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11RE - Social Justice Issues: Poverty

This guide contains resources relating to social justice issues, particularly poverty in Australia.

What is poverty?

Poverty is a condition where people's basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter are not being met. Poverty is generally of two types:

(1) Absolute poverty is synonymous with destitution and occurs when people cannot obtain adequate resources (measured in terms of calories or nutrition) to support a minimum level of physical health. Absolute poverty means about the same everywhere, and can be eradicated as demonstrated by some countries.

(2) Relative poverty occurs when people do not enjoy a certain minimum level of living standards as determined by a government (and enjoyed by the bulk of the population) that vary from country to country, sometimes within the same country. Relative poverty occurs everywhere, is said to be increasing, and may never be eradicated.

WebFinance Inc, 2016.

Poverty in Australia

Poverty in Australia Report 2014

In October 2014, ACOSS released a new report revealing that poverty is growing in Australia with an estimated 2.5 million people or 13.9% of all people living below the internationally accepted poverty line.

The report provides the most up to date picture of poverty in the nation drawing on new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Income and Expenditure surveys for 2011-12 and previous years. It found that 603,000 or 17.7% of all children were living in poverty in Australia.

Australian Council of Social Service, n.d.


Rating: PG   Production Year: 2013   Duration: 42:35

 Description: Australia boasts one of the strongest economies in the world but many families are just one pay-packet away from poverty. What's it like when you lose your job, your home and you're forced to live on the Newstart allowance?

Rating: Unrated  Production Year: 2016   Duration: 1:20:59

Description: On the panel: Pres World Medical Assoc Michael Marmot; Chair of PM's Indigenous Advisory Council Warren Mundine; Head of ACOSS Cassandra Goldie; Prof of Economics Deborah Cobb-Clark; Dean of Medicine Christine Bennett. #QandA


Religious groups helping the cause