BY OLIVIA PORTELL
Experts are gathering at the University of Newcastle today and tomorrow for the 3rd Family and Community Strengths International Symposium
One hundred delegates from around the world will take parts, and look at issues such as family violence, economic and structural change.
The two-day conference will allow academics, practitioners and policymakers to learn from each other in an attempt to facilitate change.
Professor Alan Hayes says a key factor of the event will be exploring support options for families.
"We're facing much more complex problems these days, and in many cases, they're entrenched and inter-generational," he says.
"The sorts of supports that can be offered to families and the ways in which we can mobilise community strength is extremely important."
Professor Hayes says it is important to hear from other nations to combat these problems.
"Most nations are really starting to struggle with this, and the discipline of family studies is starting to emerge in countries like Indonesia," he says.
"We're all facing the challenges, but if they're not addressed through effective supports to families and communities, they risk becoming exacerbated and entrenched."