I joined the fabulous Gabriella Campelli-Ignacz in discussing gender equality for fathers.
We talked about how outdated gender stereotypes hurt fathers and men in general. We highlight that personality traits and behaviour associated with masculinity or femininity are not determined by gender, but by character and values.
We shone a light on how the equality debate often doesn't include fathers and how this should be improved. The bumbling man-child image of fathers is demeaning and patronising, when the truth is that men can be very capable fathers if they're given the opportunity to practice and learn.
Workplaces need to facilitate fathers doing more parenting because, as Michael points out, true equality for women at the workplace cannot happen without true equality for men at home.
We need to acknowledge and address the outdated gender expectations, assumptions and, #stereotypeands that are holding back equality for ALL of US.
Here in Victoria, the first point of contact and the ongoing support hub for new parents is the "MATERNAL and Child Health Centre"
11 months ago, after some lobbying by myself, Rod Barton MP in the Victorian Parliament, moved a motion to change the name to "PARENTAL and Child Health Centre" and to install change tables in Male toilets when a parent's room isn't available to better reflect and support the wonderful diversity of contemporary families and our goal of:
Encouraging, and finally,
Expecting men to be held equally responsible for raising the next generation which will assist in facilitating Women's #equality.
These things: labels, words and language may seem small in relation to the challenges we're facing, however, when you consider we all communicate in some way.
Therefore, language comes first and culture, meaning, expectations and understanding develop as a result.
As our language increases in complexity and is more inclusive, so will our culture, because we're able to convey more in-depth ideas and a clear acceptance and understanding of expectations.
"Women don't just become mothers, people become parents"~ Caroline Strachan
DADS IN BUSINESS
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We spoke with Michael Ray about all sorts of topics including what Dads can do to be more present with their kids, how perceptions of equality aren't really helping, stigmas that exist, and how solo Dads or those who are the primary caregiver can manage themselves and their relationship with their kids.
A really great time here with some very helpful outcomes for the Dads watching!
"Until my daughter was born I had no idea that a love so intense could ever exist, an all-consuming overwhelming mix of fear of the unknown, a sense of such intense pride that it sometimes makes my heart feel like it’s going to explode. I still remember the exact moment my life changed forever for the better, it’s almost as though my life before was of no real consequence or significance just all in preparation"
For Michael Ray, becoming a Dad at the tender age of 49 was a shock in itself, and two years after that– an even bigger shock – that he found himself as the sole parent to his beautiful baby girl – Charlie.
Michael speaks about his insights from his personal journey raising his daughter and the profound impact being a solo dad has had on his outlook.
He addresses the gender and societal roles that are no longer applicable and the negative impact on organisational, business, and personal outcomes. Michael speaks straight from the heart and his ability to connect, resonate and inspire people is obvious.
He has had numerous TV and radio appearances and has been featured in a number of both local and international publications and podcasts.
How do men experience gender bias? How can we support women by giving Dads a fairer go? This episode is a fantastic interview with gender equality advocate Michael Ray. Michael is a solo Dad, writer, public speaker, blogger, Master of Ceremonies and advocate for equality and change. Michael found himself an unexpected solo Dad when his daughter was just a baby. We hear his perspective on the bias he faces every day and how he thinks that getting it right for Dads is a win for all.
With an exceptionally big heart, Michael’s attitude and approach to fatherhood is remarkable. Through his stories, Michael sets the bar not just for fatherhood but for parenting for anyone. Michael speaks about his personal journey raising his daughter and the profound impact being a solo dad has had on his outlook. Michael addresses the outdated gender and societal roles that are no longer applicable and the negative impact on organisational, business and personal outcomes. Michael speaks straight from the heart and his ability to connect and resonate with people is obvious.
Look out for Michael’s new book “Who knew” coming out in April 2021.Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.
What is the Fatherhood Forfeit? My guest this week Michael Ray was a first-time dad at 49 and now shares his experiences globally on why we need to change the way the world of work has put pressure on men to forfeit fatherhood (he also mentions how this impacts on 'mothers guilt').
His willingness to be vulnerable and share lived experience about being teased for his tears at Charlie's ballet school, leaving work loudly and proudly, setting boundaries at work, and capturing the 'moments between moments' is inspirational and has lessons for all humans to learn from.
In 2013 Michael Ray found himself in a position not too many men experience. This was the year he became the sole parent of his two-year-old daughter Charlie. A few years later Michael and Charlie were in the media after Michael was told he couldn’t assist his daughter backstage at her ballet concert. This made waves across the globe and Michael soon found himself in the position of role model and somewhat hero in dads circles.
