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Fatherhood Foundation Newsletter - Issue 287


18  February 2008        Inspiring Fathers   Encouraging Families Issue 287
The Science of Romance 

Welcome to the Fatherhood Foundation newsletter and email information service for the fathers and families as together we explore the science of love...

In This Issue
Frontline...Love is something you do
Laughter..The difference
Grandfathers...Love can last a lifetime
All You Need is Love..The science of Love
Single Dads...The Other stolen children
Special Feature...Passionate Love Scale
News & Info...Media release & letters
Dad's Prayer..The journey of Love
Next Week,  
 The Law of Unlimited Love
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Thought of the Week
    
 

Love is eternal -

the aspect may change but not the essence.

 

Vincent Van Gough

Frontline
  
 

We have just celebrated Valentine's Day and Time Magazine released its cover story Feb 11, 2008 title, 'The Science of Romance' www.time.com.au

 

I looked up Susan Sprecker's 'Passionate Love Scale' featured in Time Magazine and ran the test on myself. After 32 years of marriage I rated as 'being wildly, even recklessly in love'. My wife tells me she scored 'passionate, but less intense'. I am working hard at changing this. The good news is there is a science behind it all.

 

Time Magazine reporting on couples who had recently fallen in love showed that brain scans (fMRIS) show why it feels so good.

 

The earliest fMRIS of brains in love were taken in 2000, and they revealed that the sensation of romance is processed in three areas. The first is the ventral tegmental, a clump of tissue in the brain's lover regions, which is the body's central refinery for dopamine. Dopamine does a lot of jobs, but the thing we notice most is that it regulates reward. When you win a hand of poker, it's a dopamine jolt that's responsible for the thrill that follows. When you look forward to a big meal or expect a big raise, it's a steady flow of dopamine that makes the anticipation such a pleasure.

 

Fisher and her colleagues have conducted recent fMRI scans of people who are not just in love but newly in love and have found that their ventral tegmental areas are working particularly hard. "This little factory near the base of the brain is sending dopamine to higher regions," she says. "It creates craving, motivation, goal-oriented behaviour - and ecstasy."

 

Even with its intoxicating supply of dopamine, the ventral tegmental couldn't do the love job on its own. . . . Thrill signals that start in the lower brain are processed in the nucleus accumbens via not just dopamine but also serotonin and, importantly, oxytocin. If ever there was a substance designed to bind, it's oxytocin. . . .

 

(Mothers with newborn babies are full of oxytocin, and fathers too. Oxytocin is the chemical of touch and tenderness.)

 

. . . The last major stops for love signals in the brain are the caudate nuclei, a pair of structures on either side of the head, each about the size of a shrimp. It's here that patterns and mundane habits, such as knowing how to type and drive a car, are stored. Motor skills like those can be hard to lose, thanks to the caudate nuclei's indelible memory. Apply the same permanence to love, and it's no wonder that early passion can gel so quickly into enduring commitment. The idea that even one primal part of the brain is involved in processing love would be enough to make the feeling powerful. The fact that three are at work makes that powerful feeling consuming.

 

. . . Happily, romance needn't come to ruin. Even irrational animals like ourselves would have quit trying if the bet didn't pay off sometimes. The eventual goal of any couple is to pass beyond serial dating - beyond even the thrill of early love - and into what's known as companionate love. That's the coffee-and-Sunday-paper phase, that board-games-when-it's-raining phase, and the fact is, there's not a lick of excitement about it.

 

. . . That's not to say that people can't stay in love or that those couples who say they still feel romantic after years of being together are imagining things. Arthur Aron of State University, New York has conducted fMRI studies of some of those stubbornly loving pairs, and initial results show that their brains indeed look very much like those of people newly in love, with all the right regions lighting up in all the right ways. "We wondered if they were really feeling these things," Aron says. "But it looks like this is really happening."

 

Lovework

 

Why don't you complete the 'Passionate Love Scale' in our special feature and then talk over your feelings and results with the woman of your dreams? Remember that love is something you do - you might need to celebrate Valentines Day more than once a year.

 

Next week we will be exploring 'The Law of Unlimited Love' which should shed some more light on this important subject.

 

Yours for passionate love

Warwick Marsh

 

PS Last week Australia celebrated National 'Sorry' Day - a step in the right direction by our new prime minister. The Fatherhood Foundation issued a media release to recognise the damage caused by the Family Law Court to the fatherless children of Australia (see News & Info).

 

This is the last week for applications for Development Manager - closing date 20th February 2008 (see News & Info).______________________________________________________________________________

 

Warwick Marsh  has been married to Alison for 32 years. He is the grandfather of two children and father of five children, four boys and one girl, ranging in age from 27 years to 14 years.  Warwick is a musician, songwriter, producer and public speaker who likes to think he can still laugh at himself.

