Dads have a powerful impact on their kids.

The Science of Dad: proven best strategies for effective fathering will examine the important role that men can have in changing the future of our kids.

The breakfast will feature a panel discussion of distinguished West Australian business and community leaders who will reflect on their own fatherhood journeys and explore the increasingly important role that fathers and father figures have in shaping children’s lives and how these relationships can positively affect their own lives, their children’s future and help change society for the better.

This event is presented in association with The Fathering Project, a not-for-profit that improves outcomes for children by inspiring and equipping dads and father-figures to be the best they can be.

More information about The Fathering Project can be found HERE


Professor Bruce RobinsonLeading cancer researcher, author, and founder of the Fathering Project.

Bruce leads The Fathering Project team at The University of Western Australia.

In his work as a lung specialist and cancer researcher, Dr. Bruce Robinson has had to tell hundreds of men that they only had a short time left to live. For too many of these men, regret was a key reaction – “I wish I had spent more time with my family/with my children”. Bruce realised that there was a need for fathers to, as he puts it, “learn to live richly at the front end so you don’t have regrets at the back end” – in other words, to learn how to build those relationships with the family and improve that work/life balance so that down the track they don’t wish things could have been different.

From these humble beginnings more than 20 years ago, Bruce’s plan to educate fathers on how to be better dads, known as The Fathering Project, has developed into seminars and presentations at schools, workplaces and community groups, reaching thousands of people in six different countries.

In 2013, Bruce was the recipient of the prestigious Western Australian of the Year Award for his advocacy of the benefits of good fathering and his establishment of the Fathering Project as well as for his ground-breaking cancer research, his volunteer work in medical clinics in rural Indonesia and his compassionate work in helping cancer patients and their doctors cope with the emotional demands of patients’ diagnosis and treatment.


James McMahon DSC DSM 2019 West Australian of the Year

James is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Australian Capital Equity. Prior to this he was the Commissioner for the Department of Corrective Services in Western Australia and Chief Operating Officer at Azure Capital, a corporate advisory firm. James’ corporate and public sector experience followed a 22 year full time career in the Australian Defence Force.

As an SAS Squadron Commander, James’ squadron was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation for exemplary performance. During James’ time as Commanding Officer, the SAS Regiment was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation. James was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) and the Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) for leadership and command in action in Timor-Leste, Afghanistan and Iraq. Recently he was named Western Australian of the Year 2019 for his service to the Community.

Board memberships include the West Coast Eagles Football Club 2007–2015, where he also served as Deputy Chairman and remains a current member of the Leadership Subcommittee, the SAS Resources Trust Board, the St John of God Health Care Board and the Investment Advisory Group Committee for RSL WA. He is also an ambassador for ‘The Fathering Project’.

Education qualifications include a Masters in Management and a Masters in Business Administration.


Dr Karl O’Callaghan – Father of Three, Foster Father and Former WA Commissioner of Police

Karl O’Callaghan is the former Police Commissioner for Western Australia, a position which he held for more than 13 years from 2004 to 2017.  He is the longest serving post-war West Australian Police Commissioner and was formerly a career police officer having served for more than 43 years.  He has been awarded the Australian Police Medal and is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, awarded for outstanding community service.

He is also the first serving police officer in Western Australia ever to be award a PhD and in 1997 was made a Churchill Fellow to study ethics training and education in policing. In 2011 he established Bright Blue (The Commissioner’s Charity for Sick Kids) and became the inaugural chair.

Karl and his wife are full time carers for four boys in permanent foster care and he is a regular speaker for the Fathering Project on assisting fathers to become more engaged in parenting. His experience in dealing with his eldest son who became a methamphetamine addict is of significant interest to many who ask him to speak.


(Panel Moderator)
Geoff Hutchison –  Broadcaster/Journalist and host of ABC Drive Perth

Geoff Hutchison has a media career spanning 37 years.

He has been an ABC Europe Correspondent – a senior journalist and Melbourne bureau chief at the 7.30 Report and before that a multiple award winning sports reporter for the Nine Network.  In 2006 he moved to radio from television, seeking a new journalistic challenge.

Outside of the media, Geoff is married with two adult children – and continues to be a very curious, highly motivated communicator and mentor to others.

His interest in taking his vast media experience, communication skills and ability to frame and contextualize important issues into other spaces outside of Media led to him to develop and present a  series of talks entitled  ‘How are you, Dad? 

In these presentations which were held in association with The Fathering Project Geoff shared his personal and professional experiences and explored how being a good dad starts with having a good sense of self.

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