Pablo Miller discusses Michael Ray's new book 'Who Knew?"
Who Knew? explores global issues around parenting past and present and discusses how we must change our ideologies instead of conforming to the status quo.
A great gift for Father's Day !
They might be known for their bad jokes, but mental health is seriously affecting new dads during the first years of parenthood. New research has revealed just how many men are having a tough time adjusting.
Click on the link below to listen to the panel discussion using the following passcode:
Access Passcode: &B6%ghKy
Listen to Michael Ray, Elliott Rae and Han-Son Lee discuss modern-day fathering, and how they are champions for breaking the gender and parenting stereotypes. They delve into the workplace and encourage fathers to dispel the myths about fathers being only 'breadwinners' and 'secondary carer's.
As Michael says , dads should "leave work loud and leave proud", showing their colleagues that it is okay, in fact absolutely the right thing, to collect your child from school, attend sports day, etc.
These three giants tackle topics that have needed to be tackled head- on for a while!
Where it all started!
The interview with Neil Mitchell on 3AW discussing the ban from Charlie's ballet concert.
So much has happened since then and I am always so humbled by the support that I received from so many people.
This shows that the outdated gender expectations are slowly being chipped away and Dads are stepping up and taking an active roll in rearing the next generation
Michael Ray outlines why the discussion around single and working parents must change .
George and Michael talk about outdated gender expectation, about maternal gate keeping that promotes mum-shaming and changing the perceptions that fathers are merely baby- sitters but rather PARENTS!
Men need to be held equally responsible for raising the next generation.
Please support quality, independent, unbiased journalism and follow "TheInformer".
Watch this month’s CRAZY to SANITY LIVE replay, Fatherhood: Live From The Heart Without Reservations.
Michael Ray says ‘I want my daughter to see me as a failure, to see me handle it as good as my successes. If I wear the problem solver’s and protector’s hat all the time, then she won't be able to make decisions.’
He continues, ‘when we are taught to excuse and accept violations of your rights, also our values by people with authority such as parents/grandparents/guardians, coaches, teachers and impactful role models in our early years, that leads us to believe that extrinsic rewards for behaviour are more valuable than intrinsic rewards for behaviour.’
Would you agree?
Such an insightful conversation about fatherhood and Michael’s journey has encouraged him to break the mould of a male stereotypes, to overcome male stigmas, and allow men and fathers, to focus on raising children with needed and expected ethics, to allow our children to grow up with confidence and their own uniqueness.
It’s an unfiltered and unadulterated look at what life is like from a man’s perspective.
Here's the link to the replay, https://youtu.be/ISQPTfJAgPg
Please, like, share to raise awareness of these conversations, and the more men who are willing to express their often unheard views, the more understanding and connection humanity can share.
In this episode Darren chats with Michael who has had some interesting experiences as a single father. He also talks about what changes need to happen in order to support men and fatherhood.
Darren has a diverse professional background. After working in radio, advertising and as a puppeteer, Darren started his Early Childhood career in earnest 18 years ago. He draws from his experience as a childcare centre manager in his current position as a lecturer in Early Childhood. His expertise and knowledge of the challenges that arise when working with young children and their parents, has informed his work with programs such as Relationship Australia’s FUN 4 KIDS (Fathers Utilizing Networks for Kids) and the residential program at the O’Connell Family Centre in Melbourne.
Darren has a passion for working to educate, inform and empower fathers and this lead him to work with the Mercy for Women Heidelberg where he designed and facilitated a 2-year pilot program of ante-natal classes for new fathers. He also delivers the Dads and Bubs sessions at St. Vincents & Mercy Private Hospital.
Darren also consults privately with parents who have young children with sleep/settling and behaviour problems and is a regular contributor to community discussions regarding the role of Dads in contemporary families. If these things are not enough to keep him busy, Darren is also a registered Marriage Celebrant.
Darren lives in a modern blended family home in a Melbourne suburb with his four children and his second wife.
Michael contributes to a panel discussion -Bouncing back from challenging career times
Sali Midjek-Conway talks to a panel of women and men to discuss how they bounced back from challenging career times.
As wives, mothers and carers lockdown has not been kind to women. Now is the time to focus on you.
Hear from our experts on how to stay relevant, be comfortable with self-promotion, develop your personal brand, bounce back from adversity and develop both confidence and resilience.
Driving forward a career alongside being present for your family is hard. We recognise that. Allow our carefully curated selection of experts offer their advice on some of the challenges, issues and hurdles we all face, so that you can make your career work for you.
