Published: September 5, 2019

The Life Course Centre is proud to be a 2019 sponsor of Anti-Poverty Week, running from 13-19 October, and we will be theming our activities around the potential for education to provide a pathway out of poverty.

Anti-Poverty Week, which is focused on the week around the United Nations Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October, supports the Australian community to have an increased understanding of poverty and to take action collectively to end it. This year, the organisers of Anti-Poverty Week have developed a series of Fast Facts to highlight some of the realities of poverty in Australia for the more than 3 million people or 13.2% of the population living below the poverty line, and the 739,000 or 1 in 6 children growing up in poverty. Anti-Poverty Week encourages all Australians to acknowledge these facts, engage in conversations about poverty, raise awareness, focus on positive solutions, and take action.

In line with this, the Life Course Centre is using ‘Education as a pathway out of poverty’ as the theme for our 2019 Anti-Poverty Week activities. Our research has highlighted the positive role of education, particularly at the university level, in mitigating poverty and intergenerational disadvantage. Centre researchers have used longitudinal data and multiple indicators of health, wellbeing and labour market success to examine the post-university outcomes of graduates from a range of socio-economic backgrounds. This research shows higher education can overcome social inequality but it takes time and additional assistance may be needed to facilitate transitions into the labour market for graduates from low socio-economic backgrounds.

In Anti-Poverty Week, we will have a strong focus on our students. Central to our activities will be the hosting of our national Student Development Days on October 15-17. These three days, to be hosted at the Institute for Social Science Research at The University of Queensland, will bring together Life Course Centre students from all four of our Australian university nodes for professional development, networking, academic and presentation training, and sessions on post-doctoral job opportunities and advice. Our special guest at the Student Development Days will be Professor Rebekah Levine Coley from the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College, whose research on economic inequality examines a range of critical factors, including education. A Life Course Centre Partner Investigator, Professor Coley will present a seminar, run a policy workshop and provide one-on-one mentoring sessions with our students.

Another of our key Anti-Poverty Week 2019 activities, aligned with our education theme, will be the awarding of Life Course Centre Scholarships for research addressing social and economic disadvantage at the University of Sydney’s School of Economics. These $5,000 one-year scholarships are open to students enrolled in an Honours Year of a Bachelor in Economics degree or Postgraduate Degree in Masters of Economics or Masters of Economic Analysis at the University of Sydney. The awarding of these scholarships is the Life Course Centre’s signature Sydney event for Anti-Poverty Week 2019, and aims to build on the success of last year’s inaugural scholarships.

In Melbourne, Life Course Centre Chief Investigator Professor David Ribar will be hosting a seminar on October 15 on his co-authored book ‘Food Stamps and the Working Poor’, while in Perth our Centre Director Professor Janeen Baxter is closely involved with 100 Families WA, a collaborative project to address entrenched disadvantage and hardship, including speaking at the recent Social Impact Festival.

Visit our Life Course Centre Events Page for updates on our Anti-Poverty Week 2019 events.