Brotherhood Executive Director Conny Lenneberg joins presenter Jon Faine to discuss poverty in Melbourne and Victoria, with Newstart recipient Trish Sutton and Professor Roger Wilkins from the University of Melbourne.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence reveals the worst hotspots for youth unemployment in the country, with Queensland's Outback region coming in with the highest rate of 67.1 per cent.
Youth unemployment has skyrocketed by more than 10 percentage points in two years in some regions, as a new national report reveals how postcodes shape the future of young Australians.
'You can buy very little for 50 cents': Newstart increase attacked. Fairfax, 19 March 2018
The Brotherhood of St Laurence said the Newstart allowance for a single unemployed person without children would increase by only 50 cents a day from Tuesday.
Hardship in Australia – has much really changed since 1972? ABC Radio, 14 February 2018
ABC Radio National interviewed RPC General Manager Shelley Mallett on poverty in the 1970s compared with today, in the lead up to the BSL-Melbourne Institute conference on poverty.
Public wants government to force power companies to offer cheaper deals, poll finds. Fairfax, 9 February 2018
A survey commissioned by BSL and the Community Action Law Centre found that most Victorians are concerned about rising power prices, generally don’t trust electricity retailers, and want the State Government to enforce a ‘fair price guarantee.
Jobs program for Melbourne housing estate migrants will 'change people's lives', ABC News, 30 January 2018
When Haida Komba got her first job after migrating to Melbourne, she was paid just $20 for 10 hours work.
The mighty Quin: From poor immigrant to $400 million nut king. Fairfax, 26 January 2018
Quin Scalzo, business supporter of BSL youth employment programs, was awarded an AM in the Australia Day honours.
Watch Christinaray's art stirred from a whirlpool of emotion, Daily Review, 14 December 2017
'I paint to keep myself calm and relaxed, to ground myself and wash away all my worries.' Christinaray, 25, is an emerging Indigenous artist whose journey in life has not been linear.
Young people still find it hard to get a job, despite using same tactics as older job seekers, The Conversation, 4 December 2017
What young and older job seekers need is skills recognition, career advice, and support.
Report skewers misconceptions about unemployed youth, ABC Radio AM, 4 December 2017
The Brotherhood says it's time for society to stop thinking about young people as a 'problem', and instead view them as a 'resource'.
Young and working hard to get out of long-term unemployment, Fairfax, 4 December 2017
Using data from the longitudinal Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, the Brotherhood of St Laurence report analysed the assumption that young people were less active in looking for work.
Real pies used to highlight low Newstart payments for jobseekers, Pro Bono Australia News, 2 November 2017
The Brotherhood of St Laurence joined forces with a project team from the Committee for Melbourne’s business and civic leadership program, the Future Focus Group, to launch the Share the Pie! campaign. Share the Pie! invites people to join their family, friends and colleagues over pie, to talk about whether Australia “shares the nation’s pie fairly”.
Brotherhood asks you to share the pie, Daily Review, 31 October 2017
Evoking poster campaigns of old, anti-poverty group Brotherhood of St Laurence has launched posters in Melbourne juxtaposing pie images with hard hitting data.
Compassion overdue for our unemployed, The Advocate, 31 October 2017
The Share the Pie campaign, launched last week, is aimed at gathering support for an increase in the Newstart allowance, suggesting “life would be a little easier if we all had a fair share of Australia's pie”. The campaign points out that the gap between what a job seeker receives and what the average Australian worker earns is growing bigger and bigger. It asks us to consider how we would fare if we had to live on $38.48 a day.
Will you share the pie? The Wire, 25 October 2017
Share The Pie is a campaign that is using social media tags #sharethepie and @share_the_pie to start a conversation on the inadequacy of financial support to improve Centrelink programs.
Brotherhood of St Laurence partners with Foyer Foundation on youth projects, Pro Bono Australia News, 25 October 2017
The Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Foyer Foundation are joining forces to expand national projects in support of young people who have been homeless or at risk of homelessness – offering accommodation, education and preparation for employment.
