America's worst mom heading to Australia

Lenore Skenazy, New York columnist and author of ‘Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children – without going nuts with worry’ is heading to Australia to deliver La Trobe University’s 2012 Executive Dean’s Public Lecture.

Lenore-Skenazy_Deans-Lecture-standardMs Skenazy gained instant media attention when she wrote a column in the New York Sun about allowing her nine year old son to ride the subway alone. Public opinion ranged from labelling her ‘America’s Worst Mom’ to admiration to nostalgia for her attitude towards children’s freedom.

Ms Skenazy defends her view that a freedom based, ‘Free-Range’ approach is indeed safe. Currently, she is the host of a reality show titled, ‘World’s Worst Mom,’ helping families to go free-range. Her lecture entitled ‘What Makes a Perfect Parent? (Trick Question!)’, will look at the pressure on parents to create perfect kids in our child-obsessed culture.

Executive Dean of the Humanities and Social Science Faculty, Professor Tim Murray said ‘Lenore is speaking about a topic that is of great interest to all parents and children. How society creates environments for children has emerged as an important research area and one the Faculty is keen to promote. I am delighted that she has accepted our invitation to present this lecture.’

The lecture is being organised by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University’s Bendigo Campus. Associate Professor Trevor Budge, head of the faculty at the Bendigo campus, said Ms Skenazy’s message is highly relevant for Australians and for Bendigo.

‘Bendigo is now looking at its residential and transport development for the next generation. How we plan for our cities tells us a lot about how we view our children and our city,’ said Mr Budge.

‘Places like Bendigo have the opportunity to plan on the basis that children are independent, have the capacity to assist in shaping their city and can take much more responsibility for their own lives,’ added Mr Budge.

Ms Skenazy is a keynote speaker at the City of Greater Bendigo Child Friendly Cities Conference on May 1 and 2. Her participation at the conference and public lecture at La Trobe University is expected to draw significant attention from those who are intrigued by the anti-helicopter parenting movement.

The free public lecture at the Circular Lecture Theatre commences at 6pm on Wednesday 2 May 2012. Seats are limited. Register at


Media enquiries

Zerin Knight, Ph (03) 5444 7375 F +613 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161 E