There are many faces of hardship.
Disadvantage can affect anyone, at any time. Without a safety net or support network, it can be challenging to move forward.
With your support we can help people who are experiencing disadvantage at all stages of life.
Understanding and measuring poverty and disadvantage has moved beyond a person’s income and assets. It now includes other essentials for participation in society, such as access to education, health services and transport, and non-material aspects.
Our programs are designed to help vulnerable people at difficult times of life – young children and families, the marginalised, those striving to get a job and older people.
Please invest in our work so we can continue the groundbreaking research and community development work that has such a profound and practical impact on so many lives.
There are many circumstances which can lead to hardship.
Poverty doesn’t discriminate.
'I wanted to work but because I wasn’t old enough, I couldn’t find a job'
Paul, 20, lives at one of our Education First Youth Foyers, the Brotherhood’s accommodation for young people who have been homeless. At only 17, a family breakdown forced Paul to leave home. Suddenly, he found himself isolated and unsure of the future. ‘One night it all changed and I had to grow up’, he explains.
A challenging home life meant that the issues he faced were intensified as Paul not only lacked work experience but also, because of this, struggled to find employment. ‘I couldn’t find work for ten months. I would apply for everything.’
Thanks to support at the Foyer, Paul’s future is now bright with study and volunteering. ‘My main goal is to make a difference.’
'I worry that I will never be able to catch up with bills and debts.'
Ita, 48, managed the demands of both a high-pressure career as a lighting designer and raising her daughters. A chronic illness forced her to give up work. Although she receives a disability support pension, financial hardship is now part of everyday life.
‘My financial situation affects my family. I worry a lot because my girls miss out on extra-curricular activities that they would like to take.’
With support from the Stepping Stones program, Ita is now starting her own small business, so she can accommodate her illness and contribute to the family income. ‘It’s empowering. I have a goal I want to meet so we can have a better future.’
'Everything is expensive: car, bills, school fees, child care, food. It’s hard to save money.'
Shella, a mother-of-three, had difficulty juggling expenses. She came to Australia as a refugee in 2006. Life in Australia with a young family is costly, and despite both parents working full-time, it’s still a challenge to get by. ‘Both me and my husband earn a lower income’, Shella explains. ‘It is difficult to place the kids in before and after school care as it costs more than what I earn.’
Shella finds that the cost of living is rising: ‘Things are getting more expensive every year. Before, $100 would get a lot in your trolley but now it’s nothing.’ Since joining our Saver Plus program, Shella has been able to save $50 a month, helping to secure the future for her young family. ‘Saver Plus has taught me how to budget better even when we are on lower incomes,’ Shella says.
'Life is expensive. It would be difficult if we didn’t have a place like the Coolibah.'
For Selwyn, 84, living on the age pension is tough. To counter the challenges of getting older, Selwyn attends the Coolibah Centre where he’s found an active social life with activities like cooking, table tennis and exercise.
Opportunities at the centre mean older people with limited family support and financial resources can still enjoy a rich lifestyle. Financial advice is useful for members. ‘I can manage money because I have Coolibah’, Selwyn says. ‘Otherwise I don’t think I could manage.’
Knowing affordable meals are available is reassuring for Selwyn. ‘The food is delicious. Food outside Coolibah is expensive. For pensioners it is hard.’
We urge you to give today.
Australia is a better community when we can all participate and thrive together.