Oct 25, 2013
Anti Poverty Week last week shone a light on inequity across Australia, and was marked by the release of new research and reports and hundreds of events to showcase concerns.
As the UnitingCare Children, Young People and Families (UCCYPF) said, the rise in overall standard of living experienced over the last decade has “masked” significant and persistent concentrations of poverty, among children, Indigenous Australians, single parent families, and in rural and regional areas.
Of particular concern, said UCCYPF Director Claerwen Little in releasing new research, child poverty rates were highest (14 per cent) when a family’s youngest child was aged 0-2 years – one of life’s most critical development phases. Also alarming was the “staggering” growth in the poverty rate in families where the reference person was unemployed, from 43 per cent in 2000-01 to over 70 per cent, reflecting the “paltry level of the Newstart Allowance.”
Calling for new thinking and new approaches to address poverty, she said the starting point had to be in ensuring that “no-one receiving welfare payments should be in poverty”.
The findings from this and other Anti Poverty Week research reports are outlined below.
So too are links to and about a number of award-winning films and documentaries, particularly relating to human rights and global development issues, that were screened at Anti Poverty Week events. They may not be available online but can be booked for fundraising or interest events. See more about them below, as well as some comedy and recipes.
Poverty, social exclusion and disadvantage
The UnitingCare Children, Young People and Families (UCCYPF) released a commissioned research report: Poverty, Social Exclusion and Disadvantage in Australia, conducted by the Canberra-based National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM).
It aimed to detail up to date poverty and social exclusion analysis over the past decade featuring an index of Child Social Exclusion (CSE). Its main findings included:
Marginalisation: characteristics and predictors of exit
The University of Canberra’s Marginalisation in Australia: characteristics and predictors of exit over 10 years 2001-2010 tracked 866 marginalised Australians– dealing with a mix of economic, social, early-life and health disadvantages (see the report for its full definition) – from 2001-2010.
Using data from the Federal Government’s Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey, researchers established who managed to exit marginalisation and who did not, how these groups differed in 2001 and what happened in their lives over the following decade.
It found that 60 per cent of those in the study managed to exit deep, multi-faceted disadvantage, while the rest remained trapped, in “sometimes appalling circumstances”. Those who escaped “did not join mainstream Australia”, although there were significant improvements in their lives.
Its findings included:
Further reading: Life is better for six in 10 struggling Australians
Poverty in rural and regional Australia
The National Rural Health Alliance and Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) released A snapshot of poverty in rural and regional Australia. See the earlier Croakey story on the double whammy of being poor in a rural and regional area.
The main findings of the report were:
Paying attention, to poverty and mission
Also during Anti Poverty Week, Anglicare Australia asked: Is Australia becoming comfortable with inequality? as it launched a set of essays in its 13th State of the Family report, Paying Attention. The report explores how community service agencies respond in new ways to the needs of their clients – people in poverty and hardship, with a focus on the importance of their mission as the base of that relationship.
Films, fun and food
Check out also the trailers or information about a number of award-winning documentaries on poverty and disadvantage in Australia and around the world that were screened at Anti Poverty Week events. Some can be downloaded, others booked for events.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: the story about 9 year old Zainab and her family’s flight from northern Afghanistan across borders, behind bars and onto a smuggler’s boat to Australia.
The Human Experience: about a band of brothers who travel the world in search of meaning, whose journey brings them into the lives of homeless people in New York, orphans and disabled children of Peru, and abandoned lepers in Ghana, Africa.
Girl Rising: a feature film that presents the stories of nine remarkable girls around the world.
State School Relief: a film clip to support State Schools Relief’s efforts to raise awareness and eliminate poverty in schools across Victoria.
First World Blues: taped during the Melbourne Comedy Festival, comedian Michael Connell presents a 15 minute show for World Vision which looks at poverty, ‘affluenza’, consumerism and fair trade.
The Mixing Bowl – Cooking for Large Groups: launched at the ACT Food Security Forum, it’s a resource designed to help community organisations working with some of Canberra’s most disadvantaged groups to prepare tasty and nutritionally balanced meals. Includes information on food budgeting, reducing food waste and tips on how to stretch recipes further.
Other resources from the Anti Poverty Week website:
Recent reports and papers
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