Dads' group members Don Crinson (left) with son Merlin and James Vincent with daughter Ashley. Photo: James Boddington
Charles Areni was shopping alone in a city department store between Monday meetings when he realised he was being watched.
His three-year-old daughter Jacqueline was running low on underwear and he had stopped in to buy her a few more pairs.
Areni, a single father, looked over his shoulder as the security guard approached to ask what he was doing in the children's section.
''He asked me, 'Don't you have a job?', and I said, 'Yes I do! Is there a problem?' somewhat angrily as I became aware what was happening.''
Professor Areni says the security guard could not imagine a father would shop for his child's clothes; instead, he saw a pervert.
''Men in general are assumed to be depraved or likely to be foul in some way,'' the University of Sydney academic said. ''Being a good father, demonstrating the ability to love and nurture children, doesn't allow an escape from this sinister suspicion.''