The Boomer Legacy

Youth

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 #6006
Grandfathering wealth    (Jul 2004)

Topic Images

There are currently 23 photographs in this section.

The last summer

For a brief moment at the beginning of the 21st century, it was still possible to let children be themselves

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At the steps of the swimming enclosure at Balmoral Beach, in Sydney's north [Apr-2005 146kb]

Structured play

In order to fully prepare for successful careers, every activity had to be goal and team oriented

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At the waterline at Bondi Beach [Mar-2003 180kb]

Burnout gender reveal

Parents loved to discreetly announce their great news

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Sky writing above Kirribilli, Sydney [Nov-2020 258kb]

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 365kb]

The Big Schlep

Get the twins to softball, pick up Indigo from GAHT and take Cooper to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Then take the twins to netball, Cooper to the Harmony Day dress rehearsal and drop Indigo off at the dance studio. Finally, get the twins to soccer practice, have a break in the car-park to check the feeds, and then make sure Cooper, Indigo and the twins are back home by 9pm

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Darling Harbour playground [Jun-1992 656kb]

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 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; PCR tests; Pathogen throat swabs…

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Blackwattle bay jetty [Jul-2017 316kb]

Filial maze

Raising a family in a world where the future was so bright

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Masked family, Central station northern concourse [Jul-2022 171kb]

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

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North Bradfield Park, Milsons Point [Dec-2020 131kb]

Moments 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 791kb]

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 175kb]

On this harvest moon

The peace dividend gave our young a chance at a more normal life

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Yininmadyemi sculpture, Hyde Park Sydney [Apr-2018 307kb]

Lifelong entanglement

We would have followed you anywhere

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Bethesda Terrace, Central Park NYC [Oct-2017 658kb]

Remarks…
Noticed a family staging formal portraits among the Central Park crowds. Most of the poses were overly formal, but one set-up produced this arrangement while the pro photographer was fiddling with his gear. It was only a fleeting moment, but it struck me as being something deeply emotional from everyone's childhood

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 (since dismantled), at Sydney World Square [Oct-2013 384kb]

Keep us from harm

Every potential hazard was fastidiously identified and ameliorated

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Drink bubbler at Erskineville Public School, Sydney [Aug-2019 293kb]

Remarks…
Having taught at a high school for more than a decade, it was always strange to witness the extremes that some risk-averse adults would go to. This water fountain at an inner-city primary school — where not one but two guardrails were used to “protect” the kids — illustrates it beautifully. The irony here is that (1) small children cannot reach the water and (2) the hazard-area has been vastly increased, negating the purpose of having safety rails in the first place

Towards 10 per 1000

Our faith in the 21st century was expressed by having far fewer children (Macrotrends, 2020)

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Wiggles exhibition, Powerhouse Museum Sydney [Jan-2020 88kb]

Purposeful activity

We bequeathed a retail industry filled with meaning and purpose

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Discount variety store at Katoomba [Jun-2003 214kb]

Reel time

Fishing as a pastime became more challenging after we systematically poisoned the hydrosphere

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Bundeena Ferry passenger, Cronulla [Aug-2019 228kb]

Preparing for the hereafter

Early retirement had many aspects but only one outcome

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Yandhai Nepean Crossing, near Emu Plains [Jun-2021 82kb]

No safe place

Fretting parents who left things too late; anxious grandparents far out of their depth; abstruse pedagogical theorists run amok. Harm mitigation. Risk amortisation. Hypervigilance and a discourse of unquantifiable danger lurking within every home, classroom, church or playground

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An ironic end to a day at Taronga Zoo [Apr-2005 208kb]

Frictionless conformity

A globally homogenised culture 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 248kb]

Tween marketing trends

The role of glossy magazines was to teach young girls the vital importance of how they look

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Perusing fashion magazines in the now-defunct Angus & Robertson book-store beneath Centerpoint tower [Dec-2003 97kb]

Grandfathering wealth

As part of the compact between generations, the young can look forward to a utopia of free education, affordable housing and lifelong secure employment in well-paying jobs

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Pedestrians in the Sydney financial district [Jul-2004 111kb]

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:

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Fig.1   Births 1921-2019

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):

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Fig.2   TFR & Births p/c 1921-2019

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).

 

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