9-12 June 2020

Melbourne Convention
and Exhibition Centre

What is a good life for families?
And how do we get there?


Melbourne, Australia

9-12 June 2020
9th June – Pre-conference workshops



Social, economic, technological and environmental change continues to impact our lives. Disruption is constant: the pace of change is so swift that ‘these days, every year is revolutionary’.

In this time of rapid transformation families continue to do the ‘heavy-lifting’. Families constantly adapt to the forces of external change while caring for each other, raising children, and contributing to the economy and community. In our state of permanent flux, have we collectively lost sight of what it means for families to have a good life?

‘Family policy’ is often considered a ‘soft’ area of policy. In reality, it is anything but. Families are the engine room for the wellbeing and economic participation of our citizens from cradle to grave. But while families are impacted by all areas of domestic policy, governments rarely consider the impacts of policy on families. At the heart of society there is an imbalance. Governments rely on families to function well for a stable society and economy. Yet how well do our policy and service systems hold up their end of the bargain and provide the scaffolding families need so they can function well?

In an era where human-centred design and citizen-centred policy are the latest buzzwords, do we have the bravery to listen carefully to the aspirations of families? And in so doing, aim to rebalance the equation so the system is serving families’ needs not vice versa.

So what makes for a ‘good life’? This seemingly simple question has dogged philosophers, economists, legislators and leaders through the ages. At the AIFS 2020 Conference, we tackle this question head on to ask:

        • What is a good life in the face of rapid social and technological change?
        • What is a good life at different stages of our lives?
        • What do children, families and communities hope for?
        • How do we design service systems, institutions, policies and laws that help us to realise these aspirations?

Key dates

Registrations open – Thursday 3 October 2019
Early bird registrations close – Friday 3 April 2020
Pre-conference workshops – Tuesday 9 June 2020
3-Day Conference – 10, 11, 12 June 2020

More than just a conference

The AIFS 2020 Conference will be more than just another conference – it will be an event that showcases and shares research, is a catalyst for national conversations, and charts a course for the wellbeing of families towards 2050.

In the Institute’s 40th anniversary year, the 2020 Conference will bring together key policy makers, practitioners, researchers and thought leaders, across sectors and jurisdictions, to explore how policies and service systems can better support families to achieve their aspirations and flourish in a rapidly changing world.

The diverse conference program will facilitate opportunities for audience engagement, debate and inquiry to enable genuine collaborative discussion. Formats in the program will include workshops, fireside chats, roundtable discussions, panel sessions, evaluation snapshots, e-poster presentations and symposia to generate conversations with impact.


Registrations are now open. Please use the online registration portal to register for the AIFS 2020 conference. Ensure to book as soon as you can to take full advantage of the early bird registration prices.


The conference attracts experts and professionals from a range of disciplines related to family wellbeing. Find out who has recently joined the program of presenters.

Sponsorship & Exhibition

Sponsoring the AIFS Conference offers unrivalled opportunities to make your brand visible to influencers, change agents, decision makers and researchers across a range of sectors and disciplines dedicated to improving the lives of Australian families.

Getting to Melbourne

We are delighted to have Qantas Airlines as an exclusive airline partner for our event. Qantas is offering all registered delegates and travel partners discounted airfares to travel to Melbourne for the conference.

Qantas logo













Travel partner

2018 highlights and testimonials

“It’s my 6th AIFS conference and the quality of papers/presentations was the best yet!”

“I’ve never attended a conference which has opened my mind and challenged my thinking as much as that. It was so interesting on both a personal and professional level.”

“Absolutely brilliant – certainly one of the best conferences I have attended in my long career.”

“Great quality and mix of papers, excellent organisation, great venue, good feel – lots of great information to come away with and new connections.”

“The Conference was very interesting and there were many stimulating and innovative presentations. I enjoyed all the sessions I attended particularly family law; families and the economy; longitudinal studies; and new age families.”

AIFS 2020 Conference commences in...