The Boomer Legacy


A Precious Resource

Boomers loved their children and grandchildren. Because like real-estate, livestock, ore deposits or lumber… young people were our future assets.

Sample #6011
Baby on board    (Oct 2013)

Topic Images

There are currently 21 photographs in this section.



Keep us from harm: Every potential hazard was fastidiously identified and eradicated

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Drink bubbler at Erskinville Public School, Sydney   (Aug 2019,  262kb)

Preparing for the past: We laboured comprehensively to ensure things were easier for those who followed (Seawright, 2016)

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Laps at the Coogee beach tidal pool, in Sydney's east   (Mar 2003,  338kb)

Project based learning: Real wealth came from investing in people, research, innovation and society

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Vaucluse high-school, since demolished, to make way for a vibrant community for the young at heart, in Sydney's east   (Feb 2014,  459kb)

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)

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Public ashtray on a monorail pole, at Sydney World Square   (Oct 2013,  378kb)

Tween marketing trends: The role of glossy magazines was to teach young girls the importance of their appearance

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Perusing fashion magazines in the now-defunct Angus & Robertson book-store beneath Centerpoint tower   (Dec 2003,  246kb)

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

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Nightcluber on the Cronulla-Bundeena ferry, in Sydney's south   (Jan 2005,  237kb)

Burnout gender reveal: Folks loved to share their great news: some were contented with doughnuts, others took their message to the skies

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Sky writing above Kirribilli, Sydney   (Nov 2020,  268kb)

Perfecting childhood: Hands-on parents expected their children to grow into Mozarts, Rembrandts or Doctor Doug Ross

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Busking at Circular Quay, near the Sydney Opera House   (Jan 1999,  176kb)

The Big Schlep: Get the twins to softball, pick up Indigo from the airport, take Hunter to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Then transfer the twins to netball, take Hunter to the Harmony Day dress rehearsal and drop off Indigo at the art & craft markets. Finally, get the twins to soccer practice, go home for a bite and then make sure Hunter and the twins are back home by 9pm

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Darling Harbour playground   (Jun 1992,  477kb)

The last summer: For a brief moment at the beginning of the 21st century, it was still possible to leave children to themselves

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At the steps of the swimming enclosure at Balmoral Beach, in Sydney's north   (Apr 2005,  191kb)

Lifelong entanglement: I would have followed you anywhere

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Bethesda Terrace, Central Park NYC   (Oct 2017,  441kb)

Structured play: All play had to be goal and team oriented to prepare for future careers

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At the waterline at Bondi Beach   (Mar 2003,  333kb)

On this harvest moon: The peace dividend gave our children a chance at a more normal life

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Yininmadyemi sculpture, Hyde Park Sydney   (Apr 2018,  305kb)

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 in every classroom, church and playground

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An ironic end to a day at Taronga Zoo   (Apr 2005,  300kb)

Minutes to midnight: Even children realised we were running out of time

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Footpath chalk drawings on Water Street, Dunedin NZ   (Nov 2017,  569kb)

Grandfathering wealth: As part of the intergenerational bargain, our youth could look forward to a utopia of free education, affordable housing and secure employment in well-paying jobs that would last a lifetime

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Pedestrians in the Sydney financial district   (Jul 2004,  253kb)

For one brief shining moment: Where the working ended and the tests began

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Blackwattle bay jetty   (Jul 2017,  332kb)

Towards 10 per 1000: We expressed our faith in the future by having fewer children (Macrotrends, 2020)

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Wiggles exhibition, Powerhouse Museum Sydney   (Jan 2020,  148kb)

Frictionless conformity: A globally homogenised culture which made it easier to sell you things

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A skateboarder at a vintage car display, opposite St Marys cathedral in Sydney   (Jan 2005,  295kb)

Purposeful activity: We bequeathed a future full of meaning and purpose

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Discount variety store at Katoomba   (Jun 2003,  297kb)

Reel time: Fishing as a pastime became more challenging after we systematically poisoned the rivers and oceans

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Bundeena Ferry passenger, Cronulla   (Aug 2019,  245kb)

Baby Boom 2.0?

There was a mistaken belief that Australia underwent a new baby-boom 2000—2019.

Admittedly the number of registered births in Australia grew to record levels. For despite the decade-long reversal in the 1970s, the overall trend in birth numbers since 1935 was indeed steadily upward:

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Fig.1   Births 1921-2013

Yet a more interesting trend can be seen in the total fertility rate and the number of births per capita (ie. the total number of births divided by the total population, for each year). These clearly illustrate the broad decline in the proportion of Australian children born during the last seventy years:

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Fig.2   TFR & Births p/c 1921-2013

Graph data is from: 3105.0.65.001 - Australian Historical Population Statistics, 2014 (ABS, 2014), 3301.0 - Births, Australia, 2012 (ABS, 2012) and 3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, 2014 (ABS, 2014).