Laughter
 
 
Take the link to:Romance with a Twist
Grandfathers
 

Love Can Last a Lifetime

By Carmel Melouney

Sunday Telegraph 10/2/2008

 

Patience is the secret to a happy marriage

 

After 60 years of marriage, Pat and Ron Spring are certainly qualified to share the secrets of lasting love.

 

And as couples across the country prepare to celebrate Valentine's Day on Thursday, Mr and Mrs Spring have revealed the reason behind their successful union: agreeing to disagree.

 

"Well, we've had our disagreements but never any big arguments," Mrs Spring, 85, said. "We just seem to agree on things.

 

"We agreed together to move from Bondi Junction to Macquarie Fields in 1975," Mr Spring, 86, said, "and we've been in the same house ever since.

 

Fred and Rukmanie Jacob, of Castle Hill in northwest Sydney, have lived by the same agreement as Mr and Mrs Spring.

 

The couple have endured many ups and downs in their 60 year marriage but have learned to avoid arguments and to be patient with one another.

 

"My wife is very tolerant," Mr Jacob, 88, said, "and her cooking is perfect - I don't like eating out."

 

Mrs Jacob said: "And my husband avoids arguments and maintains he is the boss, and I think that's very good."

 

The Jacobs celebrated their diamond anniversary on January 7 with a church service at St Paul's Anglican Church in Carlingford and a family lunch.

 

Mrs Jacob, 78, wore her original wedding dress, a silk sari.

 

The couple were married in Nagercoil, India, in 1948 and migrated to Australia in 1988.

 

They have four children - Mohan, Ajit, Annelie and Paul - as well as five grandchildren.

 

In true romantic style, the Springs met by chance, but their paths could have easily missed one another.

 

"I sent a comfort parcel to Australian soldiers overseas during World War II, and Ron was the recipient of my parcel," Mrs Spring said. "He wrote a letter of thanks, and told me he would like to meet when he returned from New Guinea."

 

This auspicious first date took place in Sydney's CDB in 1946, and was soon followed by a 12-month engagement.

 

"We were married on January 31, 1948, at Crows Nest Presbyterian Church," Mrs Spring said.

 

The couple have been blessed with three children - Ian, Jennifer and Colin - as well as none grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

 

"In our day, the groom would not see the bride's gown until the wedding day, but we threw that out the window and bought the dress together on lunchtime," Mr Spring said.

"And then we went home to tell my mother," Mrs Spring added.

 

Fred and Rukmanie Jacob's five tips

  • Give credit to your partner for keeping you happy.
  • Give and forgive.
  • Entertain - invite friends and family to your home often.
  • Enjoy spending time with each other and your children.
  • Share the same beliefs.

     

    Pat and Ron Spring's five secrets to love

    • Learn to give and take.
    • Say 'yes' or 'no' when appropriate.
    • You must learn to agree to disagree.
    • Men should say: 'Yes, dear' often.
    • Don't let anyone tell you that married people have never argued - there are the odd times where we've had disagreements.
      All You Need is Love
       

      For those who are REALLY interested in the science of love and marriage. The following article is fascinating

       

      Keeping Love Alive

      Neuroscientists are probing why some married couples can maintain the spark for years.

      By SAM SCHECHNER

      February 8, 2008; Page W1

       

      Ann Tucker is pushing a shopping cart through the produce section of a supermarket in Plainview, N.Y., when she turns to kiss her husband. The supermarket kiss is a regular ritual for the Tuckers. So are the restaurant kiss and the traffic-light kiss. "I guess we do kiss a lot," says Mrs.Tucker, a 39-year-old mathematician at a money-management firm.

       

      Mrs. Tucker is living happily ever after, and scientists are curious why. She belongs to a small class of men and women who say they live in the thrall of early love despite years of marriage, busy jobs and other daily demands that normally chip away at passion.

       

      Most couples find that the dizzying, almost-narcotic feeling of early love gives way to a calmer bond. Now, researchers are using laboratory science to investigate Mrs. Tucker and others who live fairy-tale romances. The studies could help reveal the workings of lifelong passion and perhaps one day lead to a restorative.

       

      Philosophers and writers have long examined passion and love. The 19th century introduced psychologists and sociologists to the discussion. In recent years, neuroscientists have joined in. While love is historically tied to the heart, they are looking for answers in the brain, using magnetic imaging and other modern tools to try to map love's pathways. Sam Schechner reports on a study looking at the brains of people who claim to have stayed madly in love for over a decade.

