The History Of The Trust

In 1995 Laurie O’Reilly, the late Commissioner for Children, represented New Zealand at the International Year of the Family Conference. The majority of countries at this conference identified the most concerning issues to be that of fatherhood and fatherless children.

From this Laurie initiated a series of projects, through the Office of Commissioner for Children and funded by Save the Children Fund, looking specifically at issues of fatherhood. They included focus on fathers as in what is out there and what isn’t, what helps and hinders fathering, children’s perceptions of a father and a national survey on the thoughts of fathering.



In 1997 two representatives from the Christchurch City Council attended a forum called ‘Fathering the Future’ in Sydney, Australia. On return they advocated that Christchurch held a similar forum. The concept of Fathering the Future was then introduced to New Zealand.

In March 1998 a forum was held in Christchurch, dedicated to the memory of Laurie O’Reilly. The purpose of this forum was to identify the issues that both enhance and hinder fathers in performing a positive role in the lives of children. The forum brought together a collection of community groups, church leaders, Members of Parliament and business people to discuss and identify the issues.

The Fathering the Future Trust was formed as a result of the forum to raise the awareness of the importance that fathers play in the lives of children and to initiate projects enhancing the involvement of fathers in their children’s lives.

Fathering the Future Youth Forum 1998

Fathering the Future Forum 1998