Figuring out Families

Figuring out Families

It's in the family we learn the skills of living together. We first learn that we are loved, understood, wanted and cared for, and in most cases it's in the family we are formed to be who we are. But our biggest hurts, failures and tragedies can also occur within the family. For most of us we have to learn as we go! For over 70 years Majellan has provided advice, shared stories of family life and helped family members deal with the problems that arise. We've helped thousands with their family issues. Hosted by David Ahern. Together we’ll set about Figuring out Families.


February 20, 2023 27 mins

Join us again to explore the question of how often families should gather at the dinner table. Derek Boylen says the answer lies in both the quantity and quality of the time spent together. Starting small is recommended to introduce new traditions and build upon them.

Research shows that the amount of quality time needed to maintain a healthy relationship varies, with some studies suggesting at least two hours a week and others sug...

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This podcast is a must listen for all faith-based organisations taking child protection seriously.

Our guest, Professor Daryl Higgins from the Institute of Child Protection Studies talks about areas concerning the understanding of how young people perceive safety. 

Continuing the work done for the Royal Commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse to understand what are the different risks and perceptions th...

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January 17, 2023 28 mins

In this third Dinner Table podcast, Derek Boylen discusses the spiritual significance of families sharing a meal together. 

While families may not be religious, sharing a meal can help them grow in love and faith. Derek says just as Jesus broke bread and shared a meal with his disciples, the importance of families being together should never be underestimated or undervalued.

Derek says a family sharing a meal is in itself a po...

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In this second Dinner Table podcast with Derek Boylen, we look at the enormous health benefits for people when they share a family meal. Lower rates of depression and anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders have all been reported, while higher rates of resilience and self-esteem have also been noted.

Derek also says families sharing a meal and communicating also helps young people’s social skills and develops bonds between s...

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In this new podcast series, we are on a mission to reunite families at the Dinner Table. We want to help families be closer, sharing and more loving. The dinner table is not only an area for eating but a place for gathering, sharing, communicating and where relationships can grow. Studies show there are enormous mental and physical health benefits for the whole family with reduced rates of anxiety and depression. There are so many ...

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In our special Mission podcast we talk to Kirsty Robertson, the CEO of Caritas Australia. Kirsty has previously featured on our podcasts speaking about Caritas’ role in helping the people of Ukraine following the invasion by Russia and the importance of Project Compassion during Lent.

Caritas Australia is the Catholic Church’s international aid and development agency and is part of one of the largest humanitarian networks in the wo...

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Interest rate increases and the rising cost of living are making life much more difficult for families. In this latest Financial Series podcast featuring Serina Bird she discusses ways families can survive the tough times. Serina says with inflation pushing up prices for things such as groceries and petrol, many people understandably are feeling powerless but it’s not all doom and gloom and there are things families can do to insul...

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In this latest podcast of the Child Wellbeing Series with Daryl Higgins, Director of Australian Catholic University’s Institute of Child Protection Studies, we discuss the issue of parents smacking their children.

Daryl talks about the latest study which shows children who are smacked are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression later in life. He also provides strategies for parents who may feel guilty after smacking a chi...

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In the second podcast in the Child Wellbeing Series with Daryl Higgins, director of Australian Catholic University’s Institute of Child Protection Studies, our discussion centres around ‘parenting interventions’ to address mental health issues in children.

Daryl says the majority of mental health problems have their origins in childhood and adolescence which is why additional funding is needed to help families. The problem has been...

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In this episode of our Parenting Sessions Series, we talk to Dr Rosina McAlpine who’s an author, parenting expert and CEO of Win Win Parenting. Rosina talks about how families can get back on track after the pandemic. The physical, emotional, social and mental wellbeing of people has been tested big time over the past two years and she says many families have also suffered big financial losses. Rosina provides some timely tips on w...

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Research shows that financial hardship is the biggest cause of family breakdown.

Many families have gone backwards during the pandemic and people feel embarrassed if they have money issues and this could happen to anyone and people should not feel shame but seek help. Serina talks about what to do if you have financial issue, how to identify the causes and talks about the types of things that lead to financial hardship.

She also sh...

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The mental health of young Australians is in the spotlight again with a recent newspaper poll showing one in four young people aged sixteen to twenty-four thought about suicide over the past two years and 15 per cent attempted self-harm. The Age poll reveals a staggering eighty-two per cent said the pandemic caused their mental health issues.

Our new podcast series with Professor Daryl Higgins, director of Australian Catholic Unive...

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February 27, 2022 33 mins

In this new series of Figuring out Families titled The Financial Series, we aim to help families who are experiencing financial difficulties. Research shows that issues over money continues to be one of the biggest causes of relationship break-ups and COVID-19 has only made matters worse for many families.

Author, podcaster and blogger Serina Bird, a former diplomat who has worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, of...

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In this special episode of Figuring out Families we look at the difficulties many families have faced with home schooling during the pandemic.

Star of the Sea College co-captains, Lucy Corcoran and Charlotte McCormack, who have spent much of their final 2 years of schooling working from home, explain the challenges of not being able to interact with their friends and teachers. They both say their families have played an important r...

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In the final session of our marriage preparation series Andrew and Veronica wrap up the key points couples need to consider when preparing for the 'big day'.

Marriage preparation is not about having all the answers but exploring the differences and having an opportunity to talk about these differences. Veronica and Andrew share some of the many varied situations they have come across in their 16 years of being with couples preparin...

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In the third session of our marriage preparation series Andrew and Veronica outline how to identify and address the differences couples may have coming into a relationship. 

Some differences of opinion are small while others may be more impactful.  The usual areas of difference are financial  views, culture, religion and beliefs and family backgrounds.  Identifying the potential problem areas are important to en...

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We continue our Marriage Preparation sessions with Veronica and Andrew Schoenmaekers. In Session 2 we cover key issues that couples need to consider and discuss prior to their marriage.

Topics covered include dealing with extended family, traditions, finances and the importance of communication. In particular Andrew and Veronica explain how couples should approach differences in opinion and values.

A must listen for those preparing...

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Pre-marriage education programs aim to help couples build stronger relationships as they prepare for marriage – and a lifetime together!

They are designed to help couples to put relationship theory into practice and

learn how to:

  • explore their relationship’s strengths and differences
  • find ways to grow their friendship
  • build skills to navigate and manage conflict
  • discuss the challenges that they may face and plan positive...
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June 22, 2021 30 mins

In this podcast, Dr Robyn Mills talks about the benefits of positive thinking and how to free ourselves from the shackles of past negative influencers. Robyn has worked in the health field for 47 years in areas such as psychology, nursing, and natural medicine and is a grandmother of six. She says some people spend a lifetime thinking they are hopeless at certain tasks, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Robyn says it’s important ...

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Rounding off Rachel's sessions on building sibling relationships and strengthening family bonds in this session she provides more great ideas to help siblings grow and thrive together. In the podcast Rachel explains practical strategies and practices that every family can use. 

Rachel Schofield is a Parent Coach, Professional Member of the Australian Association of Family Therapists, and Mum of two boys.

You can let Rachel kno...

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