Together - we can build back better.

One of the most remarkable features of 2020 has been the revelation that we have not lost that most fundamental of skills in liberal democracy: the ability to listen and to adapt to feedback. I watch in real time as changes are made to policies on advice from groups that would previously have been lined up on the other side of an ideological war. We will need this skill more than ever in the recovery phase.

As the Co-Chair of the Every Child campaign I have every confidence that our political leaders share our aspiration that all children develop well. If we want to ensure that we build a future that is both resilient and prosperous in response to the post-COVID economic slump, children must be part of our calculus. The evidence tells us that many of the conditions of personal potential are set the first 2,000 days and the middle years (8-12). The time has come to develop and implement a national plan for these groups. 

While many of the things that work for children - housing, income, healthcare, strong families - will support all Australians, the window of opportunity to ensure children get what they need is narrow. The time for action is now. We welcome a genuine conversation about how we can build back better. 

Kirsty Nowlan

Exec Director, Strategic Engagement, Research & Advocacy @benevolentAU Co-Chair @EveryAgeCounts and @everychild_AU @PensionPoverty