Poverty impoverishes us all
The Salvation Army, as part of the Christian church and one of the largest faith-based NGOs in Australia, supports the annual Anti-Poverty Week, with its goals of awareness-raising, equity and provision of opportunities for all Australians.
As our politicians discussed in speeches and reactions on our commemoration of European control of our country, on the most recent Australia Day, 2.5 million Australians now live below the poverty line.
Of those 2.5 million people, one out of every four is a child.
Think about that; of the more than 24,231,959 Aussies* now living, more than 10% of us can’t make ends meet.
That statistical reality means a level of deprivation that surprises a lot of us who are well off, comparatively. Many of those who are doing it toughest were represented this year in The Salvation Army’s annual national Economic and Social Impact Survey (ESIS), when we learned that ‘almost nine in 10 respondents did not have $500 in savings for emergencies, two-thirds (66%) of respondents could not afford dental treatment and more than one-third (34%) were not able to afford medicine prescribed by a doctor.’ **
From 16-22 October, the annual national and international Anti-Poverty Week (APW), we can face those truths and work to change them.
APW encourages Australians ‘to organise or take part in an activity aiming to highlight or overcome issues of poverty and hardship here in Australia or overseas’.
The Salvos do that on a daily basis; you are welcome to join us.
Territorial social programme and policy consultant - researcher / writer Barry Gittins
APW was established in Australia as part of the UN's annual International Anti-Poverty Day, on 17 October.
Information about Anti-Poverty Week
ABC factcheck that confirms 2.5 million Australians live in poverty, and that one quarter of those people are children
‘Out of Reach – National Economic and Social Impact Survey 2016 Key Findings Victoria’
Salvation Army resources for Anti-Poverty Week 2016