Sydney, August 20, 2007

Australia will be the first country in the world to offer all new parents a comprehensive parenting resource on DVD.

Today, the Prime Minister announced additional Australian Government funding to ensure every new parent has access to this world-class resource effective immediately.

Launched today by the Prime Minister, the Hon. John Howard, the Raising Children DVD will be distributed to every family in Australia upon the birth of their child as part of the Australian Government’s New Parent Kit, starting later this year.

With the additional funding announced today, new parents will be able to order the Raising Children DVD, free of charge, from the Raising Children website at starting today.

The Raising Children DVD is a comprehensive guide to parenting children from birth to five, covering all the basics about child health, development and care, as well as information about family management and available resources.

“The DVD content is of extremely high quality, having been developed in collaboration between a range of professionals and parents,” said Professor Lesley Barclay, the foundation Professor of Health Services Development at Charles Darwin University, and one of the expert reviewers of the DVD.

“Content has been adapted from the comprehensive Raising Children Network (RCN) website and is presented by and for parents. Content was reviewed by two independent experts from a panel around the country and the DVD was further reviewed at key stages by a separate panel of experts,” Professor Barclay added.

Executive producer, Divonne Holmes à Court, said the DVD was produced as a companion to the Raising Children website, to extend the reach of this high quality, expert approved content to more parents in Australia.  “Since its launch in May 2006, the website has surpassed expectations. It is the definitive online source of practical and reliable parenting information in Australia.

“The Raising Children DVD brings the best quality-assured parenting information to more families in an even more engaging format.  New parents crave reliable information that they can access in their own time, at their own pace.  This DVD can give parents the confidence they need in the first weeks, months and years of their child’s life.”

The comprehensive, interactive parenting DVD features five hours of content in user-friendly segments.  Innovative design and digital architecture enable viewers to navigate easily and watch as much or as little as they want.  Divided into three short movies, Newborn, Baby and Child and a section called What About Me?, the DVD allows viewers to select more in-depth information, demonstrations and parent stories when they choose.

Filmed in an observational, documentary style, the DVD was a year in the making after five years in development.  “It represents the collaborative efforts of hundreds of parents and experts from around Australia who have generously donated their time to help create a resource which is uniquely engaging and informative,” Ms Holmes à Court said.

It includes stories, demonstrations and strategies from a wide cross section of Australian parents, experts and celebrities including:  Johanna Griggs, Phil Kearns, Hazem and Arwa El Masri, Bill Granger, Jana (Pittman) Rawlinson, James Hird, Neil Perry, Lote and Rebekka Tuqiri, Anthony Mundine, Dr Cindy Pan, Peter FitzSimons, Lisa Forrest, Paul Clitheroe, Colin Lane, Danielle Spencer and Russell Crowe.

Deborra-lee Furness narrates the program and Dave Hughes helps navigate the DVD content.

The DVD was funded by the Australian Government through the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy as well as generous grants from the Caledonia Foundation, Peter and Divonne Holmes à Court, the Falconwood Foundation, JS Love Trust—Perpetual Trustees and others.

Ian Darling, chairman of the Caledonia Foundation was “extremely proud to support the production of the DVD as it is evidence of how philanthropic organisations can work in partnership with Government to most efficiently help Australian families.”

For further information, images and interviews please contact
Karen Eck of eckfactor for the Raising Children Network
Phone: 02 8570 5555 or 0438 532569

Downloadable broadcast quality audio and visual clips are available via


About the Producer, Smart Population Foundation (SPF)
Established in 2002 by Divonne Holmes à Court, SPF is a national non-profit organisation dedicated to the prevention of harm and improved long-term outcomes for children by working in collaboration with industry and government to provide accessible parenting support and enhanced education. (See for more.)
SPF is a founding member of the Raising Children Network — along with the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute’s Centre for Community Child Health and the Parenting Research Centre — which last year produced the Raising Children Website, commissioned by Australian Government as the national parenting website at Originally from New York, Divonne is a former corporate lawyer who immigrated to Australia in 2000.  She is married to Peter Holmes à Court and together they have two sets of twins.
Smart Population Foundation is a non-profit Australian Charitable Institution included on the Harm Prevention Charities Register ABN 61 102 646 079.