‘Europe for Christmas’: Interview van Vader Kennis Centrum met Australisch Radioprogramma ‘Dads on the Air’ (13 december 2011)

Source: Australia, Dads on the Air Radio Archives, Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 10:30AM

With special guests:
  • Benjamin Wondergem
  • Ken Thompson
  • Peter Tromp
  • Robert Whiston

In our last show for 2011 and in the leadup to Christmas we have a European flavour. In the studio we are joined by Benjamin Wondergem visiting Sydney from the Netherlands and Ken Thompson who is well known to listeners in connection with the Hague Convention and more generally in the area of reforming the law on International Parental Child Abduction.

We cross to the Netherlands where we speak to Peter Tromp who is a Child and Educational Psychologist. Peter is the Chair Father Knowledge Centre Netherlands and the Secretary Platform for European Fathers.

To speak to our next guest we cross to the UK and speak to blogger Robert Whiston, Chair Men’s Aid UK. We hear directly about the recommendations in a recent report on Family Law made to the British Government. This report has made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Benjamin Wondergem
Benjamin is a serving Police Officer in the Netherlands who holds Masters Degrees in Health Care Management and Criminal Investigation. Benjamin was authorised to conduct a survey dealing with the attitude of the Dutch Police Officers and the prosecuting authority when dealing with a family conflict.

When we hear about the problems in the Netherlands it becomes apparent that fathers face enormous difficulties around the world in trying to maintain contact with their children after separation and divorce.

Ken Thompson
It was a pleasure to welcome Ken back to the program. Ken knows both Benjamin and Peter Tromp well from his time in the Netherlands so it was a bonus to have him in the studio. Ken and Benjamin are joint winners of the Netherlands 2011 Father of the Year Award.
Ken discusses with Benjamin the current situation in the Netherlands and has some important messages about International Parental Child Abduction including a plea for support for Stephen Watkins, the father from Canada who is now in Poland awaiting a legal decision on whether his abducted boys will be able to go back home to Canada.

Peter Tromp
When Peter Tromp travelled to the EU in Brussels in connection with consideration by the Parliament of paternity leave he discovered that fathers were not represented. With the support of the Dutch Greens Party Peter set about establishing the Platform for European Fathers (PEF) and since then the growth has been rapid. The PEF now has nineteen fatherhood and equal parenting organisations representing twelve European countries and including Switzerland, a non-EU country.

It would be great if other Greens parties around the world would recognise the injustice and support similar action.

PEF is a voice for fathers in Brussels when the EU is considering issues that affect fathers.

In addition to his work with PEF Peter operates the Father Knowledge Centre in The Netherlands where help is offered at an individual level. Peter sees this as particularly important as we approach Christmas when many fathers are going to be deprived of spending time with their children.

Robert Whiston
Our final guest is Robert Whiston who joins us from Westminster in the UK. Robert gives us an insight into the recent Norgrove Report to the British Government and some of the people behind it. Unfortunately that includes Jenn McIntosh from Australia who for some inexplicable reason was consulted for the report. Her contribution is evaluated by Robert in his blog Norgrove and McIntosh’s ‘junk science’.

It is illuminating to hear from someone whose expertise is in the figures to see how this particular psychologist has distorted the findings based on her small samples to come up with the conclusion she wanted.

One has to wonder why Norgrove resorted to a report published by McIntosh in 2009 when there are far more reliable reports using larger samples available from UK and US sources. Listen to Robert to see how far this much criticised Norgrove Report is likely to affect the law making agencies and the possible international repercussions.

This is our last show for the year but we hope that listeners will take the opportunity over the break to visit some of the highlights in our shows over the year… and don’t forget to join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

In the leadup to Christmas we hope all the dads out there get together with family and friends. From Dads on the Air we wish you all the very best for a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.