It’s daddy time

• Beaconsfield camp out organiser Dan Coffey and daughter Maisie. Photo by Charlie Smith.

DADS and their kids camped out at the Beaconsfield primary school oval last weekend, as part of a statewide push to get fathers bonding with their children.

More than 100 people attended the event organised by the school’s new Champions Dad Group.

Group leader Dan Coffey says they are based on WA organisation The Fathering Project, which provides support and advice to dads across the state.

“The idea is for each primary school to get a champion dads group together and that group runs and organises activities like this camp out and things like busy bees at the school, or even the dads getting together and playing a bit of lawn bowls,” Mr Coffey says.

“We find the mums are very good at networking at the schools with the drop-offs and the pick-ups, and even the Beaconsfield Primary School P&C here is mostly mums to be honest, with a few dads.”

The camp out included a quiz to see how well the kids knew their dads and a team-building glow stick treasure hunt.

“I really like it and I hope it’s gonna happen every year,” says Mr Coffey’s five-year-old daughter, Maisie.

Tim Brazier said it was great to meet other dads at the primary school camp out.

“You don’t get too many opportunities to meet everyone out of work so this is a great way of doing it,” he says.

There are more than 100 champions dad’s groups in WA as part of The Fathering Project, which was founded by UWA cancer researcher Bruce Robinson. Fathering Project schools manager Colin West says he has spoken to staff in more than 200 WA schools.

“The groups are based on research which shows fathers who consistently parent well over time have children who perform better academically, socially, emotionally and enjoy better health,” he says.

Mr West says he is about to launch the WA-based organisation in Victoria.


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