A Precious Resource
Boomers loved their children and grandchildren. Because like real-estate, livestock, ore deposits or lumber… young people were our future assets.
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There are currently 22 photographs in this section.
Minutes to midnight: Even children realised we were running out of time
Footpath chalk drawings on Water Street, Dunedin NZ [Nov-2017 739kb]
Frictionless conformity: A globally homogenised culture to make it easier to sell you things
A skateboarder at a vintage car display, opposite St Marys cathedral in Sydney [Jan-2005 248kb]
The last summer: For a brief moment at the beginning of the 21st century, it was still possible to leave children to themselves
At the steps of the swimming enclosure at Balmoral Beach, in Sydney's north [Apr-2005 146kb]
Bo-ho chic: Mainstream/ Indie/ Alternative/ Bohemian/ Underground… a celebration of quirky dressers who spent a little more time than most on curating their own look and style
Nightcluber on the Cronulla-Bundeena ferry, in Sydney's south [Jan-2005 175kb]
Reel time: Fishing as a pastime became more challenging after we systematically poisoned the hydrosphere
Bundeena Ferry passenger, Cronulla [Aug-2019 228kb]
Keep us from harm: Every potential hazard was fastidiously identified and corrected
Drink bubbler at Erskineville Public School, Sydney [Aug-2019 225kb]
Weeks, maybe months: The slow-motion horror of watching your parents die from belatedly diagnosed terminal illnesses, with the knowledge that medical review boards will do their utmost to protect the anonymity and status of everyone involved
North Bradfield Park, Milsons Point [Dec-2020 131kb]
The Big Schlep: Get the twins to softball, pick up Indigo from GAHT and take Hunter to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Then take the twins to netball, Hunter to the Harmony Day dress rehearsal and drop Indigo off at the dance studio. Finally, get the twins to soccer practice, go home for a bite, check Instagram and then make sure Hunter, Indigo and the twins are back home by 9pm
Darling Harbour playground [Jun-1992 656kb]
No safe place: Fretting parents who left things too late; anxious grandparents out of their depth; abstruse pedagogical theorists run amok. Harm mitigation. Risk amortisation. Hypervigilance and a discourse of unquantifiable danger lurking in every home, classroom, church and playground
An ironic end to a day at Taronga Zoo [Apr-2005 208kb]
Tween marketing trends: The role of glossy magazines was to teach young girls the vital importance of how they look
Perusing fashion magazines in the now-defunct Angus & Robertson book-store beneath Centerpoint tower [Dec-2003 97kb]
Preparing for the past: We laboured comprehensively to ensure things were easier for those who followed (Seawright, 2016)
Laps at the Coogee beach tidal pool, in Sydney's east [Mar-2003 363kb]
Structured play: In order to fully prepare for successful careers, every activity had to be goal and team oriented
At the waterline at Bondi Beach [Mar-2003 180kb]
Lifelong entanglement: We would have followed you anywhere
Bethesda Terrace, Central Park NYC [Oct-2017 658kb]
Perfecting childhood: Hands-on parents expected their children to grow into Mozarts, Rembrandts or Doctor Doug Ross
Busking at Circular Quay, near the Sydney Opera House [Jan-1999 123kb]
For one brief shining moment: EKG; Catecholamines urine 24 hour; Faeces pathogen PCR; Renal ultrasound; Renal Doppler ultrasound; Fasting glucose; Spot glucose; Glucose Tolerance Test; HbA1c; Urine protein test; Dilated Eye Retinal Scans; Pathogen throat swabs…
Blackwattle bay jetty [Jul-2017 316kb]
Grandfathering wealth: As part of the compact between generations, our youth can look forward to a utopia of free education, affordable housing and secure employment in well-paying jobs that last a lifetime
Pedestrians in the Sydney financial district [Jul-2004 111kb]
Preparing for the hereafter: Early retirement had many aspects but only one outcome
Yandhai Nepean Crossing, near Emu Plains [Jun-2021 82kb]
Baby on board:
A political system that leads to [young] people having so few resources that they do not have opportunities to pursue lives that they have reason to value (Grattan Institute, 2014)
Public ashtray on a monorail pole, at Sydney World Square [Oct-2013 384kb]
Purposeful activity: We bequeathed a retail industry filled with meaning and purpose
Discount variety store at Katoomba [Jun-2003 214kb]
On this harvest moon: The peace dividend gave our children a chance at a more normal life
Yininmadyemi sculpture, Hyde Park Sydney [Apr-2018 307kb]
Towards 10 per 1000: Our faith in the 21st century was expressed by having far fewer children (Macrotrends, 2020)
Wiggles exhibition, Powerhouse Museum Sydney [Jan-2020 88kb]
Burnout gender reveal: Parents loved to modestly announce their great news
Sky writing above Kirribilli, Sydney [Nov-2020 258kb]
Baby Boom 2.0?
There was a mistaken belief that Australia underwent another baby-boom following 2001 (eg. McCrindle, 2013).
Admittedly the total number of registered births grew to record levels after 2004. Despite the decade-long reversal in the 1970s, the overall trend in total birth numbers since 1935 has indeed been upward:
Yet a more interesting trend can be observed in the total fertility rate and the number of births per capita (ie. the total number of births divided by the total population):
Aside from a tiny reversal around 2008, these charts show the relentless decline in the proportion of children born in the last fifty years.
Clearly the 1949—64 “boom” remains a one-off.
Graph data is derived from:
ABS Historical Population (ABS, 2019).