What is National Families Week

National Families Week is Australia’s annual celebration of the importance of families. It is timed to coincide with the UN International Day of Families (15 May).

When is National Families Week 2023 happening and what is the theme?

National Families Week is celebrated every year between 15 and 21 May, to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Families.

The theme for 2023 is ‘living real, dreaming big’. National Families Week 2023 celebrates families in all their diversity and promotes the importance of family resilience in creating strong, safe and connected communities.

What are the key messages for National Families Week 2023?

The theme ‘living real, dreaming big’ is an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a resilient family, and to celebrate and explore supportive strategies to foster resilience in families. When we talk about resilience in families, we’re talking about the ability to cope with life’s ups and downs and bounce back from challenges. Our individual characteristics, our family environment and the communities in which we live, all contribute to our ability to recover in difficult times. National Families Weeks 2023 is a time to celebrate our individual strengths, explore and celebrate the strengths within our families and communities, and dare to dream of a safe and resilient world.

What sort of events are held during National Families Week?

Each year, tens of thousands of people and hundreds of organisations celebrate National Families Week – Australia’s annual celebration of the vital role of families. Annually, up to 100,000 people participate in events held across Australia. Participating organisations undertake a wide range of National Families Week activities such as morning teas, barbeques, sausage sizzles, playgroup visits, family picnics, artwork displays, family information days, drawing competitions, dances, art displays, photo competitions, seminars and workshops, breakfast gatherings, story-telling events, services displays, and movie nights. For a list of ideas to help celebrate National Families Week click here.

How can I get involved in National Families Week?

There are two main ways to get involved. First, if you know of, or are involved with, a local community organisation, ask them to arrange an event and register it with Families Australia. If you wish, you can contact us by telephone (02 6273 4885) or email us for further information. Events are limited only by imagination – they could be bbqs, picnics, seminars on parenting, foyer displays, an open day, morning tea, or a family-friendly day in your workplace. Second, you can use the Week to celebrate within your family. You could, for example, take an extra 15 minutes a day to talk, listen and connect within your family. Maybe talk as a family about things that make your family strong and things that can be worked on. Other ideas are: have a family movie marathon, a family cook-in, or contact family members or friends you have not heard from for a while.

Who runs National Families Week?

National Families Week is run by Families Australia – a national, independent, member based, not-for-profit organisation that works to promote a national policy environment in which the needs and interests of families, especially those experiencing vulnerability and marginalisation can be heard and addressed.

How did National Families Week start?

National Families Week started in 2003 as a Families Australia initiative which aimed to give families, their children, young people and communities the opportunity to build a better future. National Families Week supports community organisations, and others, in achieving this aim.

How is National Families Week funded?

National Families Week is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

Is there any money available for organisations to fund events?

Unfortunately there is no money available to support organisations to run events. However, Families Australia is able to provide free promotional products such as posters, coloured pencils, stickers, notepads and painting sheets, to assist you in celebrating your event. Please remember to register so we know you are holding an event.

What are the promotional products for 2023?

The promotional products will be posters, coloured pencils, stickers, bookmarks, notepads and painting sheets. Other resources such as  the logo, activity and colouring-in sheets and a pro-forma media release are available on the website on our Resources and Activities pages.

How can I get more information?

You can obtain more information by emailing us, or telephoning Families Australia on (02) 6273 4885.