Never before has Australia been so prosperous.
Never before have we had so many resources and opportunities to reduce poverty.
And never before has so much thought been dedicated to understanding the problems facing those in need.
Yet many people have not enjoyed the benefits of prosperity. And debates continue to rage about whether inequality is a real problem. Even dedicated advocates don’t have a strategy to persuade and motivate the public about the need for change.
There is a clear need to understand public attitudes to poverty. Understanding these attitudes, and the values that underlie them, is critical to changing the conversation. That’s why Anglicare Australia embarked on a landmark study to explore attitudes and how best to communicate with the public. The results might surprise anti-poverty advocates. It turns out that Australians are much more sympathetic to those in poverty than even they realise.
As part of the study, Anglicare Australia conducted a nationally representative survey with Ipsos. All of the groups we surveyed showed high levels of compassion towards people in poverty, and a belief that nobody should live in poverty. All demographic groups believed that we needed to do more to support people on government benefits, and that Australia should be a country that looks after people in need. Only a small minority disagreed with the idea that people experiencing poverty are the same as them…
SOURCE: Sarah-jane Fenton. “What Australians think about poverty – and how it can change (part 1)” Power to Persuade, May 23, 2019.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia