The Bonanno family (back, from left) Rachel, Joseph, Peter and Chris, (front) Sophie with Aislinn, Ellie and Lynnis Bonanno.Photo: Amanda Ward Photography.
The Bonanno family (back, from left) Rachel, Joseph, Peter and Chris, (front) Sophie with Aislinn, Ellie and Lynnis Bonanno.Photo: Amanda Ward Photography.

Survey calls on Aussie dads to share fathering experience

A NATIONAL survey is hoping to discover more about how fatherhood has changed for Aussie dads over the years.

A not-for-profit organisation called the Fathering Project is preparing to release the survey, which will aim to collect information on what it means to be a contemporary dad in Australia.

The Fathering Project chief Wayne Bradshaw said as the roles of parents in the home, workplace and society evolved, expectations on Aussie dads had changed and would continue to change in the coming years.

"Australian families don't typically function the same way they did 20-30 years ago. As a result, fathering for me looks very different from what it looked like for my dad and even my granddad," Mr Bradshaw said.

"The survey will look at the opinions and attitudes of dads of various ages to see how they deal with discipline, emotions and sharing the load in the family.

"The more we know about the state of fathering, the better equipped The Fathering Project will be to provide resources, programs and research to support fathers and father figures in raising healthy and happy children."

Mackay father of five Chris Bonanno said he had always made an effort to spend as much time with his children as possible.

"I worked very hard to make time for my children while they were young and that was different from my father's generation," Mr Bonanno said.

"My father spent a great deal of time working hard to provide for the family but that meant he had little time to spend being a father.

"I've also worked to create emotional connections with my children. Being a parent is the largest responsibility you'll have in life and it is so important to create those bonds."

Mr Bonanno said the most challenging aspect of fatherhood had been learning to understand girls.

"Raising teenage girls was very difficult, I had to learn to control my emotions and be mature," he said.

"But it was worth it because becoming a grandfather has been my proudest moment.

"Seeing your own child mature into an adult and raise their own child is so rewarding."

Aussie dads and father figures can take part in the survey from now until August 8.

Results will be released in the lead-up to Father's Day. Visit: thefatheringproject.org/ fatheringfacts.