Hearing the Voices of Parents

Supporting Parents of Children with a disability


Hearing the Voices of Parents is a theatre performance capturing the stories of parents with children with a disability. The emotionally compelling performance highlights the challenges and the experiences that parents face.

Originally the play was performed in October 2013 to approximately 50 key stakeholders working within the disability sector. We are now aiming to share the performance with new audiences by adapting the play into a short film.

Project Summary

The mental health and wellbeing of children with disabilities is a priority research area, with up to 49% of parents reporting mental health problems. Caring for a child with a disability can impact on all areas of a parents’ life, including their physical, social and emotional wellbeing, employment and social relationships. To support parent’s mental wellbeing, services and polices need to be changed and solutions must be identified. It is essential that any solution is shaped by parents’ experiences and that parents have a voice in shaping such solutions.

In partnership with the Melbourne Playback Theatre Group and parents with children with a disability, the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing program, developed a theatre performance to share the experiences of parents with key stakeholders.

This new process of knowledge translation, conducted in partnership with Melbourne Playback Theatre Company enabled parents to voice their experiences, providing them with a genuine opportunity to participate in a process which highlights how polices and services can affect their mental health and wellbeing.

Funding Source

University of Melbourne, Staff Engagement Grant

Academic Team