ADVOCACY & PARTNERSHIP

OVERVIEW

As part of our commitment to building a more just and compassionate society, we work tirelessly to advocate for reform of the structural causes of poverty and disadvantage.

Through our media presence, advocacy events and campaigns, and strategic partnerships, we have been able to raise awareness of the issues affecting people experiencing disadvantage. By building mutual understanding and influencing positive change in our communities, our advocacy improves the quality of life for the people we assist.

THIS PILLAR OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN 2020-2022 IS UNDERPINNED BY THREE KEY GOALS:

  • Develop clear policy positions underpinned by evidence and consultation
  • Influence the actions of funders and decision-makers through constructive and targeted advocacy to reduce inequality and improve the wellbeing of the people we serve
  • Develop a strong public profile to shape public debate on issues related to people experiencing poverty or disadvantage

Over the past financial year, we have achieved considerable progress in each of these areas.

Over the last year, hundreds of members, volunteers, employees, and supporters have supported campaigns and advocacy on our key social justice priorities.

In partnership with Australian Council for Social Service (ACOSS) and other service providers, the Raise the Rate campaign has advocated for a permanent increase to the JobSeeker allowance (formerly Newstart) to ensure people are able to live with dignity and plan for the future during times of hardship. While the Federal Government introduced a temporary coronavirus supplement – effectively doubling the rate – during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to call for a permanent increase to the social safety net.

Additionally, we have raised our voices for the fair treatment of people seeking asylum, including adequate support for people living in our communities. In collaboration with the Refugee Council of Australia, a wide range of Catholic agencies and the Sydney Alliance we have lobbied for a permanent financial safety net, including Medicare, to people on temporary visas.

We also continued to invest in systems and relationships to support our capacity to influence decision-making processes. We launched a new social justice website, built an online social justice community, strengthened our local social justice networks, and held a series of webinars aimed at building advocacy skills, deepening our understanding of social justice issues, and nurturing discussion.

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is increasingly recognised as a strong voice for a more equitable society.

THE REASONS WE ADVOCATE FOR A JUST AND COMPASSIONATE SOCIETY

  • More than 37,000 people experience homelessness in NSW
  • Around 40% of rough sleepers in NSW live outside major cities
  •  There are more than 100,000 adults and children waiting for social housing across the state, but not enough properties to provide them with the safety, security and stability of a place to call home
  • Almost 900,000 people in NSW live below the poverty line – accounting for 13% of the state population
  • The Federal Government’s decision to wind back JobSeeker by $300 a fortnight is set to see 89,000 people – including 15,000 children – pushed into poverty.

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