We work in a variety of ways to support respectful relationships across Australia.

About Relationships Australia

Relationships Australia works in a variety of ways to support respectful relationships across Australia.

With three key pillars at the national level, we provide services and supports to all people, to enable sustainable respectful relationships.

Broadly, Relationships Australia advocates and promotes the importance of respectful relationships with respect to positive individual mental health outcomes and general community outcomes.

Our research is relevant and purposeful, and further enables us to provide our ongoing trusted services and supports.

Respectful Relationships

We support the development and nurturing of respectful relationships, which has proven to be a crucial foundation for mental health, general wellbeing, and overall resilience.

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Relationships Australia has, for over 70 years, provided a range of relationship services to Australian families, including individual, couple and family group counselling, dispute resolution, services to older people, children’s services, services for victims and perpetrators of family violence, and relationship and professional education. We aim to support all people in Australia to live with positive and respectful relationships and believe that people have the capacity to change how they relate to others and develop better health and wellbeing. For access to services near you, click here.

We respect the rights of all people, in all their diversity, to live life fully and meaningfully within their families and communities with dignity and safety, and to enjoy respectful relationships. A commitment to fundamental human rights, to be recognised universally and without discrimination, underpins our work.
Relationships Australia is committed to:

  • Working in regional, rural and remote areas, recognising that there are fewer resources available to people in these areas and that they live with pressures, complexities and uncertainties not experienced by those living in cities and regional centres.
  • Collaboration. We work collectively with local and peak body organisations to deliver a spectrum of prevention, early and tertiary intervention programs with people of all genders, including older people, young people and children. We recognise that some families need a complex suite of supports (for example, family support programs, mental health services, gambling services, drug and alcohol services, and housing).
  • Enriching family relationships, and encouraging clear and respectful communication.
  • Ensuring that services are accessible, including ensuring that social and financial disadvantage is no barrier to accessing services.
  • Contributing its practice evidence and skills to research projects, the development of public policy, and the provision of compassionate and effective supports to families.
  • Supporting social connection and the building of sustainable respectful relationships through our social connection campaign, Neighbour Day.

Advocacy

We advocate for respectful relationships across all levels of society. Relationships Australia advocates across many stakeholder groups via policy, research, media and community engagement.

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On issues impacting the work of Relationships Australia and the broader sector, Relationships Australia engages in ongoing advocacy with relevant Government departments and key stakeholders at the national, state and local levels.

As an important component of this advocacy, Relationships Australia engages with a range of Parliamentary Inquiries, Royal Commissions and other government consultations. Drawing on the expertise and experience of practitioners across the country, and building on evidence collected over 70 years of delivering services to vulnerable Australians, we are proud to contribute to the development of public policy in Australia supporting the provision of compassionate and effective services for families.

We also enjoy a positive working relationship with media outlets across the country, contributing practice experience and insights to inform the national discussion on topics impacting our clients and all Australians.

Research

We conduct relevant research across a broad range of topics in regards to relationships. At times we partner with universities and other organisations, working locally and internationally to support further understandings of relationships.

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Relationships Australia is committed to research and the use of data and practice evidence to inform Australia’s social policy landscape. Through a combination of unique research projects and partnerships with universities, we are proud to contribute our skills and experience to enhance the understanding of issues impacting Australians.

In addition to formal studies, Relationships Australia runs surveys throughout the year on topics of relevance to our clients and all Australians. Results from these surveys inform further understanding around key areas of interest at timely points in Australia’s history.

Relationships Australia believes that a strong commitment to data and evidence-informed policy and service design will generate the best outcomes for Australia and Australians.

Building and Supporting Respectful Relationships

Relationships Australia has a variety of information available to support every Australian to maintain respectful relationships. You can browse through our information on this national site and contact your local state and territory organisation for even more relevant information.

Please note that if you feel you are not safe in any of your relationships, or you have complex situations you need to process, we advise you to seek professional help and assistance as soon as possible. We aim to provide relevant and up to date information; however, the information we provide via this website may not be all-inclusive and address all of your needs.

Please search our resources below.

 

Loneliness Tip Sheet
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Elder Abuse
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Ready for Retirement?
When approaching any significant change in your life, preparation can go a long way in ensuring you’re ready for the road ahead. Transitioning into retirement can be exciting but also stressful and confusing.
Download PDF
Empty Nesters
The natural transition period of children growing up, leading more independent lives and leaving the family home, can cause many parents to experience feelings of sadness, loneliness, loss of purpose and meaning, and anxiety over a child’s welfare.
Download PDF
Starting a new relationship
We know that a good partner in life can make all the difference to our feelings about ourselves and our overall wellbeing. That’s why we seek out relationships but what do we need to know when starting a new relationship so that it goes well? More importantly, how can we tell if it isn’t good enough?
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Empty Nesters
The natural transition period of children growing up, leading more independent lives and leaving the family home, can cause many parents to experience feelings of sadness, loneliness, loss of purpose and meaning, and anxiety over a child’s welfare.
Download PDF
Blended families
Blended families can take on many forms but will typically include a couple and their children from previous relationships, as well as children they may have had together. Although not all family members may be related biologically, they can still form close, loving bonds and live cooperative and fulfilling lives together.
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New parents
There’s arguably no event in life more significant than the birth of your first child. For many, becoming a parent can be a joyful experience, but it’s not without its challenges. Despite the number of resources, books and opinions on parenting, nothing can truly prepare you for how life changes.
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Submission to the Justice and Community Safety Directorate and Community Services Directorate (ACT) – Raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility – Response to discussion paper
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Comments on the successor plan to the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020 – Consultation paper
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Have the COVID-19 workplace changes affected people’s mental health?
New research launched today in response to COVID-19 reveals that recent workplace changes have had a major impact on Australia’s mental health.
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November/December 2019: Workplace Christmas Parties
Introduction Would you like to be notified when a new survey report is released? Sign up here Many people feel that a workplace Christmas party is an excellent way to encourage staff bonding among those who may not usually interact. Eventbrite surveyed over 1000 employers and employees in 2017 and found that eighty-five percent of […]
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Workplace relationships for employees
The relationships you have in the workplace are a significant part of your life. You go to work to earn a living and to contribute your skills, though the human relationships are also important. Many work colleagues become friends outside of work. When work and home are going well for you, you feel good about […]
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Workplace relationships for employers
Harmonious workplaces are more productive and less stressful.  Losing skilled employees is also expensive.  Relationships Australia offers workplace services to assist employees and organisations with issues that may affect staff morale and work performance. Issues affecting performance For some employees, personal issues with a partner or former partner, children, parents, a death in the family or financial […]
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Elder Abuse
Download PDF
Ready for Retirement?
When approaching any significant change in your life, preparation can go a long way in ensuring you’re ready for the road ahead. Transitioning into retirement can be exciting but also stressful and confusing.
Download PDF
Ageism, Elder Abuse and the care of older Australians
Relationships Australia – working with families to negotiate the complex issues related to ageing and to reduce the incidence of the abuse of older people across Australia.
Download PDF
Media Release, 13 August 2020 – Ageism, Elder Abuse and the care of older Australians
Relationships Australia – working with families to negotiate the complex issues related to ageing and to reduce incidence of the abuse of older people across Australia. New research released today by Relationships Australia reveals a growing awareness of ageism and the abuse of older people in Australia, while highlighting an ongoing need for education and […]
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July 2020: Ageism, caring for the elderly and the abuse of older people
Survey Results This survey was launched on June 15 to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Elder abuse, or the abuse of older people, refers to the physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse of older people, as well as neglect. Click here to see the full report. Monthly Survey July – Ageism, caring for the […]
Read more

 

Loneliness Tip Sheet
Download PDF
Submission to the Development of the National Mental Health Workforce Strategy 2021-2031
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Submission to the Select Committee on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention – Inquiry into Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
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October/November 2020: Self-care
Self-care is a term used to describe the deliberate actions people take to look after their physical, emotional and mental health. Self-care is a very individual concept, as people find respite with different activities (Every Mind 2020). Given the challenges that 2020 has brought, self-care has become an important way for people to look after […]
Read more
September 2020: Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many students have moved to online learning and increased their use of digital media outside the classroom to stay in contact with friends and family. The findings in this report support the conclusions from the Royal Children’s Hospital National Child Health Poll that found that the majority of Australian […]
Read more

Each state and territory Relationships Australia organisation provides additional relevant and helpful information. Please click your local state or territory to browse their resources.

Advocacy

Relationships Australia national office advocates the importance of respectful relationships at all levels, including via submissions, and policy statements.
Relationships Australia provides a leading voice publically across conferences and other key engagement opportunities nationally and internationally.

