A Sydney father went to desperate measures this morning to protest against the rights of children and fathers when parents separate and divorce. The man – “Mick”, 38 – climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge at 5am this morning using ropes to climb the arch. Once at the top, he hung two banners, reading “Kids First” and “Plz Help My Kids”.
From the top of the bridge on his mobile phone, the man spoke to different members of the media.
He told the Nine Network: “If I have to stuff 4 million people around for one morning and that gets my kids and other kids help one day sooner [then] I have achieved my goal.
“If that draws attention to the fact DOCS is a failed department that’s letting our children down, then I have achieved my goal.
“This is a peaceful protest. It’s to give a voice to little people. Most fathers or mothers that are victims of this sort of stuff have not got anyone to turn to. At the end of the day I have got the ability to stage a peaceful demonstration and make people stand up and pay attention.”
He then told Triple M radio station that “there is a major failure in the fact that there’s no one looking after our kids when parents separate and divorce.”
While “Mick’s” circumstances are unknown, the protest highlights the emotional stress that divorce and separation can bring to not only children, but to parents as well. The protestor, who expressed his exasperation at ‘the system’, put a spotlight on the difficulties and intricacies of Family Law in Australia, and how the issues and problems that accompany splits in families have real and emotional consequences.
Mick also spoke of “parental alienation syndrome” which he described as the insulting and alienation of one parent by a child because of the actions and words of the other parent.
His concerns bring attention to the recent changes and debates regarding Australia’s Family Law Act, and the move from a focus on shared parenting to making the best interest of the child a priority.