       

      Psychologists studying relationships confirm the steady decline of romantic love. Each year, according to surveys, the average couple loses a little spark. One sociological study of marital satisfaction at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Penn State University kept track of more than 2,000 married people over 17 years. Average marital happiness fell sharply in the first 10 years, then entered a slow decline.

       

      About 15 years ago, Arthur Aron, a social psychologist at Stony Brook University, became curious about couples outside the norm. His own work turned up the usual pattern of declining passion. But he was drawn to what statisticians call outliers, points way off the curve. These dots represented people who claimed they'd been madly in love for years. "I didn't know what to make of that," Dr. Aron says. "Was it random error? Were they self-deceiving? Were they deceiving others? Because it's not supposed to happen."

       

      On a clear day in late August, Mrs. Tucker visited New York University's Center for Brain Imaging. There, a four-ton device called a functional magnetic-resonance imaging scanner would analyze her brain while she looked at a photo of her husband. The machines record changes in oxygen levels of blood feeding the brain. Because the brain is quick to supply fresh blood to working areas, researchers use them to see where the brain is more active during such mental tasks as recognizing words or feeling love.

       

      Mrs. Tucker drove in with Bianca Acevedo, one of Dr. Aron's graduate students. Ms. Acevedo's doctoral dissertation studies brain images to compare new love with long-term love.

       

      Only a handful of studies have used magnetic imaging to study love, in part because scientists debate whether it is a good measure of hard-to-define mental states. The first widely cited study, published in 2000, scanned men and women who claimed to be madly in love. It found evidence that love could be traced in the brain.

       

      Over the next few years, Dr. Aron collaborated on a study that would push further. Published in 2005, it helped establish the link between romantic love and the so-called reward-seeking circuitry, which is thought to be linked to such deep motivations as thirst or drug addiction. Dr. Aron joined Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and Lucy L. Brown, a neuroscientist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York's Bronx borough. They examined blood flow in the brains of 17 volunteers, mostly college students, who were scanned as they looked at photos of their lovers.

       

      They found robust activity in a brain region called the ventral tegmental area, which is rich in dopamine, a brain chemical connected to feelings of pleasure. Another of Dr. Aron's students repeated the results in China, bolstering the case that romantic love is a biological drive not bound by culture.

       

      None of the published studies, however, focused on people in long-term relationships. Ms. Acevedo's research plan -- hatched with Drs. Aron, Fisher and Brown -- was to repeat the experiment with people who had been in love for more than a decade to see how they compare. The first hurdle was finding such couples.

       

      Mrs. Tucker is a meticulous woman with black hair in a pixie cut who moved to the U.S. from Korea when she was 5. She is shy and speaks carefully, sometimes slipping into statistical jargon when talking with her husband. When the two Ph.D.s plan a party they weigh a "Type I error" against a "Type II error," too little food or too much.

       

      Her husband, Alan, 64, is a lanky, applied-math professor at Stony Brook who speaks with a youthful enthusiasm. They met sitting across a horseshoe-shaped table at a math conference in the Adirondack Mountains. "I knew immediately we'd get married," Mrs. Tucker says. They got their marriage license less than a year later, on Valentine's Day.

       

      They share a two-story home in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. One afternoon last fall, their son Teddy, now 10, works his PlayStation, and their toddler James plays with a toy train. Mr. Tucker recounts their courtship. "After the second date, it would be three steps, stop and kiss," he says. After nearly 11 years of marriage, they still see each other as romantic ideals.

       

      Ms. Acevedo was confident that such long-term love was a real if somewhat rare phenomenon. Brain activity in the ventral tegmental area would support the idea. Dr. Brown, the neuroscientist on the project, was skeptical. Her theory: Mrs. Tucker and Ms. Jordan weren't experiencing the same brain impulses as new lovers, and brain scans would show that.

       

      Mrs. Tucker recalls taking off a gold bracelet, a gift from her husband, before sliding into the fMRI machine. Images of her husband are reflected on a mirror above her. She recalls feeling "a warm contentment."

       

      Days after Mrs. Tucker's brain scan, Dr. Brown, the neuroscientist, sat in her book-lined office looking at the results. "Wow, just wow," she recalls thinking. Mrs. Tucker's brain reacted to her husband's photo with a frenzy of activity in the ventral tegmental area. "I was shocked," Dr. Brown says.

       

      The brain scan confirmed what Mrs. Tucker said all along. But when she learned the result, she too was a bit surprised. "It's not something I expected after 11 years," she says. "But having it, it's like a gift."