You can review our Submissions and Policy Statements below.

 

 

Submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
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Submission to the National Disability Insurance Scheme – Consultation Paper: Supporting you to make your own decisions
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Submission to the Draft for consultation on Consumer vulnerability – Expectations for the telecommunications industry
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Submission to the Strategic Assessment to inform an economy-wide Consumer Data Right – Consultation Paper
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Submission to the Development of the National Mental Health Workforce Strategy 2021-2031
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Racism it stops with me
This statement reflects our collective support in the campaign to end racism.
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Marriage Equality Statement
This statement reflects our collective position on marriage equality.
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Marriage equality plebiscite
This statement reflects our collective position on marriage equality.
Download PDF
Statement on Families
Relationships Australia works with many and diverse families who seek support to help them face the challenges and complexities of family life.
Download PDF
Family Violence Statement
This statement reflects our collective position on family violence.
Download PDF

Research

Relationships Australia participates and conducts research regarding relationships, both nationally and internationally. We often collaborate with other respected organisations and leading universities and academics across the globe.

You can view our key research topics below

 

Perceived COVID-19 risk is attenuated by ingroup trust: evidence from three empirical studies
Neighbour Day data was used in a study exploring the perceived risk of contagion posed by ingroup members. It found that ingroup identification affects an effective public health response. Across all three studies, ingroup members were trusted more and were perceived to pose less health risk. These findings are discussed with a focus on how […]
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Evidence that loneliness can be reduced by a whole-of-community intervention to increase neighbourhood identification
Relationships Australia is pleased to announce that our research conducted in collaboration with the Australian National University has been published demonstrating that involvement in Neighbour Day leads to a tangible and sustained reduction in loneliness. Longitudinal research published in Social Science and Medicine confirms that six months after hosting a Neighbour Day event, hosts continue to […]
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Neighbour Day 2020 Evaluation – Supplementary Summary Page
This infographic summarises an evaluation of the 2020 Neighbour Day Campaign conducted by researchers at the Australian National University.
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Neighbour Day 2020 Evaluation – Supplementary Report
This report, prepared by researchers at the Australian National University, evaluates the 2020 Neighbour Day Campaign 6 months after the event.
Download PDF
Neighbour Day in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic – Special Report 2020.
This report, prepared by researchers at the Australian National University, evaluates the 2020 Neighbour Day Campaign.
Download PDF

 

The Families Un-locked Research Study
Take part in our new study exploring the long-term impacts of the pandemic on families and relationships When Australia went into lockdown in March 2020, it changed the very fabric of many families’, couples’ and individuals’ daily lives. For many, lockdown saw a completely new way of living and working which brought along its own unique set […]
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Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) Outcomes Study
In 2017, the Relationships Australia National Research Network implemented a large project funded by the federation. The study was designed to generate evidence on the outcomes of RA FDR services, in both parenting and property disputes. The study employed a longitudinal survey design with quantitative data collected through client surveys at multiple points in time, […]
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June/July 2021: Enduring Changes to Home Life from the Pandemic
Enduring Changes to Home Life from the Pandemic Sixteen months since restrictions were introduced in Australia, and twelve months since we completed our COVID-19 and its effects on relationships series, we have re-introduced the monthly survey to explore the ongoing effects COVID-19 is having on people’s home life.See full report here.
Read more
October/November 2020: Self-care
Self-care is a term used to describe the deliberate actions people take to look after their physical, emotional and mental health. Self-care is a very individual concept, as people find respite with different activities (Every Mind 2020). Given the challenges that 2020 has brought, self-care has become an important way for people to look after […]
Read more
September 2020: Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many students have moved to online learning and increased their use of digital media outside the classroom to stay in contact with friends and family. The findings in this report support the conclusions from the Royal Children’s Hospital National Child Health Poll that found that the majority of Australian […]
Read more
August 2020: Mental health and relationships
August 2020 Survey Mental health and relationships This month’s survey explored our respondents’ ability to recognise and respond to mental ill‑health, their help-seeking patterns and the effect mental health has on intimate relationships. August 2020Survey Mental health and relationships.pdf — PDF document, 326 kB (334215 bytes)
Read more
July 2020: Ageism, caring for the elderly and the abuse of older people
Survey Results This survey was launched on June 15 to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Elder abuse, or the abuse of older people, refers to the physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse of older people, as well as neglect. Click here to see the full report. Monthly Survey July – Ageism, caring for the […]
Read more

Support services

The Relationships Australia state and territory offices offer a broad range of services and supports to individuals, families and communities throughout the country. 

