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Building Stronger Relationships

Founded in 1978. Based in Coburg since 1990.

Our History

The Family Relationships Institute Inc. (RelateWell) is a not-for-profit secular educational community agency governed by a Board of Management. The organisation has no affiliations with any religious or political organisations and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS).

The Family Relationships Institute Inc. (RelateWell) was founded in 1978 by Don Burnard, a Senior Psychologist who specialised in relationship development courses and Dr Ron Fitzgerald who was a Commissioner for the Education Section of the Henderson Poverty Report.

Our relationship, marriage and parenting programs and counselling services are primarily at the prevention and early intervention end of service provision and target the significant family transition points of relationship formation, moving in together, getting married, having a baby and maturing to mid-life in the couple relationship. Essentially, our services prepare people with the skills to deal with life challenges and changes before they become big problems and issues. Healthy relationships are a crucial component of health and well-being.

The organisation aims to provide relationship education and counselling services at a price which keeps them within financial reach of the majority of people in the community. Strengthening access and services to vulnerable and disadvantaged families is a strategic key in service delivery.

The organisation is incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act. 

Leaders in Prevention and Early Intervention

RelateWell is a leader in the prevention and early intervention services space particularly in the areas of marriage and relationship education and counselling; and in engaging families at key transition points in the lifecycle.

Changing cultural mindset that a healthy relationship or marriage involves more than meeting “the one” and convincing people that obtaining assistance early will be a significant strategy to offset future problems. The current culture to invest in remedial and later intervention is significantly costly as it addresses people who are already suffering from deeply embedded problems and generational dysfunction.

Investing at the primary end of service provision requires strong leadership to change prevention and early intervention from a viewpoint to a properly funded, sustainable, practical program of investment and social and economic returns which when taken to measure will alter the social and economic capacity of a generation of children.

Mission Statement

To assist individuals, partners and families, in all their diversity, to achieve and maintain quality and meaningful lives through quality and meaningful relationships.

Statement of Purpose

  • To foster an Australian culture which encourages the pursuit of quality and meaningful lives through quality and meaningful relationships.
  • To build stronger families and communities.
  • To develop innovative models of relationship, marriage and family education which are psychological, experiential and promote skills.
  • To provide at significant life stage transitions opportunities for individuals, couples and families to achieve enhanced relationship skills.
  • To enhance Australia’s cultural diversity through the provision of culturally sensitive workshops.
  • To promote relating well and the nurturing of relationships within families and society as a continuing learning process for adults.
  • To develop effective and cooperative partnerships with similar organisations within Australia and overseas.
  • To provide psychologically based counselling at affordable prices.
  • To influence government policy and directions so that proactive prevention to enhance relationships is taken as seriously as intervention, whether early or crisis, when couples and families experience problems.


The Family Relationships Institute Inc. trading as RelateWell acknowledges the traditional owners of the land, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations, Elders past and present. 

ACNC Registered Charity FRSA Member

Funding Partners

DSS LogoCDG Logo

Annual General Meeting of the Family Relationships Institute Inc. (RelateWell) 2017

Thursday 30 November 2017