BETA

Annual BYU family expo makes debut in Australia

BRISBANE, Australia — After 14 years of holding an annual family expo in Provo, Utah, the BYU School of Family Life — following the university's motto "The World Is Our Campus" — has expanded its reach by sponsoring two parenting conferences in Australia.

The Brisbane Family Expo held on July 27 was attended by almost 800 parents, while almost 200 attended the Perth Family Expo on August 3. The conferences were organized by the Family Council of Queensland and the Family Council of Western Australia. The Church is a member of both organizations, along with many other pro-family groups.

The University of Queensland Parenting and Family Support Center co-sponsored the Brisbane conference, while the Perth event was co-sponsored by the Government of Western Australia Department for Community Development.

Air New Zealand also co-sponsored both family expos through discount airfares for the keynote speakers, Brent Barlow and Jeff Hill from BYU and BYU Education Week presenter John Lund.

The Governor of Queensland, Major-General Peter Arnison, officially opened the Brisbane Family Expo, noting the "very strong feeling of love" as he and his wife came through the large audience, of which half were LDS.

In his closing remarks, Senator John Herron, one of the 12 senators for Queensland in the national Parliament in Canberra, described the Brisbane Family Expo as "one of the most outstanding days that I've have ever had in my life".

  • John Lund, in his presentation on "The Art of Parenting Teens . . . And Other Miracles," said that teen values were completely different from parent values. "Teens want freedom, they want friends, they want fun, they want privacy and they want to live in the present. Now look at how these contrast with parent values — responsibility, family, safety and security, open communication and the future." He said parents had to motivate teenagers by rewarding them in their value system, not the parents'.
  • Brent Barlow, chairman of the Utah Governor's Commission on Marriage, in his presentation on "21 Days to a Better Marriage," said 20 to 30 percent of marriages that ended were high conflict and abusive. "The other 70% to 80% just lose it. They fall out of love. There is justification for divorce. Some people should not be married together. But it's a small minority. The rest of them just fall out of love. If you can fall out, you can fall back in."
  • Jeff Hill, who presented with his wife, Juanita, and three of their nine children, on "The Intentional Family: Habits and Traditions to Strengthen the Home," said the single most important thing in the world that a family could do, that would most strengthen their relationships, would be to have a calm, loving, peaceful, family dinner time with everyone present.

    Other topics covered at the Australian Family Expos were "The Power of Positive Parenting," "Loving and Being Loved," "The Art of Giving and Receiving Criticism" and "Life Balance: Finding Peace and Harmony in a Busy Life."

    The Australian Family Expos will be an annual event in July or August each year. Further information can be obtained at www.familyexpo.net.