Brotherhood of St Laurence launches new campaign to illustrate the inadequacies of payments like Newstart, The Guardian, 24 October 2017
The “share the pie” campaign uses posters in Melbourne’s CBD, an interactive website and social media to encourage Australians to discuss inequality in Australia.
Brotherhood gets bigger role in NDIS roll out, Pro Bono Australia News, 26 September 2017
The Brotherhood has been appointed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to deliver Local Area Coordination (LAC) services and Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services in the Hume-Moreland area, in Melbourne’s north-east, and in Melbourne’s south-east through to the Mornington Peninsula. The latest move will see the organisation employ around 200 new staff when seven new offices are fully operational.
City's rough sleepers more common in the suburbs – and just tip of the iceberg, The Age, 13 September 2017
The report, produced by a range of organisations but led by Brotherhood of St Laurence executive director Tony Nicholson, also paints a picture of a typical rough sleeper. About 75 per cent were male, their age was around 40 and more than 80 per cent were Australian born. Thirteen per cent were from an Aboriginal background – who make up less than one per cent of Victoria's population.
Brotherhood's short story competition 'Hope Prize' rises again, 6 September 2017
Cate Blanchett is once more on the judging panel for a new round of The Hope Prize awarded to a short story exploring resilience amid poverty in Australia.
Mystery as rare 362-year-old 'Book of Judgements' is anonymously donated to Brotherhood Books, Mail Online, 30 August 2017
Brotherhood Books sell second-hand publications online and reinvest the profits in programs to help the disadvantaged. The group is renowned for uncovering rare and collectable pieces, such as a 1965 first edition of the James Bond novel The Man With the Golden Gun.
Steve Price discusses the impact of high energy prices, Nights 2GB and 3AW, Aug 7 2017
Our energy spokesman Damian Sullivan is interviewed about the impact of big, nationwide gas and electricity price rises. Damian worked with the Australian Council of Social Service and The Climate Institute on the 'Empowering disadvantaged households to access affordable, clean energy' report.
Thousands of Queenslanders who can’t afford electricity headed towards ‘energy poverty’, The Queensland Catholic Leader, August 7, 2017
Each month more than a thousand Queenslanders are having their electricity cut off because they can’t pay their power bills.
Brotherhood of St Laurence opens Craigieburn toy library. Northern Star Weekly, July 25 2017
The toy library, located in Connections@Hothlyn’s community services hub, is open to families with children aged up to six. Children can borrow a range of toys including cars and trucks, dress-ups, puzzles, scooters, and baby toys.
Jon Faine discusses life in Melbourne’s outer north, ABC Radio Melbourne, July 18 2017
Jon Faine looks at the everyday struggles of those in the outer northern suburb of Mernda, such as the impact of long commutes on family relationships, mortgage stress and the lack of community infrastructure, in an interview with our worker at the Jindi Family and Community Centre in Mernda.
Bank helping spenders save money 7News Brisbane June 21, 2017
It's been revealed 43 per cent of Australians don't put away any of their money. The Saver Plus program is a joint initiative of the Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ aimed at promoting good savings habits.
Why we need Bunnings-style work for older Australians The New Daily Jun 12, 2017
As outrage builds over a proposal to force Australians to work until 70, experts are urging businesses to follow the example of hardware giant Bunnings and unleash the untapped labour of older workers. Professor Hal Kendig at the Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research said Australia cannot afford to discount its ageing workforce, while Dr Dina Bowman, a researcher at the Brotherhood of St Laurence, said the program was useful as part of an array of methods to get older Australians back to work.
New youth jobs hub opens in Sunshine June 27, 2017 Brimbank and North West Star Weekly
Brimbank has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the state, at 17.3 per cent last year according to Brotherhood of St Laurence research, prompting fears of youth disengagement.
Adshel partners with poverty organisation to help youth return to workforce, Mumbrella, 22 May 2017
Adshel and the Brotherhood of St Laurence have teamed up to launch a work experience program, for disadvantaged young people. Alongside the program, Adshel has pushed the initiative across bus shelters in Victoria and the ACT, with the tagline ‘Job hunter not dole bludger’.
