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News Update 67                                                        13 June 2013

 Fatherhood Film Tours Nation


Today marks the start of the Absent National Premiere Film Tour 13-29 June 2013. Absent is a powerful and moving film about the impact of fathers on children and society. The film's award-winning director Justin Hunt will be travelling with the film across Australia. I am excited to tell you that I will also be accompanying Justin Hunt on the tour as the tour organizer on behalf of the Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation and hopefully will catch up with you along the way. Already we are getting great stories in local media featuring the need to address the chronic problems of fatherlessness in our society.


The last Canberra Declaration news update you received only a few days ago was dealing with defending the 100,000 babies who are aborted every year in Australia.  Through supporting John Madigan's Bill to outlaw Medicare funding of abortion that kills in the womb babies unwanted because of their sex, you are doing your part. The Bill is only a small part of the issue of abortion but an important one none-the-less. The reason we are fighting this issue is the simple fact that these children who are aborted are essentially fatherless. Responsible fathers would never want abortion to happen. That is just one of the many reasons we have to get fatherhood back here in Australia. That is why this National Premiere Film Tour with this documentary is so important.


The Absent documentary is an emotional journey that reveals the universal impact of fatherlessness while providing hope for a better future for men and women alike. The film draws on the heartfelt stories of Metallica's front man, James Hetfield; the late world-champion boxer, Johnny Tapia; Wild at Heart author, John Eldredge; renowned author, Richard Rohr; fitness model, Robin Decker; prostitutes; vulnerable youth; and many more. 


ABSENT Official Movie Trailer
ABSENT Official Movie Trailer - 2.19 secs


Justin Hunt, the Director, said, "The film shows that fatherlessness and the father wound is a universal problem across our planet but, through stories from people such as James Hetfield and others, we begin to create understanding of the issue - and with understanding, you can begin to create change."


Australian research papers show a strong association between the absence of a father and poor academic achievement; low self-esteem; criminal behaviour; delinquency; substance use and abuse; social, sexual and psychological problems; depression; and suicidal behaviour.


"So often it is difficult to know how to turn something around until you know what is at the core of the issue,"  said Hunt. "I am so excited to be here for the Australian premiere and share this film with people. It's a great launching pad for talking about how people can heal their hurts and break the cycle of absent fatherhood that has gone unnoticed for far too long and has such a negative impact on individuals and society as a whole."


When Metallica's James Hetfield poured out his heart and pain in the lyrics of the iconic heavy metal songs he and the band created, he connected with generations of people who carried the legacy of growing up without a father. "The thing that hurt me most, when I look back at it ... he left without saying goodbye," says Hetfield in the movie. "He left a note, but it wasn't even to me."


Later reflecting on the experience of being involved in the movie and a number of American screenings, Hetfield said, "This movie has done a lot more for me than I thought it would. Justin, the crew, the books, opened my eyes to the male role in the family - the father...".


Absent has been shown at 18 festivals in eight countries, winning six awards. It has screened in more than a dozen countries and DVDs have been shipped to 33 countries, highlighting the universality of the issue. As part of the National Premiere 'Bring Back Fatherhood' Tour, Absent will screen in capital cities and some regional centres across six states and the ACT from 13-29 June, 2013. See below for details. Opportunity at the screenings will be given to support the tax deductible work of Dads4Kids.


The Dads4Kids charity is sponsoring this tour including bringing Justin Hunt to Australia to promote the film and talk about the underlying messages. All screenings will be free entry (excepting some cinemas) to ensure maximum public attendance. Justin Hunt will be available for Q & A at the end of each screening.


My own view of the film is that it is honest, raw and moving with a powerful message for all Australians - men and women - about the role of fathers, the future of our children and the health of our nation.


This film presents Australians with the best possible opportunity to prove the importance of fathers and impact the culture to help turn the tide of fatherlessness here in Australia.


I encourage you as a supporter of the work of the Canberra Declaration to come along to the special screenings in Sydney, Gosford, Tahmoor, Brisbane, Toowoomba, Townsville, Cairns, Wollongong, Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart, Adelaide or Perth. The tour schedule is below. Full details of all locations can be found at here.


In Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane there is a choice of two or three locations so I hope you can come along to one of the screenings and at least shake my hand. After all, I love to shake hands with the wonderful supporters of the Canberra Declaration who continue to make a stand for Life, Marriage and Family all across the nation. Together we can make a difference.


Yours for Turning the Tide of Fatherlessness

Warwick Marsh


P.S.  Here is a follow-up to Tuesday's News Update 66 regarding Senator Madigan's Gender-Selection Bill.

'It's a Girl' to be Shown in Parliament House on 17 June


Please pray for the special screening of the movie 'It's a Girl' in Parliament House Canberra on Monday 17 June at 6 pm.  This movie speaks powerfully to issues relating to the gender-selection abortion Bill to be tabled in the Senate on 24 June. 

'It's a Girl' Movie is a new 63-minute documentary film that reveals gendercide in India and China where as many as 200 million girls have gone "missing".  'It's a Girl' reveals the issue of gendercide by exploring the stories of the victims, families, global experts and grassroots activists.  Shot on location in India and China, 'It's a Girl' asks why this is happening and why so little is being done to save girls and women.


Senators, Members of Parliament and Staff received invitations to this showing three weeks ago.  You are encouraged to remind your Federal MP and Senator by sending them an email.  You can use this Australian Family Association facility (which hopefully is easier than the link given on Tuesday).


In the light of the Senate Committee's refusal to hold any public hearings for the gender-selection abortion Bill, this special screening of 'It's a Girl' is, we believe, in the providence of God.  So please pray that 'It's a Girl' will speak powerfully to the hearts and minds of Senators who will soon decide on this Bill.


Thank God for Robin Johnson of Beyond Here who is showing 'It's a Girl' throughout Australia and has organised this screening in Parliament in partnership with the office of Senator John Madigan.  According to Robin, Senator John Madigan was at a recent showing of this film in Melbourne and made a great speech. 


It's not too late for other screenings to be organised.   For more information, please phone Robin Johnson at 0408 055 655 or email him or visit the Beyond Here website.


Screenings of Absent 13 - 29 June 2013


(More details and other locations listed at )





Thursday, 13 June 2013

3pm Dendy Cinema Newtown, NSW

0488 376 999

Thursday, 13 June 2013

7pm Sydney South, NSW

02 9524 2709

Friday, 14 June 2013

6.30pm Event Cinemas, Castle Hill, Sydney

0406 446 899**

Saturday, 15 June 2013

1pm Avoca Picture Theatre, Gosford NSW

02 4382 1777**

Saturday, 15 June 2013

7pm Tahmoor, Sth West Sydney NSW

0403 202 930

Sunday, 16 June 2013

6.30pm Nowra, NSW

02 4421 4602

Monday, 17 June 2013

7pm Brisbane, South, QLD

07 3801 4211

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

7pm Brisbane, North, QLD

07 3883 1144

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

7pm Toowoomba,  QLD

0427 012 126

Thursday, 20 June 2013

7pm Townsville, QLD

07 4723 2371

Friday, 21 June 2013

7pm Cairns, QLD

07 4055 1337

Sunday, 23 June 2013

6pm Wollongong, NSW

02 42 299 744

Monday, 24 June 2013

7pm Melbourne, South, VIC

03 8551 6600

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

7pm Melbourne, Central, VIC

0481 288 551

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

7pm East Gosford, NSW*

(02) 4321 6400

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

7pm Canberra, ACT

0425 905 883

Thursday, 27 June 2013

7pm Hobart, TAS

0418 123 338

Friday, 28 June 2013

7pm Adelaide, SA

08 8263 2344

Saturday, 29 June 2013

1pm Perth, WA

0449 001 505

Saturday, 29 June 2013

7pm Nth Perth, WA

0406 856 459


*Justin Hunt not attending screening.

**Paid entry screenings


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The Canberra Declaration is the work of many people and organisations. The administration of the initiative is being supported by the Australian Christian Values Institute and Australian Heart Ministries.

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