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Figures show that nearly three million Australians are living in poverty.
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10 things you can do in Anti-Poverty Week

In honour of the United Nations’ International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – and Australia’s Anti-Poverty Week – we look at 10 things you can do in your local community to highlight issues of poverty and hardship.

As the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) says, “Poverty can be measured in different ways, including as a measure of income or wealth, using ‘poverty lines’; or by looking at what essential items people are missing out on through lack of income, or by having to spend more of their income on certain costs above others. For example, spending on housing and utilities instead of food. This is known as ‘deprivation’.”

Last year ACOSS released a new report showing that 731,300 children or 17.4 per cent of all children in Australia are living in poverty, an increase of two percentage points over the past 10 years (from 2004-2014). The report also found that nearly three million people were living in poverty in Australia in 2014, or 13.3 per cent of the general population.

“Nationally, one in six children are living below the poverty line, and almost half of all children living in poverty are in single parent households,” says ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie. “It doesn’t have to look like this. We’ve reduced poverty in Australia before. We can do it again.”

 

10 things you can do in Anti-Poverty Week

  1. Organise a forum for local groups to discuss poverty issues in your community and plan some action to address them
  2. If you are in a community organisation, religious group or sporting association, ask them to think about doing something during the week
  3. Arrange an information stall at a local shopping centre or other gathering place about ways people can get help from local services
  4. Organise a meal, concert, game or some other activity to help raise funds for organisations which help disadvantaged people
  5. Arrange a speaker on poverty issues for your workplace or a group you are involved with
  6. Volunteer to help an organisation working with disadvantaged people (for some ideas, see volunteeringaustralia.org)
  7. Join in an Anti-Poverty Week activity which someone else is organising (see the calendar of activities at antipovertyweek.org.au)
  8. Start making regular donations to charities and ask friends and workmates to do the same (or agree to exchange presents in future by making donations on behalf of each other)
  9. Write a letter to your local paper or MP about some aspect of poverty or other hardship that concerns you
  10. If you are in a business, provide a discount or free offer to people on a low income for some of your products or services during the Week

For more ideas and information call 1300 797 290.

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Veda Dante

Veda Dante is an accomplished journalist, consultant and content creator who has nearly 30 years’ experience writing about everything from tourism, hospitality and health to architecture, pools and luxury goods. When she’s not producing copy for clients, this self-confessed word nerd is usually writing and photographing the Byron Bay region for her blog www.livebyron.com.au

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.