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Why aren’t there change tables in male toilets? And why isn’t fatherhood spoken of in the same glowing terms as motherhood? Single Dad & Blogger Michael Ray joined Pablo to discuss modern day fatherhood and what we can all do collectively better.
Parents, You've Got This is the home of the Experts. They connect parents with Experts and each other. They empower parents on their journey with Expert knowledge and support.
Parents, You've Got This is a Modern village offering an online program designed by Christy and Freya, two Melbourne parents who have seven children between them. They have sought out the very best baby and parent health and wellness and designed a program relevant to each age and stage of your baby's development, giving you all the knowledge you need to be the best parent you can be.
Michael Ray is a dad, single parent, a friend and an inspiration to his daughter Charlie. He writes to inspire all with his experiences, struggles and his unconditional love. He kindly shared this article with us and we hope his Father's Day went exactly as he planned. Happy Father's Day to all Dada's
That’s just how it is in the world of dad’; we’re larger-than-life, heroic in nature and funny as all get out. So on this Father’s Day, I will find a quiet moment as I try and digest a breakfast of pancakes and ice cream, sit back in my new pyjamas, and raise the MY DAD ROCKS coffee cup and most likely shed a tear thinking about how lucky I was to have a hero for a dad and little legend for a kid.
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Suni Sanchez from Human HQ, a mother of two boys, a best selling author and founder of Human HQ.
At HumanHQ® they believe that parents hold the key , which goes beyond knowing how to change a nappy or feeding a baby.It's about having the knowledge, tools, resources, and mentorship to build a healthy relationship with our child from day one; to support your, and your baby's physical, mental, emotional, and social well being; and to create a healthy and harmonious environment.
SS: Yes, it takes practice and awareness to step back from the wishes and expectations that parents put on their babies, even before they're born. Of course, intention when becoming a parent is very important, but that's very different than just having a whole wish-list of what we want our child to be.Michael, thank you! I really, really appreciate your time and your wisdom.Any last words?
MR: When society talks about fatherhood in the same glowing terms as motherhood, inertia will be broken. When men are recognised and admired for their nurturing, and raising of the next generation instead of their income, position or power, a paradigm will finally shift.When men are held equally responsible for raising the next generation, women will achieve true equality, not only in the workplace, but society in general.It's time to move from outdated gender and societal roles that are limiting all of us. I'm a solo dad to my daughter, and my daughter - our children - deserve better than we are currently doing.
Thank you Suni for the opportunity and if anyone would like to check out Suni's web page please click on this link : https://www.humanhq.co/
Managing to get a completely unashamed and brazen plug in for my upcoming book, released next year (through Jennifer Sharp DAISY LANE PUBLISHING)
While talking about some of the challenges and opportunities facing contemporary fathers and their direct impact on women empowerment and equality in general.
Also hopefully serving as an example not to cut your own hair during lock down!😳
Please support quality, independent, unbiased journalism and follow "TheInformer".
Diversity of voice matters in ALL things!
Here we are, Father’s Day 2020, my 8th year as a dad and so much has changed over each of those years, not only for my daughter but also for me as a person and as a dad. Looking back, I remember thinking from the outside that fatherhood would be limiting, however, I’ve found fatherhood has given me the freedom to cast off the ego, facade and pretense and actually discover who I am as a person and as a man.
More about Michael's journey will be published in his book "Who Knew? "
due for release in June 2021
Michael speaks to Australian TV legend - George Donikian about all things dadding including Family Court perceptions and outcomes, the importance of reaching out for help, wonderful support networks that Mum's have and dads need to cultivate. We discuss the gift of clarity through crisis and some of the opportunities that may be present in these challenging COVID times.
"As parents we can either manipulate our children's behaviours or we can inspire them by our examples, values and actions. '
Michael Ray's book to be launched
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Managing to get a completely unashamed and brazen plug in for my upcoming book, released next year (through Jennifer Sharp DAISY LANE PUBLISHING)
Also hopefully serving as an example not to cut your own hair during lockdown!😳
Please support quality, independent, unbiased journalism and follow The Informer. Diversity of voice matters in ALL things!
At 51, Michael Ray was thrust into solo dad life. A ‘wild ride’, he says, navigating the challenges, wonder and fun of parenting a young child. The experience opened his eyes to outdated gender expectations and led him to become a vocal advocate for equality and change. Michael’s passion is infectious, and his enlightened approach to parenting and advice to dads is true inspiration.
