In December 2002, the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) was contracted to assist the Australian Catholic University (ACU) to assess: the impact of the ACU maternity leave provision on shaping the public debate on parental leave; and the influence (if any) of that provision on subsequent policy initiatives. The project examines how the issue has been covered in the media since its announcement, and how this has been incorporated into the broader policy debate on parental leave and other aspects of family-friendly workplace policies. The project does not address the impact of the provisions on the ACU itself, or on its employees. This report presents the results of that research into the impact on public opinion and policy. Following this brief Introduction, Section 2 presents an overview of the impact of the provision in terms of the number of times the issue was discussed in the Australian media. The bulk of the report is contained in Sections 3 and 4. Section 2 contains a detailed analysis of the content of the media reports mentioning and/or discussing the ACU initiative, from the time of its announcement on 15 August 2001 to the end of 2002. This survey of the media is as exhaustive as the limitations of databases and press-clipping services will allow and the discussion is organised around the main themes around which the media debate itself was structured. Section 4 contains an analysis of seventeen in-depth interviews conducted with key opinion leaders on the topic of paid maternity leave. Those interviewed include representatives of relevant agencies, academics, spokespeople for peak business organisations, union representatives, journalists, and representatives of ACU management. The main conclusions of the report are briefly summarised in Section 5.