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Vinnies challenges Australians' poverty 'denial'

Australians either don't believe poverty is a problem or can't conceive there are solutions, according to St Vincent de Paul Society National Council President John Moore.

In a statement released for the launch of Vinnies' nationwide survey on Poverty and Disadvantage in Australia, Mr Moore stressed the need to document the conditions within which at least ten per cent of Australia's population is forced to live.

"This is an ideal opportunity for the Society to speak the truth about the experiences of Christ's poor in our country," he said. "The results of the survey will enable the Society to support our observations and recommendations with solid evidence from across the nation."

The information from the survey will be used to support the Vinnies submission to the Senate Inquiry into Poverty in Australia. The survey is being distributed through St Vincent de Paul Society conferences as well as in some parishes and through the network of Catholic Welfare Australia.  

"If we fail to get our message across, it may be many years before we get another chance," said Mr Moore. "It is about 30 years since the last Inquiry took place."

There are two parts to the survey. Part A is a survey of perceptions of poverty. This can be completed by anyone. Part B is for people who are actually experiencing poverty and disadvantage. Copies of the survey are downloadable from Vinnies' website (see below).

St Vincent de Paul Society

St Vincent de Paul Society | Media | Survey of Perceptions of Poverty/Disadvantage (Word document)

24 Jan 2003