How we started out
Tony Miller OAM
Founder 'Dads in Distress', Fathers day 1999
We started out as Dads in Distress, on Father’s Day 1999. Our founder was Tony Miller OAM. Back then, we operated one dads group that met periodically on a veranda in Coffs Harbour, NSW.
Tony kicked off the group after he could not find any support that he needed as a recently separated and highly distressed dad; in fact it led him to contemplate taking his own life more than once. Others heard about his work and they volunteered to set up their own local groups.
Over the years, mums too started to come to our groups for support, so we widened our work to include mum support and, in 2017, we rebranded to Parents Beyond Breakup. We continue to operate a front line support service called Dads in Distress (alongside one called Mums in Distress) but our focus is where the greater lack of national support continues to exist – that is with separated dads.
Two decades on and we’ve expanded our services to include a telephone helpline, LiveChat helpline, online forum and local ‘one to one’ mentors.
Our core ethos remains today as strongly as it did back in 1999, to provide support free and to utilise where possible only peer volunteers all of whom have been through it themselves. This makes all the difference when you’re all out of money, and trust. Although we are in small part funded by government, we continue to operate on very limited funds and rely heavily on the generosity of the public, trusts and corporate donors.
PARENTS BEYOND BREAKUP
Our focus is the prevention of suicide in separating parents
Our tagline is keeping parents alive, and in their kids lives
We are non ideological, non political, gender neutral and gender inclusive.
We do not do ‘activism’.
We are often asked to provide policy makers high quality and unbiased factual information that they need to make better decisions about the areas in which we operate.