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Most Family Friendly Cities in Australia


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#1 **Xena**

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

There was an article in The Age on the most family friendly cities in Australia:

http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/life-style...0116-2cspn.html

I was pretty happy to see Launceston at the top of the list biggrin.gif Especially given DH has turned down jobs much more highly paid so that we can raise uor children here.

So what do you think of the list? I think the tricky thing is that whilst small cities may often be the most family friendly they are also quite often the hardest places to find certain jobs. This doesn't make them overly viable unless you're lucky enough to have work in them.

Edited by EBmel, 16 January 2013 - 12:07 PM.
Added EB link


#2 71Cath

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:23 AM

I was happy to see Canberra as number 2 - I certainly think it is pretty nice!

I agree that it is all very well to say that the smaller cities are more family friendly, but people need to go where the work is, so that can limit options sometimes.

#3 PrincessPeach

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

I was surprised to see the Gold Coast so far down the list, but then when the local newspaper was saying a lot of it is to do with our poor public transport system & overcrowded childcare centres & schools, then I agree.

Let's hope that this list spurs the local governments into action to improve.

#4 cinnabubble

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:35 AM

You couldn't pay me enough to live in a large country town.

#5 skylark

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

QUOTE (PrincessPeach @ 16/01/2013, 10:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was surprised to see the Gold Coast so far down the list, but then when the local newspaper was saying a lot of it is to do with our poor public transport system & overcrowded childcare centres & schools, then I agree.

Let's hope that this list spurs the local governments into action to improve.


I was reading that this morning, and thinking "what the heck? The Goldy is so family friendly!" but then I thought about the vast swathes of suburbia which are actually very poorly serviced. We live in the very narrow beachside strip, and I cannot fault the experience we've had with public transport, education, childcare etc over the years, but once you go inland only a little way the services do drop off fast. From a purely lifestyle perspective though, it is amazing for our son here with the outdoor and beach activities, and I feel that public events and libraries that sort of stuff are way better for families than in Sydney and Melbourne where we were previously.


#6 MintyBiscuit

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

It's an interesting list. I do wonder though, are bigger cities like Sydney and Melbourne considered in terms of council areas or greater metro areas? We technically live in the greater Sydney metro area, but our lifestyle where we are is far more family friendly than it would have been if we'd stayed living in the city.

I tend to think it's what you make of it too, and also what you enjoy doing as a family. We live near a large parklands area which offers bike riding, parks, ropes courses, bushwalking, a small farm and all sorts of things for DS. We're also close enough to the city that as DS gets older it's easy for us to get to museums, art galleries and other entertainment. Best of both worlds in my opinion, but for others it would be either way too close or way too far from the CBD.

#7 **Xena**

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:49 AM

QUOTE (cinnabubble @ 16/01/2013, 11:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You couldn't pay me enough to live in a large country town.


Yes but the article wasn't about personal preference. Obviously if you as a person love frequently visiting nightclubs or concerts then Launceston would be almost last on that list laughing2.gif

From what I can tell they took into account proximity and availability to access schools, parks, work, childcare and other infrastructure, class sizes, crime rates, housing affordability, traffic.

#8 baddmammajamma

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:52 AM

Having been to several of the lovely cities on that list, I can certainly see the appeal for many families!

I think 71Cath & Xena raise a good point. Depending on your field of work, it might not be feasible to live in a smaller city.

And here's my concern with my "ASD/Special Needs Mum" hat on:

Very few smaller cities offer the type of specialist resources that you can find in a major metro hub like Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane -- not just breadth, of course, but also the access to deep expertise. For that reason alone, I wouldn't want to make the move from Sydney (and there are many other non-ASD related reasons I am happy to stay put).

Every time we take a family road trip and pass through idyllic small towns or regional cities, my first thought is "I wonder how close the nearest developmental paed is?"

My views are very much colored by my family's needs, and our primary need is to be somewhere leading edge when it comes to ASD/ADHD/Twice Exceptional stuff.

Edited by baddmammajamma, 16 January 2013 - 10:56 AM.


#9 Chelli

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:55 AM

I recently attended a conference and world cafe about how Launceston can become a "Child Friendly" city. There were some great ideas and forward thinking leaders in the community. Seems they are on their way to achieving the goal with number 1 spot of Family Friendly status biggrin.gif

#10 baddmammajamma

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:02 AM

QUOTE (Chelli @ 16/01/2013, 11:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I recently attended a conference and world cafe about how Launceston can become a "Child Friendly" city. There were some great ideas and forward thinking leaders in the community. Seems they are on their way to achieving the goal with number 1 spot of Family Friendly status biggrin.gif


I've heard such lovely things about Launceston. Xena, we are planning a trip down to Tasmania...you'd better watch out! I might show up on your doorstep! wink.gif

#11 **Xena**

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:13 AM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 16/01/2013, 12:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've heard such lovely things about Launceston. Xena, we are planning a trip down to Tasmania...you'd better watch out! I might show up on your doorstep! wink.gif


laughing2.gif Deal, we can have an impromptu Halloween party tongue.gif

#12 Fire_fly

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:24 AM

I am impressed and surprised that Bundy made the list at number 10. While it is a lot better than it use to be I still think it has a bit to go in areas of public transport, but I guess it does have a good sense of community.

#13 Maple Leaf

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:33 AM

sad.gif the top 3 get really cold. sad.gif
Boohoo.

Sunshine Coast (where I am) is #20. It needs a lot of improvements.
The wages are terrible compared to other places for one thing.




#14 la di dah

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

How many grades is a school of 320? I don't think I'd want that at all if it were avoidable, honestly. Unless its only like grades 6-8 or something.

