Advancing Parental Leave Equality

for Australian Fathers 

Featuring the award winning

#ParentalLeaveEquality

A photographic exhibition by Johan Bävman

UNICEF Photo of the Year Award - First Prize

National Press Photographers Association (USA) - First Prize

Sony Award Worldwide - Second Prize

Daniele, 38, HSBC

On leave with daughter - 2.5 months

A photographic exhibition by Johan Bävman

Ross, 33, Westpac

On leave with son - 2 months

Andrew, 34, Lendlease

On leave with both sons - 4 months

Justin Algie, 32, Deloitte

Working flex - 12 months

Current exhibitions

Campaign highlights . . . 

Dads talk . . .

What the employers leading the way say . . .

MELBOURNE

11 - 30 September 2018

The Swedish Church 

21 St Georges Road, Toorak

Aussie Dads Uncensored 

In partnership with Men's Health

Tuesday 28th August, 2018

Atrio Westfield, Sydney

About the issue - researchers, doctors, D&I leaders, experts . . .

Fiona Pargeter, UBS in Europe on an innovative approach to Shared Parental Leave

13th June, 2018

University College London

Jane Huxley, CEO, Spotify on getting 20,000 job applications a month due to great PL policies and family-friendly culture

Friday 31st August, 2018

State Library Victoria, Melbourne

Richard Deutsch, CEO, Deloitte on his career long fear around juggling career and family

Thursday 23rd August, 2018

Sydney Opera House, Sydney

Johan Bavman on parental leave and being a dad in Sweden  

Photographer of Swedish Dads and Aussie Dads on why he started the campaign

Ross Yabsley, Westpac 'Aussie Dad' on the reality of work life balance as a new father

Thursday 23rd August, 2018

Sydney Opera House, Sydney

Tale of Two Dads

'Aussie Dads' Andrew Scerri and Pete Rhodes talk about their parental leave experience

Georgie Dent, Women's Agenda and MC at Business Leaders Lunch on Advancing Parental Leave in Australia

Friday 31st August, 2018

State Library Victoria, Melbourne

Dr Vijay Roach, Chairman of the Gidget Foundation on the important role of fathers

Aussie Dads Uncensored event

Libby Lyons, Director, WGEA on the 'parental leave equality' business case for employers 

Thursday 23rd August, 2018

Sydney Opera House, Sydney

Only 2% of Australian fathers take shared parental leave

As part of a global advocacy initiative to increase men’s parental leave participation, this not for profit Gender Equality Event & Photography Exhibition is designed to start a conversation between workplaces, men and their families to break down stereotypes of men caring for children and to improve the gender equality outcomes at work and at home.  


"We hope the think tank event and photographic exhibition will send a powerful visual message to fathersto normalise men taking parental leave and to lean in to flexible work knowing they are 

supported by their community and organisation." 


Emma Walsh, CEO Parents At Work

Pioneering Gender Equality 

through Shared Parental Leave

The Whitepaper

The business case for action


Since Father's Day 2017 there have been a number of business leaders events hosted to inspire Australian workplaces to collaborate on how they can encourage more fathers to participate in shared parental leave to improve gender equality outcomes for all. 


Educational and collaborative the sessions have:

  • Launched a new best practice guide for employers that includes benchmark shared parental leave policies and how they can increase participation of Australian fathers taking parental leave.
  • Highlighted the business benefits of advancing men’s participation in parental leave and flexible work; recognising the positive impact it has on women, men, children, society and the broader economy.
  • Examined key research findings on the challenges that hold men back from participating in parental leave and flexible work.
  • Explored how industry can look beyond policy changes to advance shared care participation by men and women; reduce prejudice and discrimination; and promote inclusiveness of those with caring commitments.


To read more about each of the industry events held so far tap on the link below. 


Past industry & business leaders events

Past community Aussie Dads Events

Johan Bävman photographer

About the Swedish Dads Photography Exhibition


Swedish Dads' is a photo exhibition based on portraits of fathers who choose to stay home with their babies for at least six months. Photographer Johan Bävman examines why these fathers have chosen to stay home with their children, what the experience has given them, and how their relationship with both their partners and their children has changed as a result. 


In September 2017, Parents At Work commissioned Johan Bävman to curate a series of photographs to exhibit Australian fathers who have taken parental leave as part of an advocacy initiative to promote the need to support more men to participate in sharing the caring load and take primary parental leave. 


