​Father’s Day provides the perfect opportunity to discuss The Fathering Project - By Brad Daymond

Thursday, 01 Sept 2022

The Fathering Project recognises that fathers, and father figures, play a vital role in children’s lives. The evidence demonstrating fathers’ potential to positively influence their children’s health and mental health, social success and academic achievements is now robust, indisputable, and compelling.

Absent, disengaged, ill-equipped or busy fathers are a significant social issue damaging the lives of Australian children and young people. 

Many fathers and father figures are extremely time-poor based on work and life commitment which leads to them struggling to fulfil the joys, challenges and responsibilities of being an engaged dad.

The Fathering Project is an organisation that aims to promote positive fathering behaviours and fathers’ engagement with their infants, preschool, primary school and adolescent-aged children.

Here at Bishop Druitt College, we have commenced a chapter of The Fathering Project and so far, we have had 2 wonderful functions both held in The Branson Centre on a Thursday or Friday evening where the fathers and father figures can share one and half hours together with their children in their place of learning. Our co-ordinator is Joel Blythe, or Mr Blythe to many of you!

The first function was our paper plane-making event which attracted over 100 attendees. The children interacted with their fathers to make the paper planes and then the children tested their planes against their peers.

The second function was an interactive one as the fathers and their children competed at both reality snakes and ladders and also bingo.

After each Fathering Project event, we end the evening with a sausage sizzle and a chance to further meet other fathers and their children. Feedback from both functions has been outstanding.

Our next Fathering Project event is aimed purely at the fathers and will be held at King Tide Brewery on Thursday 28 October at 6pm.

Our last Fathering Project for the year will once again be held at The Branson Centre on a date to be confirmed in November and again will be interactive with both children and father figures playing 2 on 2 basketball with their peers and as well as 4-on-4 soccer. Mr Blythe will circulate information about both events via email.

Not all father figures can make it to all of the assemblies, presentations, school sporting events etc. that are held during business hours. We hope that some of you can join us for one of these after-hours activities to share some precious time with your child.

Enough about the Fathering Project, for now, I would also like to speak as a father and on behalf of all of the fathers here today.

Personally, I have been privileged to be a father of 4 children who have all been schooled at Bishop Druitt College with my firstborn, Blake, commencing here in 1999. Imogen is in Year 12, so is ending her BDC pathway this year and Liam enters Year 11 next year and our youngest, Boz, is only in Year 1 so with a little bit of maths it can be seen that I hopefully will have had at least 1 student at BDC for 34 consecutive years, or longer if Boz has to repeat a year!

I am very proud of the long-term association our family has had with BDC. The school has evolved, grown and transformed over that period and continues to do so. There have been many quality leaders over time but none better than the current team lead so ably by Nick Johnstone.

Being a father of a child at BDC has been an absolute pleasure and as a father, I have felt very connected to the school and my children and their experience at the school due to the fantastic communication, sporting opportunities, creative events and scholastic programs which I have been able to be involved in and am encouraged to do so.

It seems to be a strong part of the school's values.

My final message to you is two-fold. To the fathers and father figures – cherish your role. Do not take it for granted. Time moves fast. The experiences you share with your children will stay with them and you for life.

And to the children here today – cherish your father figures. I lost my father earlier this year and I am so thankful for the many memories I can still draw from, many of which come from as far back as when I was in kindergarten. Those memories really count.

Make this Father’s Day a memorable one for everyone in the family. Take the time to be present and enjoy each other for what you have.

It is a lifetime investment.

Brad Daymond
BDC Parent of 23 years

From left: Brad Daymond, Liam Daymond, Boz Daymond, Imogen Daymond, Jenny Daymond.