Dads groups in demand in Merri-bek

27 August 2019

Dads groups look set to expand in Merri-bek following the success of the first ‘Dads of Coburg’ event this month as strong interest emerges from local fathers in other suburbs across the municipality.

Similar to traditional mothers groups, dads groups connect new dads and families in local communities so they can share their experiences, make new friends and enjoy healthier, happier lives.

Twelve local dads and their children attended the first Dads of Coburg event at O’Heas Bakery in Coburg on August 17 for a coffee and a chat.

Moreland Mayor Cr Natalie Abboud said Council was proud to be working with the community to connect people experiencing the same life transitions.

“Our Maternal and Child Health team were hearing from dads who wanted to meet with other dads, so we partnered with Dads Group Inc. and some local fathers to get this initiative off the ground,” said Cr Abboud.

“The groups are community-led, serve as fantastic hubs for support and everyone is welcome - we are hoping to get more groups up and running in Merri-bek.”

Adam Tardif from Dads Group Inc. said research shows that one in five fathers lose contact with their close friends within the first year of their child being born.

“We know the birth of a child can be an exceptionally challenging time, particularly for our mental health, so it's important to have peer to peer support,” said Mr Tardif.

“Developing Dads of Coburg with Council and local dad David Conti has been really exciting, and I can't wait for us to start a new dads group in Merri-bek in the near future.”

Mr Conti, who helped organise the inaugural event, was overwhelmed by the numbers at the first gathering and the interest he has received since.

“Given we have just started and so many dads wanted to come along shows that there is a strong interest and need for a dads group in the community,” Mr Conti said.

“We had a range of ages of children - from eight weeks old to seven years - one dad was taking his newborn child out without his wife, giving her time to herself for the first time since the birth.”

Dads in Merri-bek who are interested in attending a meetup or establishing a new local group can contact Leanne Giardina from the Maternal and Child Health team on 9240 1111. Coburg dads interested in joining the group can visit