The Aussie' Dads photographic collection is a not-for-profit initiative - touring internationally alongside Swedish Dads - is solely designed to start a conversation, in our workplaces and community to improve and widen the opportunities for men to equally participate in parental leave and engage in flexible work by challenging gender stereotypes and stigma around sharing the caring load in Australia.


The exhibition aims to show the effects of gender equality in parenting on both individuals and society.

Parental Leave in Australia benchmarked

MEN’S UPTAKE OF PARENTAL LEAVE IS RISING BUT STILL LOW


Australia offers the least generous Government Paid Parental Leave Scheme amongst the OCED countries at just 7.6 weeks full-time equivalent pay. All OECD countries, except the United States, provide nationwide paid maternity leave. Over half also offer paternity leave to fathers right after childbirth.


Paid parental leave—for use by both parents—is now available in 23 OECD countries, but uptake by fathers is low.


Fathers are more likely to take paid parental leave if encouraged by “daddy quotas” or bonus months.


In Australia, approximately only 1 in 50 fathers take paid parental leave according to OECD data. According to Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) latest Gender Equality Scorecard for 2016, Australian reporting organisations (non-public sector organisations with 100+ employees only) reveal that:

  • 48.0% of organisations offer paid primary carers’ leave averaging 9.7 weeks paid primary carers’ leave as a minimum 
  • 36.2% offer paid secondary carers’ leave averaging 1.5 weeks paid secondary carers’ leave as minimum 
  • 52% of organisations offer NO paid parental leave payment. 
  • 62.9% of organisations have either a policy and/or strategy for flexible working arrangements 
  • 53.5% of employers offered non-leave based measures to support employees with caring responsibilities. The most common non-leave based measure was breastfeeding facilities (28.7%).  
  • 8.3% offered coaching for employees returning to work from parental leave.  
  • 5.1% of employers offering on-site childcare  
  • 4.0% of employers offered a return to work bonus 
  • 3.1% offer employer-subsidised childcare 

For more information, see WGEA industry data, comparisons and latest paid parental leave submission.


Read more:

Call for 12 weeks of paternity leave to address gender pay gap

Can fathers afford to take parental leave?

The Aussie Dads & Swedish Dads exhibitions

are produced by

About the Embassy of Sweden

The Embassy represents and advances Swedish policies, interests and values in political and economic relations, development cooperation, trade and investment promotion and in cultural and information matters. It provides consular services to Swedish nationals and migration services to non-nationals.

About Parents At Work

Parents At Work is a global education provider of working parent programs including preparing for parental leave and returning to work transition programs. We collaborate with employers, policy makers and industry professionals to create and deliver best practice gender balanced parental leave programs that support and advocate for working families.


Parents At Work is a social enterprise and global membership based organisation, working together in partnership with progressive employers to create family friendly workplaces. 

About the Swedish Institute

The Swedish Institute (SI) promotes the interest and confidence in Sweden around the world. SI seeks to establish cooperation and lasting relations with other countries through strategic communication and exchange in different fields. Our work with Sweden’s image abroad and our activities in international development cooperation go hand in hand. The overarching goal is to create mutual relationships with other countries around the world. Our support of Swedish language instruction at foreign universities also fits into this common agenda.

Principal Partners

Supporting Partners

Find out more

To attend or find out more about the exhibition

please send us an email

Resources & Media


  • ABC News – Fathers’ trailing in equal primary parental leave spurs Aussie dads exhibit by Swedish photographer, August 2018
  • Sydney Morning Herald – ‘Rewarding, scary, exciting, tiring and challenging’, August 2018
  • Women’s Agenda – The power of men talking about managing fatherhood & work, August 2018
  • 9 Honey – Sydney dad on the importance of gender-neutral parental leave policies, August 2018
  • The Australian – Culture around parental leave needs to change, August 2018
  • Westpac – Dads on parental leave? Not normal…yet, August 2018
  • Deloitte – Deloitte backing dads to take parental leave, August 2018
  • HSBC – Why Aussie Dads should take more parental leave, August 2018
  • Lendlease – Take the time (off!) to cherish the dimples! August 2018
  • SJB Architects – SJB Sydney implements 10-week full-pay parental leave, August 2018
  • Women’s Agenda – The role leaders can play in helping new parents return to work, August 2018

Media Enquiries

For press and media enquiries please contact Cube PR on + 61 (02) 8345 4500 or the Parents At Work media team at info@parentsatwork.com.au or +61 404 093 082.