       

      The scan also showed a strong reaction in Mrs. Tucker's ventral pallidum, an area suspected from 'prairie vole' studies to have links with long-term bonds. Mrs. Tucker apparently enjoyed old love and new. In the months since, Dr. Brown analyzed data from four more people who also showed brain activity associated with new love. The study is ongoing, and more volunteers are being sought.

       

      For the complete article with photos, charts and even video

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120243044114252137.html

      Single Dads

      Trek to Canberra - Wednesday, 13 February 2008.

       

      On Wednesday 13 February 2008, a group from the Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting) and Fairness In Child Support trekked to Canberra. This was the day of the Government's apology to the Indigenous Community. This was for the Stolen Generations of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

       

      Kevin Rudd said that up to 50,000 children taken from their families. This was done as a policy objective to solve the perceived Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island problem.

       

      We went to Canberra in the hope of letting the politicians know that there is another "Stolen Generation". This is the 1.2 million children stolen from one parent after separation.

       

      This has been done as part of a policy objective to allow one parent to have financial gain at the expense of the other parent. The removal of the children from one parent has been done as part of an overall Government objective to reduce Government expenditure.

       

      At the same time, it has been done without any consideration of the consequences and effects of those decisions.

       

      Our placards included the words "Another Stolen Generation", "Fatherless Children", "Childless Fathers", "Abolish the Family Court". "Abolish the Child Support Agency" and "Abolish not Reform".

       

      Approximately 10,000 people walked passed our signs. Most of these people would have read the words. In this sense, we achieved our aims.

       

      Many people from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community came up and said that they understood our problem.

       

      However we did not achieve our original objective. That is of letting the politicians know of our concerns. We had originally planned to place our signs adjacent to the politicians' car park entrances into the Parliament. When we arrived at the proposed location, the Federal Police stopped us from doing this.

       

      This is just another reason why our politicians are divorced from the real problems in our society.

       

      However there will be other opportunities to come to express our concerns to the politicians

        John Flanagan    Mob: 0415899574

      Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting)

      http://ncpp.xisle.info Fairness In Child Support

      http://fics.xisle.info

       

      Special Feature
       
       

      The Passionate Love Scale

      Answers range from:

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      Not at all true

      Moderately true

      Definitely true

       

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      I would feel deep despair if __________ left me.

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      Sometimes I feel I can't control my thoughts; they are obsessively about __________.

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      I feel happy when I am doing something to make __________ happy.

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      I would rather be with __________ than anyone else.

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      I'd get jealous if I thought __________ were falling in love with someone else.

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      I yearn to know all about __________.

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      I want __________ physically, emotionally and mentally.

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      I have an endless appetite for affection from __________.

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      For me, __________ is the perfect romantic partner.

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      I sense my body responding when __________ touches me.

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      11.

      __________ always seems to be on my mind.

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      12.

      I want __________ to know me -- my thoughts, my fears and my hopes.

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      13.

      I eagerly look for signs indicating __________'s desire for me.

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      I possess a powerful attraction for __________.

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      15.

      I get extremely depressed when things don't go write in my relationship with _________.

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      TOTAL SCORE _____

       

      Results:106-135 points = Wildly, even recklessly, in love86-105 points = Passionate, but less intense66-85 points = Occasional burts of passion46-65 points = Tepid, infrequent passion15-44 points = No thrill, never was

       
      News & Info
       
      Position Vacant
      Development Manager Fatherhood Foundation
       
      Applications Close 20th February 2008.

      The Fatherhood Foundation is a tax deductible faith-based charity with the goal of inspiring fathers and renewing families. Our aim is to prevent the harm caused by fatherlessness to the children of Australia. We are looking for an energetic and enthusiastic man who is committed to the cause found in the words of Malachi 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers'. The role of the Development Manager is to obtain funding and support to enable the cause of the Fatherhood Foundation to be fulfilled. The applicant would need to be highly disciplined, exhibit great management skills and possess excellent communication abilities with an entrepreneurial attitude. An attractive salary package will be provided for the successful applicant.

      For more information visit http://www.fatherhood.org.au/employment.html

      Public Statement

      Re: Fatherhood Foundation 'Say Sorry to All'

       

      Media Release

       

      The Fatherhood Foundation congratulates the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and Opposition Leader, Brendan Nelson, on their speeches and bi-partisan commitment to true justice and equity for the Aboriginal people of Australia. We include a copy of Kevin Rudd's apology below as an encouragement for all, plus our media release.

       

      "We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.

       

      For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.

       

      We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.

       

      A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.

       

      A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.

       

      A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.

       

      A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.

       

      A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia."

