fathers in child welfare practice; cultural planning in Indigenous adoptions; and reconstructing neglect and emotional maltreatment from an anti-oppressive perspective. Each chapter contains an initial summary and list of references. The book would be suitable for workers and students in the child protection field.

Everyday learning about bullying

(2010). Robyn Dolby. Deakin West, ACT: Early Childhood Australia. Price: $14.95.

The "Everyday Learning" series provides practical advice to carers of young children. This booklet focuses on bullying and ways in which parents and early childhood educators can work together to learn from children and their behaviours. Chapters cover: at what age bullying begins; what you can do if your child is being bullied; what you can do if your child is the bully; strategies for parents and educators to handle bullying; bullying prevention and how to get support.

Women and the law in Australia

(2010). Patricia Easteal (Ed). Chatswood, NSW: Lexis Nexis Butterworths. Price: $150.00

This collection of papers provides practical advice on dealing with issues in the practice of law that are of specific importance to women. In addition, it also focuses on legal issues for women with disabilities, Indigenous women, lesbians and migrants. Chapters cover a range of topics, including: family law, alternative dispute resolution, trusts and equity, taxation, financial matters and intellectual property. Many of the chapters contain scenarios to illustrate the points made. This book would be suitable for legal practitioners, students and policy-makers.

The dad factor: How father-baby bonding helps a child for life

(2011). Richard Fletcher. Sydney: Finch Publishing. Price: $29.95.

This new Australian book, aimed at parents, explores research on father-infant bonding and its impact on the brain development of children. The author argues that father-baby bonding is crucial for a child's emotional, physical and cognitive development. Chapters cover: father-infant attachment; fathering and the male brain; the importance of "rough-and-tumble" play; the value of fathers; and the evolution of fatherhood. The book is written in a clear, easy-to-understand manner and would be of interest to parents and those who work with them.

Behind the mask: The hidden struggle of parenthood

(2010). Jane Bennett. North Fitzroy, VIC: PANDA and Gidget Foundation. Price: $32.00

This DVD resource and booklet presents real-life stories of parents who have experienced and overcome perinatal depression and anxiety, as well as interviews with experts and health professionals. Aimed at both parents and health professionals, the DVD is divided into two sections. Part One is entitled "The Journal Begins" and focuses on the journey for new parents from pregnancy to the early days of parenting. Part Two is aimed more specifically at families experiencing perinatal depression and anxiety. It focuses on the early changes that parents may experience as perinatal depression and anxiety begin to develop, as well as exploring the support and treatment options available.

Girltopia: A world of real conversations for real girls

(2010). Jane Bennett. Bendigo, NSW: St Luke's Innovative Resources. Price: $62.50

The Girltopia cards have been designed to support important, developmentally appropriate conversations with girls aged 10 to 18 years. The cards are divided into five sections: Me, Doing, Feeling, Body, and Us. The cards within each section aim to draw out conversations with girls, as well as to prompt them with questions. The accompanying booklet gives further ideas on how and when to use the cards.

This collection of Booknotes was compiled by the Library Team of the Australian Institute of Family Studies.