#15 **Xena**

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:49 AM

QUOTE (la di dah @ 16/01/2013, 12:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How many grades is a school of 320? I don't think I'd want that at all if it were avoidable, honestly. Unless its only like grades 6-8 or something.


Primary: K-6 (though not sure if they count K in these things as though even though it's the first year of school it isn't mandatory),
High: 7-10,
College: 11&12

I imagine the 320 is for Primary school as high school is more between 700-900. There are a lot more primary schools than high schools.

Edited by **Xena**, 16 January 2013 - 11:50 AM.


#16 ms flib

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:56 AM

I live 10k from the CBD in Melbourne. The girls go to a school with 240 kids ,massive grounds and a great community feel. We have a big back yard with vegies and fruit trees and soon chooks. We have a park over the back fence.

There are bike paths and several different types of public transport nearby. There are 4 great public high schools nearby and more universities and TAFEs. My kids can stay home and do higher ed and we can support them.

Both my partner and I have creative jobs not available in regional centres - this is the biggest reason why we would never move out of a capital city. Sydney has more jobs for DP but we would not be able to live so centrally due to housing costs.

I like Tassie but we would probably have a lower standard of living there.


#17 Bluenomi

Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

QUOTE (Maple Leaf @ 16/01/2013, 12:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
sad.gif the top 3 get really cold. sad.gif
Boohoo.

Sunshine Coast (where I am) is #20. It needs a lot of improvements.
The wages are terrible compared to other places for one thing.


Cold yes, but not really cold. My sister in Canada is dealing with a top of minus 4 today which is what Canberra only gets in the middle of winter overnight.

I just hope the list doesn't mean we get a sudden influx of people, we like Canberra as it is!

#18 Bam1

Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:53 PM

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/fake...9-1226554621851

This opinion piece somes up my thoughts.

I have been to one of the top 10 family friendly cities recently and it seems it is only friendly to certain types of family. My large mixed race family did not meet the grade and to make matters worse as I was travelling without my DH the single mother assumption made it even less friendly.


#19 TeaTimeTreat

Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:58 PM

I think it is accurate, were we live in Brisbane is family friendly (inner ring suburb, well established), we have a train line, fantastic schools, Kindergartens, playgrounds, bikepaths etc. The outer suburbs that are newer and more affordable not so much, they tend to have no train line, infrequent and crowded buses, average to poor performning schools that tend to be overcrowded, no community kindergarten and usually a childcare centre with a very long wait for places, child health clinics are usually further away and those suburbs tend to be less pedestrian friendly so people there are very dependant on cars.

I found Sydney and Melbourne similar when I visited/lived there, fantastic and almost everything you could want if you can afford to buy in an established inner ring suburb, if you don't have the 500/600/700/800K needed to buy into that suburb or you cannot afford higher rents then too bad so sad seems to be the way of things.

Launceston seems to have more equality of access.



#20 ~polly~

Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

QUOTE (Sassy Girl @ 16/01/2013, 12:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm shocked that Newcastle is 18th of the that list. Does Lake Macquarie even rate a mention on there ?

From what I've seen of Australian cities Lake Macquarie should be no.1 on that list and Newcastle should be no.2.

Did I say that as this area is supposed to be a well kept secret  roll2.gif ph34r.gif


I think in lists like this 'Newcastle' often includes Lake Macquarie. (But I think Newcastle is better than Lake Macquarie)

#21 kadoodle

Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

Ballarat beat Sydney?!  WTF?

#22 kpingitquiet

Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:23 PM

Adelaide and Perth both made the top 5 (tied) and I don't see why those cities would be lacking in modern services and job opportunities. As much as Adelaide is not my most favorite place it's pretty family-friendly, there's a hospital every five feet, some solid school districts and good private schools, and the salaries seem on par with housing costs, etc.

#23 **Xena**

Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:55 PM

QUOTE (Bam1 @ 16/01/2013, 01:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/fake...9-1226554621851

This opinion piece somes up my thoughts.

I have been to one of the top 10 family friendly cities recently and it seems it is only friendly to certain types of family. My large mixed race family did not meet the grade and to make matters worse as I was travelling without my DH the single mother assumption made it even less friendly.


I think the author of that article needs to educate themselves on what the definition of a city is in Australia personally. Seeing as it's in the Daily Telegraph though it hardly surprises me.

I think people are getting confused though. The criteria used for defining how family friendly a city is, is not based on attitudes of the general population or how multicultural it is or how good the shops are or even whether or not there are some suburbs of the city that match the criteria beautifully. It is purely based on how safe from crime, accessible, close and affordable the amenities, housing and infrastructure of the city are for ALL average families that live there.

As has been said though, obviously there are many factors that people take into account when deciding where they live that go beyond these things. The list isn't suggesting that if you don't live in the top 10 you are raising your children in a horrible place with nothing to offer families. It's just a comparative study of cities in Australia.

Edited by **Xena**, 16 January 2013 - 02:00 PM.


#24 *LucyE*

Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:28 PM

That's very funny.  I live in one of the top 5 ranked cities.  I often ask new people who move to town, why they chose here over anywhere/everywhere else and the universal answer seems to be based on their research, it's a good place to bring up a family.

We are mainly here due to DH's work.  If we had the choice, we would live elsewhere.  It still boggles my mind why people come here LOL.

#25 Canberra Chick

Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:33 PM

I like Canberra, and it is great for raising kids, but I liked it beforehand too. Possibly because of the large number of tertiary educated people and a large 20-30 group it has quite a bit of theatre, live music and so on and can offer more facilities than other towns its size.  I think that does distinguish it from a lot of the regional towns.  So the kids can walk to school, there's lots of green space but there's also plenty of exhibitions, theatre productions, author talks and so on as well.




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