19 October 2016
Around the world more than 1 billion people are desperately poor, and while Australia is a rich country, poverty and hardship affect more than a million Australians.
This week (Oct 16-22) is Anti-Poverty Week, where we work towards an understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and hardship, and encourage action to address these problems.
If we can strengthen public understanding of poverty, then we have a better chance of creating a fairer and more equitable world.
Research by the Australian Council of Social Services has found that 13.3% of Australians are living in poverty, including 730,000 children, an increase in the past two years.
The report cites a drop in affordability of housing, and inadequate income support payments as major drivers of the increase in poverty in Australia.
This is a major concern for educators given the strong links between social disadvantage and under-achievement at school. We know that students from low-income families are two to three years behind their high-income counterparts by the time they reach Year 9.
The www.antipovertyweek.org.au website has many useful resources, including flyers, postcards, inserts for newsletters and websites athttp://www.antipovertyweek.org.au/resources/promotional-materials.
Information for schools about Anti-Poverty Week, resources, and ideas about how schools can be involved can be found at http://www.antipovertyweek.org.au/organise-an-activity/how-schools-can-get-involved.
The AEU remains committed to an accessible, properly-funded public education system as the best way to ensure that low-income families can get the education they need.