Hearing from First Nations Dads: Qualitative yarns informing service planning and practice in urban Australia

Anton Clifford-Motopi, Ike Fisher, Sue Kildea, Sophie Hickey, Yvette Roe, Sue Kruske

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Objective: This qualitative study explores the experiences and perceptions of new and expectant First Nations fathers in an urban setting in Australia.

Background: Little is known about the experiences of First Nations men as fathers, including their transition to fatherhood and their strengths and challenges as fathers. Method: Eight First Nations men who were expectant or new fathers participated in individual yarning interviews. Data were analyzed using descriptive phenomenological analysis. 

Results: Men perceived a father to be a protector, provider and someone who reflects on how to be a better father. To be a better father, men were trying to heal and learn from their past and build their identity as a father, while managing the stress of fatherhood. 

Conclusion: The study identified four strategies to support new First Nations fathers: (a) create gathering places for men to connect with and learn from other dads, (b) maternity and early childhood services should be inclusive of men and their role as fathers, (c) clinical intervention and supportive pathways into fatherhood, and (d) promote and celebrate the strengths and roles of First Nations fathers. 

Implications: Maternity and early childhood services can better support First Nations men in their transition to fatherhood by being more responsive to their needs and inclusive of their important role in child development and strengthening the family unit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1933-1948
Number of pages16
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number5
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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