Anti-Poverty Week launch

October 2020

Anti-Poverty Week launch hears about local poverty in 2020

At the launch of Anti-Poverty Week on October 13 in Hobart, Tasmanian actor John X spoke about the crucial need to act on poverty “this year more than ever”. His message was to “…make people aware – we’ve flattened that other curve, now let’s flatten the poverty curve,” John X said.

His message echoed that of all the speakers at the launch who described in different ways how the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 had caused many Tasmanians to experience poverty, many for the first time ever.

Lord Mayor Councillor Helen Burnett said a Council survey of recipients of emergency food relief in Hobart revealed international students and temporary visa holders—groups who are normally self-sufficient—had “overwhelmingly increased their need for support” since the hospitality business sector here had been so hard hit and also many student’s families were impacted due to the virus in their home countries. CatholicCare’s Temporary Visa Holder Emergency Relief Program has provided support to 337 Temporary Visa holders in Tasmania over the past 3 months.

A powerful moment in the launch was international student Wai Kit Yung’s account of hardship caused by COVID’s restrictions and his consequent sudden lack of income. Wai Kit’s change in financial circumstances resulted in having to live in his car, to shower at friends’ places or in public facilities and cook meals at the local park barbecue until he and his brother were supported to access secure accommodation by a local parish minister. This sort of poverty is invisible to most in the community.

“At the Anti-Poverty Week launch, international student Wai Kit Yung gave a powerful account of his recent experiences of poverty in Hobart following COVID-19 restrictions”

TasCOSS CEO Adrienne Picone and Salvation Army Divisional Commander emphasised the need to provide all Tasmanians with the same opportunities to access basic requirements for life of food, shelter, safety and income, describing living with poverty as “hard and unrelenting”.

With 60 years of service to Tasmanians in need, CatholicCare has always placed the welfare of the person at the centre of its work.

Michael McKenna, CatholicCare’s Executive Manager Community, Family & Children's Services reflected: “Just over 30 years ago an Australian Prime Minister declared that “By 1990, no Australian child will be living in poverty". In one sense it was a bold and unattainable declaration. In the least it was an overstatement because his script actually said "no Australian child need live in poverty.

“30 years on however, and the public discourse is regrettably dominated by the kinds of issues that contribute little if nothing to ensuring that every Australian child has enough to eat and a safe roof over their head. Too often our parliaments are consumed debating the nuances of rights afforded to various special interest groups while Aussie kids growing up in poverty go to bed or school hungry; suffer family breakdown, violence and homelessness, feel left out and different for want of clothes and other everyday necessities.

“As a society if we are serious about equality, justice and inclusion then no Australian child CAN ever live in poverty,” said Michael.

Find out about what’s happening around Australia here https://antipovertyweek.org.au/events/ and in your area at https://antipovertyweek.org.au/events/category/tas-events/

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Anti-Poverty Week launch

Posted in News & Media

Anti-Poverty Week launch hears about local poverty in 2020

At the launch of Anti-Poverty Week on October 13 in Hobart, Tasmanian actor John X spoke about the crucial need to act on poverty “this year more than ever”. His message was to “…make people aware – we’ve flattened that other curve, now let’s flatten the poverty curve,” John X said.

His message echoed that of all the speakers at the launch who described in different ways how the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 had caused many Tasmanians to experience poverty, many for the first time ever.

Lord Mayor Councillor Helen Burnett said a Council survey of recipients of emergency food relief in Hobart revealed international students and temporary visa holders—groups who are normally self-sufficient—had “overwhelmingly increased their need for support” since the hospitality business sector here had been so hard hit and also many student’s families were impacted due to the virus in their home countries. CatholicCare’s Temporary Visa Holder Emergency Relief Program has provided support to 337 Temporary Visa holders in Tasmania over the past 3 months.

A powerful moment in the launch was international student Wai Kit Yung’s account of hardship caused by COVID’s restrictions and his consequent sudden lack of income. Wai Kit’s change in financial circumstances resulted in having to live in his car, to shower at friends’ places or in public facilities and cook meals at the local park barbecue until he and his brother were supported to access secure accommodation by a local parish minister. This sort of poverty is invisible to most in the community.

“At the Anti-Poverty Week launch, international student Wai Kit Yung gave a powerful account of his recent experiences of poverty in Hobart following COVID-19 restrictions”

TasCOSS CEO Adrienne Picone and Salvation Army Divisional Commander emphasised the need to provide all Tasmanians with the same opportunities to access basic requirements for life of food, shelter, safety and income, describing living with poverty as “hard and unrelenting”.

With 60 years of service to Tasmanians in need, CatholicCare has always placed the welfare of the person at the centre of its work.

Michael McKenna, CatholicCare’s Executive Manager Community, Family & Children's Services reflected: “Just over 30 years ago an Australian Prime Minister declared that “By 1990, no Australian child will be living in poverty". In one sense it was a bold and unattainable declaration. In the least it was an overstatement because his script actually said "no Australian child need live in poverty.

“30 years on however, and the public discourse is regrettably dominated by the kinds of issues that contribute little if nothing to ensuring that every Australian child has enough to eat and a safe roof over their head. Too often our parliaments are consumed debating the nuances of rights afforded to various special interest groups while Aussie kids growing up in poverty go to bed or school hungry; suffer family breakdown, violence and homelessness, feel left out and different for want of clothes and other everyday necessities.

“As a society if we are serious about equality, justice and inclusion then no Australian child CAN ever live in poverty,” said Michael.

Find out about what’s happening around Australia here https://antipovertyweek.org.au/events/ and in your area at https://antipovertyweek.org.au/events/category/tas-events/