Future of work: fewer full-time jobs for young people, The Australian, 20 May 2017 (paywall)
Full-time job creation has been stagnating since 2008. Brotherhood Executive Director Tony Nicholson said: “We are concerned about the young people who have poor education, often have been disadvantaged in many other ways in their young lives, and we’re interested in giving these young people a launching pad for them to build a good life for themselves through work.”
More Victorians sleeping rough than live in Footscray, The Age, 18 May 2017
More than 13,600 people have slept rough in Victoria since July 2015. Brotherhood executive director Tony Nicholson said: “It is now a common occurrence that unemployed people who don't have the support of family or friends to fall back on are resorting to rough sleeping simply because of the inadequate level of Centrelink income.”
Adshel partners with Brotherhood of St Laurence to help disadvantaged youths re-enter the workforce, B&T, 18 May 2017
Out-of-home specialist Adshel has partnered with anti-poverty community organisation the Brotherhood of St Laurence to implement a work experience program along with a supporting outdoor campaign to help disadvantaged youths secure employment.
The budget 'looks clever' but does it connect? Families in Melbourne's far north have their say, Guardian, 13 May 2017
In the City of Whittlesea – groaning with growth, crying out for schools, roads and public transport –a lack of action on housing affordability and traffic congestion grates. The Jindi family and community centre in Mernda run by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Goodstart Early Learning is a godsend in this area.
Mt Isa community centre wants families for free HIPPY learning program, The North West Star, 3 May 2017
Our HIPPY program (Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters) focuses on fun learning activities to develop literacy, numeracy, language, and motor skills.
We're not dole bludgers and job snobs, ad campaign by young unemployed people says, BuzzFeed News, 30 April 2017
The Job Hunter #NotDoleBludger campaign by the Brotherhood of St Laurence challenges stereotypes and presents the true face of what it's like to be young and unable to find work.
Overhaul of retail energy industry suggested by leading welfare agency, Herald Sun, 16 April 2017
The Brotherhood fears customers who struggle to pay bills on time, have limited internet access or low literacy or numeracy are likely to be locked out of the best offers.
Shorten's Easter 'shout-out' to residents of Brotherhood aged care home, Nine News/AAP, 12 April 2017
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and his family visited the Brotherhood's Sambell Lodge aged care home for disadvantaged people in Clifton Hill for Easter.
Low-income earners left without a 'vital safety net', Pro Bono Australia News, 10 April 2017
Brotherhood of St Laurence manager financial inclusion Tony Robinson told Pro Bono News a higher rate of coverage among low income Australians would reduce hardship when assets were damaged or lost.
Brimbank has the second highest rate of unemployment in metropolitan Melbourne, Star Weekly, 6 April 2017
The municipality in Melbourne's west has the second highest unemployment rate in the metropolitan region, with one in 10 residents out of work.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ are celebrating a 10-year partnership on refugee program, Pro Bono Australia News, 6 April 2017
Brotherhood executive director Tony Nicholson said the Given the Chance program was one of the organisation’s longest-running and most effective employment programs, and the 10-year partnership with ANZ had yielded “outstanding results”.
'When I grew up you could leave school with no skills and still find a job': Aussie rocker Jimmy Barnes writes for the Brotherhood, Huff Post, 30 March 2017
You can't become a working class man (or woman) if there's not enough jobs to go around.
Underemployment of young people is the highest it has been in 40 years, Sydney Morning Herald, 27 March 2017
The new figures show 18 per cent of young people are underemployed, the highest level it has ever been since 1978 when the Australian Bureau of Statistics first started collecting the data.
'Difficult to support yourself on part time work': young people want more work, ABC World Today, 27 March 2017
A new Brotherhood report highlights Australia's stubborn youth unemployment rate, now at 13.5 per cent.
'Some 659,000 young people were unemployed or underemployed', The Conversation, 26 March 2017
In February underemployment was 18 per cent of the youth labour force, affecting even more young people than unemployment, which was 13.5 per cent, reports Michelle Grattan citing the Brotherhood's latest data analysis.