Family Relationship Services

We provide a range of services and programs as well as information and resources to help families at all stages of life.

 

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A Family Relationship Centre is a place where families can access information and advice on:

  • building and strengthening relationships
  • early intervention and prevention services
  • child-friendly services for families in conflict
  • family dispute resolution services
  • parenting plans
  • re-partnering and stepfamily arrangements
  • information and referral to other services.

Family Relationship Centres offer a range of services and programs to help families at all stages of their life including people starting relationships, those who want to make their relationships stronger, people with relationship difficulties and families who have separated.

Family Violence Prevention

A range of supports and services are available for people who experience/ have experienced violence and abuse and are seeking ways to ensure their safety, or to overcome the impact of this trauma.

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Counselling and other support is available for people who have experienced violence and abuse and are seeking ways to ensure their safety, or to overcome the impact of this trauma.

Programs, groups and courses are also available for people who have used anger, violence or abuse in their interpersonal relationships and want to find new ways of relating that do not harm others.  This support can help improve quality of life through positive and respectful relationships.

Services for Children and Young People

Relationship Australia provides a range of services supporting children and young people to have safe, happy and healthy lives.

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Across Relationships Australia’s services, our practitioners are informed by the latest evidence and research for the protection and promotion of children’s well-being.

In addition to incorporating the views and needs of children and young people in our broader suite of family services, we also offer a range of programs designed to promote and enhance children’s well-being and are proud to offer Children’s Contact Services in a number of locations nationally, offering safe and positive contact arrangements for children whose parents are separated.

Services for older Australians

Providing services for older Australians to protect their health, safety and wellbeing.

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Relationships Australia’s Services for older Australians assists older people and their families to prevent and resolve family conflict, have difficult conversations, plan for the future (including medical, health, financial and living arrangements), improve communication skills, make decisions that protect the interests, rights and safety of family members and reduce the risk of elder abuse, including emotional and financial abuse.

If families are given the support and tools to work together, overcome differences and respectfully resolve conflict, the interests, health and safety of older people and other family members can be met and protected.

Counselling

We provide family and relationship counselling as well as a range of specialist counselling services.

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Relationships Australia employs experienced and qualified counsellors Australia-wide, who provide a range of counselling services including:

  • Family and relationship counselling
  • Counselling for divorced / separating couples
  • Online relationship counselling
  • Specialised counselling services

Workplace Services

We provide a range of counselling and other services specifically for the workplace.

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Relationships Australia provides a range of counselling and other services in the workplace.
Managing relationships well both at work and at home is important for wellbeing. Relationship difficulties in one area of our life, impacts on our ability to relate effectively in the other.

Relationships Australia members are leading providers of Employee Assistance Programs across Australia and can deliver tailored counselling and related services to meet the needs of Australia’s diverse business community.

Specialised Services

Relationships Australia provides a range of specialised counselling and other services to support individuals with their personal, emotional and social health and well-being.

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We offer a range of speciliased services to individuals and their families across the country.

We have extensive history working with individuals impacted by trauma, both past and present, and can provide support across a range of government funded programs, including Forced Adoption Support Services, Redress Support Services and services for those impacted by the Disability Royal Commission.

Our experienced team also delivers services to those impacted by problem gambling, including where gambling is affecting health, finances and relationships.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their families

We provide specialist services in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

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Relationships Australia is committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families and communities.
In supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities we have:

  • developed a cultural fitness training package for all Relationships Australia staff
  • established new ways to offer counselling and mediation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • created specific services in some states and territories, and
  • provided employment training programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people relevant to the community sector.

Many existing Relationships Australia services are used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. However, specialist services have been established in some places around the country.

Training and Courses

Relationships Australia offers relationship courses and professional training across Australia.

Please search some of our featured courses below, or click on your relevant state or territory to find a course or training near you.

Each state offers a varied program of courses. Check your state for availability

Neighbour Day: Connecting Communities for 20 years

Help address loneliness across Australia and build the communities you want to live in, one relationship at a time.
Neighbour Day is Relationships Australia’s social connection campaign. It aims to support and enable sustainable respectful relationships across communities.
Check out our latest blogs here