When we think of poverty we normally don’t associate it with countries such as Australia. Poverty is seen as a problem that exists only in developing third world countries where people struggle to have basic needs. Now imagine a child between the ages of 6-16 facing these issues.
Before we can understand how poverty affects the Australian youth we need to understand what poverty in this context means. According to the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS)’s Report published in 2014:“Poverty is defined as the pronounced deprivation of well-being, or the inability to satisfy one’s basic needs.” People are described as being poor if they fall below the expected standards of living in that given societal context. In a country like Australia, poverty is not only defined through a deprivation of basic needs. Rather poverty here refers to individuals and families failing to have a particular standard of life due to a lack of money and opportunity.
Countries such as Australia are not exempt from the problem of poverty. In fact, Australia is a first-world country with one of the highest child poverty rates. With over 602,604 children living below the poverty line (which is 17.7% of all children), who are living in households who are earning 50% of the median incomes. These families are surviving on $400 a week. These children often face social exclusion and prejudice due to their economic circumstances. This is a result of being unable to engage in after school activities such as sports, affording to have the latest expensive toys and in some extreme cases even affording to have basic meals.
No child deserves to live like this. Help support Make them Bloom so that we can move towards a more equal Australia.
Learn more about Child Poverty in Australia in my coming blog posts!
Your Child Poverty Advocate,