Our vision is an Australia free of poverty.
We work with others to create an Australia free of poverty for this and future generations: a fair, compassionate and just society where all can fully participate in social, civic and economic life, create and share prosperity and treat each other with dignity and respect.
Our mission is to research, develop and implement innovative and high quality services, practices and policies to drive change that benefits all Australians.
The Brotherhood, inspired by our Christian origins, seeks the common good through compassion, with a generosity of spirit and reliance on evidence.
The Brotherhood recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples and the traditional custodians of this land.
This will involve working with people at greatest risk at four life transition stages considered critical to wellbeing: the early years, the transition through school to work, the shifts in and out of work during mid-life and retirement and ageing.
This will involve promoting integrated social and economic policies and programs that improve the human capacities, material resources and opportunities of people and communities.
This will involve developing understanding and knowledge through research, community engagement and learnings from practice to create innovative policies and programs to implement and share with others.
To meet the great social and economic challenges that persistent poverty presents to our otherwise prosperous nation, we aim to demonstrate how to defeat disadvantage through our high quality research, services and policy development.
The Brotherhood is interested in tackling the causes of poverty linked to the way our society and economy are organised as well as the causes of poverty attributed to individual and family factors. We understand that the experience of poverty involves not only inadequate income but also exclusion from many aspects of social,civic and economic life. It is also clear to us that persistent poverty in our society has a strong geographic dimension and that solutions must be tailored to the diverse needs of communities.
If our work dissociates people from place it will not succeed.
Poverty diminishes us all. We recognise therefore that all Australians must have the opportunity to genuinely participate in social, civic and economic life if our nation is to truly prosper and advance. Our message to decision makers is underpinned by the goal of ‘inclusive growth’, whereby the essential interdependence between economic and social policy is recognised: poverty is not only bad for those affected, it is bad for the economy and bad for us all.
We believe framing social policy in Australia must also be anchored by a nuanced understanding that while the modern economy opens new opportunities for disadvantaged people, it confronts them with many new risks.
There is a huge premium placed today on education, skills, work experience and the personal networks people have to support them in finding and retaining work. Similarly, changes to household formation, gender roles, the distribution of caring responsibilities, life course patterns, and to life expectancy itself, present both opportunities and risks.
Always informed by knowledge and evidence, we collaborate with others who share our concerns to tackle the challenges of poverty in our complex society. Underpinning all our work, whether it is rolling out a program in an urban or remote community or undertaking a national campaign using social media, is the aim to ensure that people who are facing disadvantage are able to speak for themselves and contribute to framing solutions.
It is all too easy to marginalise people as the ‘other’, and imagine they are not ‘like us’, but to do that is to deny a powerful common humanity that knits us as people, neighbours and communities together: this is at the heart of the common good we pursue.
Download the Brotherhood of St Laurence Strategic Plan 2015–2020 »
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Acknowledgement of country
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.