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 #6002
Perfecting childhood    (Jan 1999)

Topic Images

There are currently 22 photographs in this section.



Lifelong entanglement: We would have followed you anywhere

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Bethesda Terrace, Central Park NYC   (Oct 2017,  535kb)

Purposeful activity: We bequeathed a retail industry packed full of meaning and purpose

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Discount variety store at Katoomba   (Jun 2003,  214kb)

Frictionless conformity: A globally homogenised culture to make 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)

Grandfathering wealth: As part of the compact between generations, our youth can look forward to a utopia of free education, affordable housing and secure employment in well-paying jobs that last a lifetime

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Pedestrians in the Sydney financial district   (Jul 2004,  111kb)

Weeks, maybe months: The slow-motion horror of watching your parents suffer 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)

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

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Footpath chalk drawings on Water Street, Dunedin NZ   (Nov 2017,  693kb)

Burnout gender reveal: Parents loved to modestly announce their great news

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Sky writing above Kirribilli, Sydney   (Nov 2020,  204kb)

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

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Drink bubbler at Erskinville Public School, Sydney   (Aug 2019,  225kb)

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; Pathogen throat swabs…

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Blackwattle bay jetty   (Jul 2017,  316kb)

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 lurking in every home, classroom, church and playground

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An ironic end to a day at Taronga Zoo   (Apr 2005,  208kb)

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,  307kb)

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)

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)

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)

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)

The Big Schlep: Get the twins to softball, pick up Indigo from the airport, take Hunter to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Then take the twins to netball, Hunter to the Harmony Day dress rehearsal and drop 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,  512kb)

Towards 10 per 1000: Our faith in the 21st century was expressed by having far less children (Macrotrends, 2020)

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Wiggles exhibition, Powerhouse Museum Sydney   (Jan 2020,  88kb)

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,  384kb)

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)

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,  299kb)

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,  146kb)

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).