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Firstly, let me say that I am happy to be Australian!

Happy to be living in a sunburnt country, land of sweeping plains blah blah but I am even more grateful that we live in a country that is not affected by war, communism or extremist parties.  

So why aren’t we the “Lucky” country? Why do we have so much mental health issues?  Why is there so much homelessness? In the developing of the Western culture in Australia, have we missed the importance of community and more importantly extended family?

The laws in Australia are so strict around housing standards and how many people can live in a house that no longer three generations can live together.

1 bedroom:

  • single person
  • a couple

2 bedrooms:

  • 2 single people sharing
  • single or a couple with 1–2 children

3 bedrooms:

  • 3 single people sharing
  • single or a couple with 2–4 children

4 bedrooms:

  • 4 single people sharing
  • single or a couple with 3–6 children

 (https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/public-community-housing/eligibility-applying-for-housing/eligibility-for-housing/types-of-houses-provided)

That puts the pressure on, with aging parents struggling to cope with the living expenses, suffering from isolation and left to wait patiently till their busy children have time to come and see them.

The young parents are left to find affordable rental properties, which are probably not anywhere near their parents – as those areas are out of their financial league. Further to this, they must then find affordable childcare as Mum & Dad are too far away, whilst working long hours to make ends meet.  The children have long days of hyper stimulation and are tired and cranky when their parents who are equally tired and cranky come to pick them up.

Not even looking at Grandparents, who have probably been moved on, into a nursing home.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report the following:

Most Australians will experience loneliness at some point in their lives (Relationships Australia 2018). One in 3 Australians reported an episode of loneliness between 2001 and 2009, with 40% of these people experiencing more than 1 episode, according to a study of loneliness using data from the longitudinal Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey (Baker 2012). https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/social-isolation-and-loneliness

On the other level there are reports stating the difficulties that young families have struggling to follow all the rules around parenting in these modern days, feeling that they are inadequate and isolated.http://www.bringingupgreatkids.org/en/parenthood/parenting-under-pressure

So, that brings me back to Australia….what is going on? 

Why do we have these over-regulating policies that bring on isolation and loneliness.  Separate families on one hand and then preach “it takes a village to raise a child” on the other hand.  Through these ridiculous housing regulations, we have the elderly sitting in houses by themselves relying on organisations to give them with some sort of social connection, that the family is too busy working to provide.  It seems to me that there are much more important issues than how many people share a house.

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