Anti-Poverty Week 2019
17 Oct 19
Anti-poverty week (13-20 October) is a collective initiative whereby organisations come together to raise awareness of and discuss solutions to combat poverty. The week is organised as an expansion of the United Nations’ Day for the Eradication of Poverty which will be held this year on Thursday 17 October.
Three Indigenous Australian children walk towards their home. Photo Credit: Danielle Lyonne, Caritas Australia.
During Anti-poverty week, every Australian is encouraged to organise or participate in an activity in support of the campaign. It is a wonderful opportunity for people to cooperate effectively so that no one will feel deprived of closeness and solidarity.
The hope of the poor shall not perish forever – Pope Francis
Everyone deserves a life without economic poverty, though it is difficult to escape for many with approximately 3% of Australians (700,000 people) experiencing continuous poverty for at least the last four years. People living in single parent families, unemployed, disabled, Indigenous Australians and children living in jobless household, are at risk of entrenched poverty.
This year’s Anti-poverty week casts a spotlight on ‘Raise the Rate,’ a campaign led by the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) involving an increase to the Newstart allowance. An increase of $75 per week to Newstart and other allowances is advocated to reduce poverty. For people living below the poverty line, 53% are relying on Newstart as their main source of income. Unfortunately, Newstart has not increased since 1994.
Caritas Australia supports a Manage Your Income, Manage Your Life program that aims to build the financial resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders affected by financial hardship. This diverse program offers education, awareness and knowledge in financial literacy to improve the quality of life of its’ participants, their family and the wider community. Read a story about the program here.
Poverty in Australia: Fast Facts
- More than 13.2% of Australians are living below the poverty line.
- Forms of poverty for children have actually risen over the last 20 years.
- In 2018 over 4 million Australians were in a situation where they ran out of food and couldn’t afford to buy more.
- Since 2006, poverty has been falling in major cities while increasing in remote communities.
Emily Bradstreet is the Media Officer at Caritas Australia.