Brenda Richards

It's important to me to live in a society where people are not ‘marginalised'.

Change Agent

Brenda was a founding member and inaugural treasurer of the Council of Single Mothers and their Children (CSMC), which initiated the self-help model, giving more power and dignity to individuals. The CSMC model demonstrated that single mothers are highly capable women and has been adopted around the world. The CSMC initiated significant legislative change, including the introduction of the Supporting Parents Benefit for all single parents and the removal of 'illegitimacy'.

As a member of the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) Brenda represented CSMC, effectively advocating for the needs and issues of single mothers in the broader community.

In 1986, whilst working at the Children's Court Clinic, Brenda initiated and established a Step Family Program for parents whose children were before the courts. The program resulted in step families understanding the structural problems they faced and meeting other families in similar situations.

Brenda was the Vice-President of VCOSS and board member of the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS). She has also served on the board of the Victorian Adoption Network Information and Self Help Group (VANISH).

Brenda has provided a strong role model to single mothers through her actions and work.