       

      Having said that, Warwick & Alison Marsh, founders of the Fatherhood Foundation, have worked extensively with the Aboriginal people of Australia and were the national co-coordinators for the Aboriginal led, Praise Corroboree/Prayer Movement which held major 72 hour reconciliation events at Parliament House in the last half of the nineties. The reality of their experience is that many parliamentarians and bureaucrats talk of reconciliation at ceremonies, but very few want to be friends with the Aboriginal people.

       

      Aboriginal elder Ps Peter Walker, leader of the Praise Corroboree said in 1997 at Parliament House, "Reconciliation is not only about race, but it's about people, families and individuals. There needs to be restoration between fathers and mothers to their children, children to their parents, husbands to their wives, neighbours to neighbours, people to people."

       

      These words could have been said yesterday. Our prayers and hopes are that the 'Sorry' Day outpouring will be the beginning of that healing process, not only for Aboriginal Australia but for all Australians as Peter Walker so eloquently said 11 years ago. Peter Walker remains a good friend to the Fatherhood Foundation, helped with our media release below and also attended the Sorry Day celebrations where he was greatly encouraged.

       

       
       
       
      Press Release
        

      Say Sorry to All

      Fatherless Children need Apology Too

       

      The Fatherhood Foundation commends the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for saying sorry to the Aboriginal children stolen from their fathers and mothers but what about the current stolen generation?

       

      Warwick Marsh, of the Fatherhood Foundation said, "It is very sad that aboriginal children were removed from their fathers by white authorities, but what about today's stolen children, both black and white, who have been forcibly removed from the care of their fathers by Australia's Family Law Court. Over a million children live apart from their biological father.

       

      "Both the previous government and the current government rejected the commonsense solution of a presumption of equal shared parenting in the event of family breakdown. We call for an apology to the children of Australia who have been so grievously affected by its ideological hatred for fathers."

       

      Dr Robert Kelso, who has lectured in Public Policy and Ethics and who has conducted research on the effects of Family Law Act in Australia, agrees with Mr Marsh "The Family Law Court is the most divisive court in the nation's history. The court has failed to protect aboriginal children and its associated entities such as the Child Support Agency have produced one of the highest rates of male suicide and male unemployment in the western world."

       

      It is good that the Prime Minister should say sorry to the Aboriginal people, but he should also say sorry to Australia's children for the denial of contact and love of their father. He should also say sorry to the children of Australia for the destruction of their family unit and the loss of their economic future

       

      The Prime Minister should also say sorry to the children of Australia for denying them contact with their extended family, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. Justice is not too much to ask

       

      How much longer must our children wait?

       

      Warwick Marsh                   Dr Robert Kelso

      0418 225 212                    07 4939 5626

       

       

       

      Letters

       

      Responses to last week's newsletter - Strong Fathers Strong Daughters

       

      Dear Fatherhood Foundation,

       

      My husband and I have only recently become aware of your organization. Having looked up your website and read many of the features there we have been inspired and encouraged no end. Your last newsletter with its emphasis on fathers and daughters was one such encouragement. We have a deep love for family and just love coming across examples of men and women who are sowing positively into their children and their children's children. My husband Ross continually expresses his love and commitment to our children, and now to our grandchildren as well.

       

      Sincerely

      Julie

       

      . . . I loved your letter about dads leading girls. Michael

       

      . . . Another great newsletter. David

       

       

      Dad's Prayer
                                     

      Dear God

       

      Love may be a science,

      But you made it.

      Love may be a challenge,

      But you gave it.

      Love may be a mystery, a journey

      that's hidden deep within our hearts.

      Deep within the wounds of time,

      waiting for the rain that only heaven brings.

      So rain on our souls today.

      Heal the tragedy of sin, that together we can rise again

      in triumph and in pain,

      knowing you have made a pathway

      and the steps will heal our pain.

      The journey of a thousand miles

      begins today, again.

      Help Us!

      The Fatherhood Foundation is a Harm Prevention Charity. Fatherlessness and inadequate fathering has been proven to be a source of harm. The Fatherhood Foundation helps children by promoting excellence  in fathering. Excellent fathers are in word and deed: responsible, involved, protective, loving and committed to the well-being of their children and their children's mother.

       

      If you would like to give financially to the Fatherhood Foundation Public Fund and receive tax deductibility:

       

      Fatherhood Foundation Public Fund (Name, address and amount details must be emailed for a receipt for tax deductibility)Westpac Branch WollongongBSB: 032 695A/C: 25-5558

       

      Or mail cheque and address details to:PO Box 440WOLLONGONG  NSW  2520AUSTRALIA

      The Fatherhood Foundation Public Fund  is a public fund listed on the Register of Harm Prevention Charities under Subdivision 30_EA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

       
      Edited

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