ACT News


Occupational therapy for ACT mothers

KATE DONALDSON and thousands of other Canberra mums want two things today.

A sleep-in and a career.

''Most of the ladies I know have gone back to work part-time,'' the lawyer and mother of one said.

The Weetangera woman said part-time work allowed her to keep up to date with changes in the law.

She was also grateful for the discipline her occupation added to the week's schedule.

The latest statistics show how important work is for Australian mums.


Two-thirds of employed mums with children under six years of age were working part-time in 2010-11, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Nine per cent of those mums wanted to work more and were available to do more hours.

''My work is really flexible,'' Ms Donaldson said.

''There are a number of staff who work school hours.''

Increasingly mums were returning to the workforce when their youngest child begins school.

For mums whose youngest child was aged between six to 14 years, 79 per cent participated in the labour force in 2010-11, up from 77 per cent in 2006-07.

Mums who work part-time spend almost two hours more per day looking after their children when compared to their girlfriends who are employed full-time.

Lobby group Save the Children has published its State of the World's Mothers report this week, which says Australia is now the seventh best place in the world to be a mother - down five places from last year.

The organisation says Australia dropped down the rankings because education standards had not kept up with other nations at the top of the rankings, such as New Zealand.

Save the Children's advocacy and policy advisor, Nicole Cardinal, said the number of years Australian women stay in school has decreased by a whole year.