Vinnies is busting myths on poverty

At Vinnies we believe that empowering people, not blaming them, is the answer to combating the poverty that affects one in eight Australians. We stand in solidarity with people who are living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage.

Vinnies assists over two million Australians each year and works directly with people experiencing poverty and homelessness. We also advocate for the rights of marginalised groups in the community and view Anti-Poverty Week as an opportunity to spread greater awareness of marginalisation in Australia.

Anti-Poverty Week is being held from Sunday, 15 October to Saturday 21 October, and focuses on poverty across the world, including Australia. It includes the UN’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October, 2017.

This year Vinnies aims to bust myths about poverty such as:

  • Poverty doesn’t exist in Australia - While we certainly wish this were true, 2.9 million Australians were living below the poverty line in 2014 and many researchers believe that figure has risen over the past two years due to the growing housing affordability crisis.
  • Welfare makes people lazy - Almost 35% of people experiencing poverty are employed or past retirement age and 12.3% of people with a disability are experiencing poverty.
  • Only adults are experiencing poverty – There are more than 730,000 children in Australia living in poverty – that is one in six children.


Save our safety net campaign

Vinnies has long campaigned for an increase in the Newstart and Youth Allowance payments. We recently issued a joint media statement with Anglicare Australia and Mission Australia calling on the Commonwealth Government to recognise that Newstart and Youth Allowance payments were not enough to cover the cost of living.

New figures released by the Social Policy Research Centre show that people surviving on Newstart and Youth Allowance would need up to $96 per week more to cover their regular expenses.

Using the hashtag #SaveOurSafetyNet, Vinnies urged the Commonwealth Government to recognise its responsibility to provide adequate income support payments so people can live with dignity and ensure we live in a community where we look out for one another.

Vinnies National Chief Executive Officer Dr John Falzon said: “You don’t build people up by putting them down. You don’t help people into jobs by forcing them to live below the poverty line. You don’t address the structural causes of unemployment by punishing people. You don’t create an innovative economy or a fair society by allowing charity to become the default mode of delivering income support for people who bear the brunt of inequality.”


Live Facebook forum with Dr John Falzon

Vinnies National Chief Executive Officer  Dr John Falzon took part in a live Facebook forum on 5pm on Monday, October 15. Dr Falzon is an experienced orator and commentator on social affairs issues in the national media. He has written and spoken widely on the structural causes of marginalisation and inequality in Australia and has long been an advocate for a fairer and more equitable society.

To view the Facebook forum with Dr Falzon go to: 

Attend an event near you

Vinnies has more than 30 events taking place in communities across Australia during Anti-Poverty Week 2017. These events range from policy forums in the capital cities to sausage sizzles in regional centres, to the launch of new services such as a second night patrol van in Canberra.

In Sydney, the St Vincent de Paul Society New South Wales is hosting the Rosalie Rendu Forum in Sydney on Thursday, October 19 with keynote speaker Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Professor Triggs will speak on the topic of ‘People seeking asylum in our community: A human rights perspective’.

For a full list of events taking place during Anti-Poverty Week 2017, visit the official website and click on ‘Calendar of Events 2017’.


You can help fight poverty and hardship!

  • Visit the Find Help section of our website if you or somebody you know needs assistance.
  • Visit the Low-Income Support section of our website to learn more about our advocacy and services.
  • If you are interested in volunteering for Vinnies, simply click on one of the links below to be taken to your state or territory’s volunteer page. It will have all the information you need to make a difference in someone’s life.
  • People who cannot volunteer their time with Vinnies may be interested in making a donation. To find out how you can make a difference in someone's life today visit the donate section of this website.
  • Read the submissions Vinnies has made to government of inequality and poverty.
  • Visit the calendar of events on the Anti-Poverty Week website to see how you can get involved.  
  • Support Anti-Poverty Week 2017 on social media:


Twitter hashtags:             #APW2017


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