OVERCOMING THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF NORMATIVE GENDER STEREOTYPES TO ATTAIN GENDER
Michael Ray – a single father who overturned a policy that denied fathers the right to access their daughter’s dressing rooms at Parkwood Dance Academy
Do we really need a special day to profess our love with some grand gesture complete with jewelry, flowers, chocolates or even some specialty, purpose-designed, hardly practical but unusually interesting underwear?
SEE PAGE 29 FOR MICHAEL'S ARTICLE
Love simply is ‘The Quality of Attention We Give to Others'
I was asked to write an article for the Back to School edition as an ‘expert’ in my field. I did have a cackle at this as I am the furthest thing from an ‘expert’, in any field (except maybe pie eating?), but what I will gladly do is share the experiences I’ve had with Charlie and how it has changed and shaped my version of the world as I see it today and how I want to guide Charlie to be a strong, resilient and self- assured human.
Dads - how do you talk to your daughters about their period?
In this third interview in the series, we catch up with Cath from Sex Ed Rescue and solo Dad, Michael Ray about Dads and talking to daughters about their periods. From single Dads to two Dad families. If you have daughters this is a must-listen interview for you..
From $152 to $863: 11 parents share exactly how much they spend on their kids each week.
According to a 2018 study conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, it costs Australian families (at least) $140 to $170 a week to raise a child. However, for most families, this will be a gross underestimation.
Michael Ray appears on Channel 9's Weekend Today Show for Fathers Day 2019.
Covering the discussion on Brisbane's New NRL Team and Dad Time Benefits
My dad was a dad, his dad’s dad was a dad and his dad’s dad’s dad was also a dad.
I come from a long line of dad’s, however, with my looks, awkward personality and complete lack of any understanding of women, it wasn’t even certain the opportunity to be a dad would eventuate.
Women will achieve true equality when men are held equally responsible .....
He has continued to challenge, speak up and advocate for equality, reducing stigmas and calling out injustice.
Recently appearing on Channel 9 with Madonna King discussing 'The Rules For Dating my Daughter"
Melbourne dance school lifts ban on Dad backstage at concert
This Australian single dad has been raising his 5-year-old daughter Charlie for the past three years alone. In that time, the personal trainer and powerlifter has shattered conventional stereotypes by publicly donning his little girl’s nail polish on his toes at a recent lifting contest.
Becoming a parent at 50 was so unexpected! Charlie is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I have scheduled my life around making sure that she is my main priority.
Talking about being a single dad, how fatherhood has changed Michael. He also discusses the importance of having a supportive network when being a single parent.
Michael has made headlines in the media for years now, in the name of equality and equal rights for single parents, in particular single fathers
It is up to us dads to model the respectful treatment of women (including not denigrating or disrespecting their mothers if you are separated)
Society’s wheels sometimes take an age to turn, but every so often we’re reminded that we’re heading in the right direction. One such example was last year when a Melbourne ballet school overturned an archaic ban to ensure dad – and sole carer – Michael Ray could be backstage with his four-year-old daughter, Charlie, prior to her November 20 concert
With an exceptionally big heart, his attitude and approach to fatherhood are remarkable. Through his stories, we look forward to seeing how Michael can inspire all of us to live from the heart and without reservation despite the challenges or obstacles life can throw us
Michael says sometimes other parents can be unconsciously biased against single dads, and even more so to single dads of little girls.
“Women are mostly supportive but some say patronising things, like 'how do you manage?' It’s just the same as any single parent,” he tells Kidspot.
Little Charlie, 4, was going to be the only student without a parent backstage for her ballet concert until her dad came to the rescue.
EVERY Christmas, Michael and his daughter Charlie wake up to find Santa has left presents as well as a letter more precious than the gifts.
What does it mean to be a “father” in a time where the base identity of a “male” is being challenged, even called “toxic”?
What challenges or opportunities are present for me raising Charlie in a family where there is no mother, no significant female role model?
l never know when Charlie won't want to climb in for snuggles... I hope it lasts for as long as possible".
“Most nights she'll wander in about 1.30am with her teddies, which she'll arrange before she climbs in and drapes her legs and arms over me like a drunk octopus,” he says.
“I'm still at that beautiful, magical place of being a dad where I can just sit and stare forever in sheer wonderment watching her sleep, just thinking about it makes me all teary."
A single dad in Melbourne has found his five-year-old daughter's transition from home to kindergarten a bit of a challenge.
So instead of crying over lost daddy-daughter time Michael Ray decided to motivate Charlie with heartfelt messages in her lunch box.
They are thoughtfully cut out by hand and say thing like 'You are a star!' and 'I wooly, wooly love you!' in the shape of a sheep.