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Do we care who's being left behind?

Mon 12 October 2015

“It seems Australians, overall, are comfortable leaving some people in our community behind,” Anglicare Australia Executive Director, Kasy Chambers said at Parliament House today.

Speaking at the launch of the 2015 State of the Family report, Who is being left behind?, during Anti-Poverty Week (11-17 October), Ms Chambers said, “But when you look closely at how people’s lives pan out, as we do in this report, it’s clear the right support at the right time can make the difference.

“Research released at our conference in September shows that if we continue to walk away from the most vulnerable and the most disadvantaged, the poor will simply get poorer and so excluded from our society” (Living Standard Trends in Australia, NATSEM September 2015).

“When we talk about the most disadvantaged, we are talking about people who are deprived on multiple levels - low income, unemployment, food insecurity, ill health and disability, reduced access to services, homelessness, housing insecurity and social discrimination.

“Anglicare Sydney research, A profile of deep and persistent disadvantage, which is incorporated in our report, examines its Emergency Relief statistics to identify those most at risk. Sue King, the Director of Advocacy and Research there says they are concerned that current levels of income support are not sufficient to help these people overcome deep and persistent disadvantage because of the high cost of living.

“Until we ensure the social contract really does include having enough to live on and having somewhere safe to live, we’ll never get back that idea of a society that includes everybody and benefits us all.

“The stories in Who is being left behind? are about people who are at risk of exclusion. They tell us how personal attention, a safe place or a timely opportunity can provide a path to reconnection; and how easy it is to disappear from view and be left behind if that support is not there.

“To respond properly to this growing inequality, we need to pay attention to both WHO is being excluded and HOW. And then CHOOSE to invest differently.”

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Release written and distributed by Anglicare.

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