Stepfamilies Australia

Stepfamilies Australia

Kiddipedia is definitely growing!

We are so pleased to inform you that Stepfamilies Australia is on board.

As one of Australia’s fastest growing family types, Stepfamilies Australia is proud to support and strengthen stepfamilies with a range of resources, educational tools and training for both family members and service providers.

There are an estimated 1-in-5 Australians who are part of a stepfamily.  Stepfamilies are part of a growing community of families committed to building happy, healthy, blended lives.

Stepfamilies Australia provides tools and resources to strengthen the bonds of step and blended families, and inspire a society that recognises, values and supports these families to achieve their highest potential.

  1. Can you tell us a little about how and why Stepfamilies started?

Stepfamilies Australia has a long and rollercoaster history dating back to the 1970’s.  Initially, the concept was a research project in the form of a support group at Latrobe University run by Margaret Howden and Ann Pilcher. The research project uncovered the need for an ongoing stepfamilies support group.

A small library was formed and plans were made to gather and disseminate information to stepfamilies through a newsletter. ‘Blend’ quarterly newsletter was first produced in winter 1982 on an Olivetti portable typewriter, with cut and paste illustrations and special features or headings written by hand!

Stepfamilies Australia has weathered name changes, committees, newsletters, funding given and taken until drummond street services decided to auspice the registered charity in 2008.

We now have a growing online Australian Facebook following of over 1500 people and alongside that, we have numerous private closed groups in which we support and mediate.

We still run a course written by Margret Howden “Making stepfamilies Work” 6 times a year and upskill other organisations around Australia to deliver specialist stepfamily training and counselling.

There is a clear demand for resources for our fastest growing family type and with additional funding, we could really help more families, this is one of our hardest challenges!

Margaret Howden is still involved in Stepfamilies Australia, and has just finished a book for younger readers, a fictional story about Ossie who encounters some challenges that many of us face!


  1. What is the biggest stepparenting stigma that you’d like to voice your opinion on?

That everyone should get along! It is simply not possible to bring two families together and expect everyone to get along.  We know from our research that these relationships take between 2 and 7 years to grow.  Step and blended families don’t have the rich family traditions and experiences that biological families have to fall back on.

At the start use open communication and let everyone know what is going on (don’t treat it like a company merger and talk about the move after the fact!).  Aim for mutual respect, not love or friendship if this happens, treat it as a bonus!!


  1. What is the biggest challenge on being a stepparent and what words of advice you can give them?

There are many challenges and I think it really depends on the age of the children you are blending with.  The more positive one-on-one experiences you can have with your stepchildren the faster your relationship will grow.  But try not to put too many expectations on that! These relationships take at least 2 years to grow so be patient and understanding.


  1. What can the Kiddi-Community expect from you?

I am very passionate about families and their overall wellbeing.  I believe that being a positive role model in your family and in the community around health and wellbeing makes you a better person/parent.  I am enthusiastic and you can expect a bit of craziness at times. I will engage our Stepfamily community for blog topics and be a keen sharer of information!


  1. If there is a genie in front of you and could grant you three wishes, what would you wish for? (and why?..)

Wow, what a great question!!!

  • I would wish for equality across gender, race and socioeconomics as I believe that equality is the key to reducing family violence, poverty, slavery etc.
  • I would wish for positive health and well-being for all humans
  • and my last wish would have to be endless travel to any locations in the world anytime with my family – I believe travel and seeing things with your own eyes is paramount to lasting long positive experiences!