Brotherhood of St Laurence research finds almost a third of young Aussies (more than 650,000) looking for work are unemployed or underemployed, BuzzFeed News, 26 March 2017
James says he applies for 30 jobs per month, and that it's not unusual for him to fill out a dozen applications in a morning.
Homeless camp crackdown won't fix the problem, state government's new adviser warns, The Age, 10 February 2017
Tony Nicholson, head of the Brotherhood, has been appointed to advise the Victorian government on its plans to reduce rough sleeping in Melbourne’s CBD. In an interview with The Age, Tony said rough sleeping in the city was a "small but visible manifestation of a much broader problem" and needs a long-term strategy.
Middle Eastern migrants aren’t ‘piling on to the dole queue’, The Conversation, 8 February 2017
Claims that Middle Eastern migrants are “piling on to the dole queue” are misleading, according to recently released labour market data.
Table tennis bringing Melbourne migrants together, ABC, 6 January 2017
Each week a group of elderly migrants meet for a bout of table tennis and a chance to catch up at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in inner Melbourne.
Somali Street Food Cafe opens thanks to Brotherhood of St Laurence’s small business program, Herald Sun, 4 December 2016
Ms Abiikar said she could not have done it without the Brotherhood’s Stepping Stones to Small Business program.
Underemployed Australian Youth Face ‘Looming Crisis’, Wall Street Journal, 15 December 2016
“It’s a looming crisis,” said Tony Nicholson, executive director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, a welfare group. “If you have large numbers of young people whose modest aspirations for a mainstream lifestyle are thwarted, all sorts of social ills arise from that.”
Transport a big barrier for young job seekers, ABC The World Today, 21 November 2016
The national welfare group Brotherhood of St Laurence has found that more than 60 per cent of young jobseekers don't have a driver's licence.
Terror victim's son makes plea for change, Nine News, 21 November 2016
Alpha Cheng has penned a column for the Brotherhood of St Laurence in which he reflects on the murder of his father at the hands of a radicalised 15-year-old outside NSW Police headquarters in Parramatta.
Limited transport is a big barrier to young people getting jobs, The Age, 21 November 2016
A new report released by the Brotherhood of St Laurence reveals limited public transport is a major barrier preventing young people from getting and keeping a job.
Only one job advertised for every six low-skilled jobseekers – report, The Guardian, 31 October 2016
Anglicare says lack of entry-level roles in Australia’s labour market is pushing would-be workers below the poverty line.
Watch shocking video of Fitzroy before the hipsters descended, Daily Review, 19 October 2016
Long before the internet, hashtags and cat videos were invented, the Brotherhood of St Laurence was tapping into the power of film.
Bright future for Kirsty, Bayside News, 17 October 2016
Getting up every day to go to work was something Frankston’s Kirsty Biswas thought she might never have the opportunity to do.
The key to successful savings programs, Blue Notes: ANZ Blog, 15 September 2016
Saving is like magic, in that sense that advanced science is like magic: profound and yet ultimately logical. Saving is a simple financial behaviour which can transform lives. It changes mindsets, creates aspirations and improves wellbeing.
Our youth jobs report card: are you people for real?, The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 September 2016
On the face of it, a report card on our performance, Investing in Youth: Australia - to be released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development at a forum hosted by the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne on Monday - gives us a pass.
Caught in an unemployment netherworld: too young to retire, too old to get a job, The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 September 2016
After 26 years of helping other people find a job, Ricci Bartels joined the unemployment queue.
Return to Sydney better than he dreamed it, Aged Care Insite, 8 August 2016
Barry's travels took him to Melbourne, where he found residence at Sambell Lodge, an aged-care residence for socially disadvantaged people run by the Brotherhood of St Laurence.
Future now bright thanks to Education First Youth Foyer, Herald Sun, 6 July 2016
A Youth foyer nearing its second anniversary is helping young people reach for the stars.
