Poverty & Hardship

There are 10 posts in this category

Wealth Inequality – from Daniel Blake to Robo Debt

April 28th, 2017   

I recently watched “I, Daniel Blake” and “The Founder” in a single viewing, immersed in the story of wealth inequality unfolding between their extremes. These films, closer to fact than politicians care to admit, reflect the lived reality of punitive welfare systems on the one hand, and unfettered plutocracy on the other. They have close parallels in current Australian society.

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Slow clap for part-time work

October 14th, 2016   

“I am not going to demonise part-time employment. I’m going to support it and applaud it,” (Minister for Employment). This applause was greeted with a slow clap – by underemployed workers and those who empathise with their position. Here I collate some responses, which I also sent to Canberra for the minister’s comment.

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Save Medicare to cut emergency care

July 23rd, 2016   

The erosion of Medicare is an incendiary issue in Australia, and yet patients are urged to go to general practitioners instead of hospital emergency rooms. Stories collected in this post illustrate crucial barriers to this otherwise reasonable aim.

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Aged care cuts: My old friend is scared and needs solidarity

July 9th, 2016   

My old friend is scared about the aged care cuts. She lives in a facility where rumour runs rife about being dumped on the street or stranded in bed without incontinence pads. It would be easy to buy into divisiveness about the ‘burden’ of old people, but solidarity is our best defence against neoliberalism.

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This is what it’s like to need income support

April 16th, 2016   

Following a media report that “around a quarter of dole recipients are skipping job interviews or rejecting work,” I collated responses from those at the pointy end of the “dole bludger” narrative. I have reproduced these responses (with initials only, not names) – pretty much as they were posted on my Facebook page. They speak for themselves.

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The writing on the wall for public education

April 5th, 2016   

The neoliberal behemoth hovers over education. Saving our public system is not so much about changing our Prime Minister as about unravelling the mindset that has taken occupation within, across, and beyond party lines…A job for the people…Joan Beckwith.

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When parents are in prison

March 24th, 2016   

What would it be like to have a parent in prison? How would it change everyday life? How would you go about dealing with courts, police and jails? What supports would be useful along the way? These important questions are largely ignored in existing research, and who is left standing to pursue them in current sociopolitical times? (Joint post with guest blogger, Natasha Graham.)

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Feeding a community with small change – Woodstock shows the way

May 22nd, 2015   

By adding $0.25 to their supermarket bill, the people of Woodstock (Ontario, Canada) raise $75,000 to $90,000 per year, which is then transferred to cards that are distributed to local folk in need. The cards can be used to buy food and other supermarket supplies. This strikes me as an excellent idea, and I want to see if I can develop something like it in my local Australian community…Joan Beckwith.

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Anti-Poverty Week (Letter to PM)

October 14th, 2013   

Poverty is a global obscenity, of course, Mr Abbott, but knowing you as a chap with fierce feelings about ‘borders’, I’m sending along a list of eight issues you should be aware of within Australia on International Day for Eradication of Poverty. (That’s today, 17 October, in case it’s passed you by.) The poor might always be with us, as you say, Mr Abbott, but you’re supposed to be governing for them, too, so please pay attention to these points…Cheers, Joan Beckwith.

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When Newstart means NoStart

August 16th, 2013   

Guest post by Nick Costello
A snapshot of life on government income support by Nick Costello, a Melbourne artist and writer, who says he gave up looking for paid employment or a home of his own long ago, but retains his passion for truth, justice, and inclusiveness. The images included in the post are from his portfolio…Joan Beckwith.

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