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.