Australians observe Anti-Poverty Week during the week which falls around October 17 and this year, it takes place from October 15 to 21. This week’s observance was introduced to critically analyze the problem of poverty in Australia and how to reduce or eradicate it. It bolsters the U.N.’s observance of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, held yearly on October 17. Recent research shows that around 14% of Australia’s total population has been living in poverty and this percentage hasn’t shown signs of plummeting. Anti-Poverty Week aims to devise ways by which to shrink the poverty levels in the country.
History of Anti Poverty Week
Initiated in 2002 by a performance-based student project at the University of South Wales, Sydney, and led by Professor Julian Disney, Anti-Poverty Week was created to broaden the public’s understanding of poverty, its effects, and consequences, as well as to conduct research and assessments on how to eradicate it, through the combined actions of individuals, groups, and organizations. The week was inspired by the United Nations’ International Day for the Eradication of Poverty — the main reason it is observed within the week around October 17. Each year, the organizers focus on an evidence-based solution and partner with relevant organizations to eradicate poverty.
The history of poverty in Australia goes back many decades. It has been a matter that attracted keen interest, mainly because Australia is among the most economically developed countries in the world. Facts and figures emerging through individual, organizational, and group studies consistently show the prevalence of poverty in the country. Poverty is almost endemic in the suburban parts of the country, where homeownership poses a serious challenge, and in some urban parts. In 1999, the poverty rate in Australia was estimated to be around 13.1% — a percentage that might appear low in other poverty-stricken countries, but that represents a significant portion of Australia’s total population.
Government efforts, facilitated by findings from groups and organizations have helped to mitigate the poverty levels. In 2003, poverty levels dropped to 11.5%. Unfortunately, this percentage shot up to a little over 14% a few years later. Annual reports by various concerned organizations indicate that from 2017 to 2020, over three million Australians live below the country’s poverty line, a significant percentage of whom are children below the age of 15. Anti-Poverty Week’s organizers strive to eradicate poverty from the country by partnering with concerned bodies.
Anti Poverty Week timeline
Ronald Henderson and associates rediscover the appalling consequences of poverty in the suburbs of Melbourne.
Henderson devises a system for calculating poverty levels.
The Smith family begin to regularly publish reports on poverty in Australia.
Australians observe the first Anti-Poverty Week.
The poverty rate drops from around 13.1% in 1999 to 11.5% in 2003.
The percentage of poverty rises to 14.4%.
Anti Poverty Week FAQs
Why is there still poverty in Australia
Despite all attempts, poverty continues to exist in Australia since the causes that contribute to it are still there. This includes the government’s refusal to compare residents’ income to the poverty threshold, unequal distribution of public wealth and income, a lack of housing, and other individually uncontrollable variables.
Why is poverty an important issue?
Poverty entails more than the lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making.
What impact does poverty have on society?
Poverty is linked with negative conditions such as substandard housing, homelessness, inadequate nutrition, food insecurity, inadequate child care, lack of access to health care, unsafe neighborhoods, and under-resourced schools which adversely impact our nation’s children.
How to Observe Anti Poverty Week
Donate to poverty eradication organizations
If you can afford it, donate to organizations striving to lower the degree of poverty in the country. Donating to the causes you care about not only benefits the charities themselves but can also be deeply rewarding for you too.
Participate in organized events
Join the poverty eradication discussions and reviews. If you have an idea on how to eradicate poverty, present it.
Embark on online campaigns
Anti-Poverty Week is a good time to advocate for the eradication of poverty via social media channels. Spread the word using hashtags.
5 Facts About Poverty In Australia That Will Shock You
Economic growth is unevenly shared
Over three million people still live in poverty despite the country's immense economic growth over the last three decades.
Lamentable rates compared to other wealthy nations
The rate of poverty in Australia is worse than in many other wealthy countries like Ireland, Germany, and New Zealand.
Only a few poor people own houses
Out of the over three million poor Australians, only about 17% are homeowners.
One-fourth of the poor are children
More than 700,000 out of the three million are children 15 years and below.
Single-parent children are more vulnerable
About 296,000 of the children belong to single-parent homes.
Why Anti Poverty Week is Important
It is insightful
We get a closer insight into the effects of poverty on the populace and with that, we can think of ways to reduce it. Gaining a deeper understanding softens our hearts and allows us to donate to charities that aid the underprivileged.
It brings help to the poor and needy
Charity organizations and philanthropists particularly reach out to the destitute with financial aid or empowerment in the week. Helping the poor escape from poverty will also help raise the incomes of the rest of the world.
It improves national development
Presentations and reviews during the week help the government to create ways in eradicating poverty, thereby fostering national development. Reports presented to the government this week can show that increasing employment growth, expanding Newstart and Rent Assistance, and investing in social housing can help reduce poverty by ensuring that everyone has a safe place to call home.
Anti Poverty Week dates