Want to end youth homelessness? This works, The Age, 1 June 2016
How do you stop being Aboriginal?
When Christinaray Weetra was a timid seven-year-old at a mainstream school, she tried her best to make it happen. Blend in, speak like everyone else, don't stand out. She was teased anyway.
SA youth unemployment rates among worst in the nation, new data shows, ABC news, 16 March 2016
In the Barossa and Mid North region, the percentage of 15 to 24 year olds looking for work has reached almost 20 per cent.
Youth unemployment, the Sydney hotspots, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 March 2016
The eastern suburbs and Ryde district are among Sydney's youth unemployment "hotspots" in a new analysis of jobless data.
Youth unemployment hotspots persist in regional and rural Australia, data shows, ABC news, 15 March 2016
Young people are struggling to find work across Australia, but none more so than those living in outback Queensland, new analysis of jobless data shows. ABC
Daring to make a difference', Australian Ageing Agenda, 25 November 2015
For Paul Brophy, his work begins with building connections – with his residents, other aged care organisations and the community.
Make love not war – three clever Australian initiatives that are bringing fringe-dwellers into the mainstream, The West Australian, 23 November 2015
The Brotherhood’s Given the Chance for Asylum Seekers program is extending a helping hand to asylum seekers with work rights and forging strong bonds within local communities.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence opens Coolibah Café, Bean Magazine, 20 November 2015
The Coolibah Senior Citizens Centre in Fitzroy has unveiled its first mobile cafe and offers barista training to Brotherhood clients.
NFP Launches Hope Prize, Pro Bono Australia News, 1 September 2015
A new Not for Profit national short story competition aimed at exploring hope and resilience in the face of poverty and disadvantage has been launched by the Brotherhood of St Laurence.
Fraying on the fringe: Dealing with disadvantage in Mernda, The Age, 29 August 2015
Isolation, lack of schools, lack of transport and local jobs combine with financial stress make for a hard life for many that is not obvious to the outsider.
Ready, willing and able, AGENDAS magazine, Spring 2015 (PDF file, 84 KB)
Read about political refugee Kathy's journey through the Given the Chance for Asylum Seekers program.
Job link program a win-win for asylum seekers and employers, VECCI magazine, Spring 2015 (PDF file, 145 KB)
'We are dealing with a group whose motivation is off the scale. At the same time, the employer gets skilled, loyal and motivated individuals to work with.' Read more about the Given the Chance program.
Work remains a mirage for skilled but stymied asylum seekers, 26 August 2015, The Conversation
Assisting asylum seekers to understand and navigate the Australian job market, recognising their skills and working with employers to reduce negative perceptions are key strategies to give them a chance in the workforce.
'Nowhere to go': Troubled teens find hope in unique housing program, 12 August 2015, SBS
A unique housing model is helping at-risk young Australians to break the cycle of homelessness.
Who's on the outer? Uncovering poverty's many faces, The Conversation, 22 July 2015
The Social Exclusion Monitor, developed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the University of Melbourne, has proven useful in Australia to measure the extent and evolution of a wider notion of poverty and disadvantage.
Refugees welcome: inside Melbourne's social enterprise cafe boom, The Guardian, 15 July 2015
Finding work is a problem regularly encountered by refugees who have found a new home in Australia, with many employees unwilling to give them a chance.
In or out: The face of poverty in the new economy, The Sunday Age, 12 July 2015
The Brotherhood of St Laurence, working with the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, has just released its fifth Social Exclusion Monitor.
Electricity costs hurting Victorians, 3AW, 7 July 2015
According to a new report commissioned by the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Victorians have been slugged exorbitant 'retail charges' on electricity bills since 2008.
Anatomy of an electricity bill - where does the money go? The Age, 7 July 2015
According to a report released this morning by the Brotherhood of St Laurence, more of the money paid in electricity bills is going to the power retailer.
Victorians 'dudded' on electricity, The Age, 7 July 2015
The report, 'A critique of the Victorian retail electricity market', found the part of the average Victorian's electricity bills that is paid to the retailer has more than tripled since 2008.
Calls for inquiry into Vic's pricey power, ABC, 7 July 2015
Research by The Brotherhood of St Laurence has found a sharp rise in power bills in Victoria.
A generation caught in the attrition trap, The Age, 24 June 2015
For youngsters there's a form of bad luck that isn't widely recognised by those of us already ensconced in the workforce: to have the misfortune to be leaving school or university at a time when the economy has turned down and few employers are taking on recruits.
Diplomat dream closer, Hume Leader, 23 June 2015
Belal el-Baba’s dream of becoming a national ambassador is a step closer, with the 19-year-old preparing to sit in at this year’s Youth Parliament.
Activists long haul to cafe dreams coming true, The Age, 21 June 2015
Jane and Francois Marx have given everything they have to their new cafe, Long Street Coffee, a social enterprise employing refugees.
'Very loyal' productive workers: the same people we fear as refugees, The Conversation, 19 June 2015
There are positive stories to be told about asylum seekers and refugees and their relationship with the Australian community.
Skills to success: Education pathways help turn unemployment rates around, ABC, 17 June 2015
One of the biggest barriers to employment is a lack of skills and to acquire those skills can be difficult after long periods of unemployment.
Music helped me connect: Helping refugee women build bridges, SBS, 17 June 2015
A women's network in Melbourne helps newly-arrived refugees find their feet and make new friends.
Music Kwai's bridge to future, Hume Leader, 9 June 2015
This year, the singer is among 15 volunteers supporting the Bridging Women's World program, which unites hundreds of women from different cultures.
Business program to open doors for Hume's migrant women, Hume Leader, 19 May 2015
When Ying Bai packed her life into a suitcase to start a new one in Australia she never imagined it would be the beginning of a business venture.
SBS series Struggle Street sparks debate in Mt Druitt, SBS, 7 May 2015
Some people maintained it unfairly tainted the whole community while many thought it accurately highlighted the plight of the disadvantaged.
Bridging hospitality employment gaps by giving asylum seekers a chance, Hospitality Magazine, 24 March 2015
Given the Chance to Asylum Seekers’ employment consultant Brian Finnigan speaks to Hospitality Magazine about the innovative recruitment model that works intensively with employers and job seekers.
Take it from me: We can't afford to crush young people's employment hopes, The Age, 2 March 2015
Edited version of the foreword to the Brotherhood's Youth Unemployment Monitor.
Senator Muir reveals his ''soul destroying'' experience of unemployment, The Age, 2 March 2015
Victorian Senator Ricky Muir has spoken candidly of his own "soul destroying" experience of long term joblessness and insecure work.
Entrepreneurs cleaning up with new careers thanks to Stepping Stones program, Brimbank Leader/Herald-Sun online, 25 February 2015
The Brotherhood of St Laurence's Stepping Stones program for migrant and refugee women is moving into Brimbank electorate.
Youth unemployment hits a new high as people locked out of workforce, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 February 2015
As youth unemployment in Australia rises, Brotherhood of St Laurence Executive Director, Tony Nicholson, calls for the establishment of a federally funded national program to aid young people from education to the workplace while supporting employers who want to give them a start.
Saver Plus program gives poor keys to lasting success, Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 18 February 2015
New research shows that savers in this great program are more confident and able to better control their finances, reports economics columnist Ross Gittins.
Fair Go For The West: Jobs crisis the No.1 priority, The Daily Telegraph, 17 February 2015
Youth unemployment in Western Sydney is running at up to triple the rate recorded in the adult population, prompting fears that despite access to quality education some of the region’s brightest minds are not fulfilling their potential because they can’t get jobs.
Hsar Thein Ju from the Karen community of Burma, Radio Station 774 ABC Melbourne, 3 February 2015
Young refugee Hsar Thein Ju from Burma is the first person to secure a paid park-ranger traineeship with Parks Victoria, in an initiative supported by The Brotherhood of St Laurence. In this segment he talks to ABC Radio 774’s Richard Stubbs.
For news stories prior to 2015, view our news archive »