ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Anti-Poverty Week 2021

Anti-Poverty Week 17-23 October 2021 - act on poverty

Anti-Poverty Week (APW) will be held across Australia from the 17th to the 23rd of October 2021. In 2021 we are reminding governments that there are 2 key things they can do to unlock poverty for individuals, families, and children: raise income support above the poverty line and invest in social housing. 1 in 8 Australians live below the poverty line and 1 in 6 Australian children below the age of 14 live in poverty. The ACT accounts for at least 9000 of those children.

Lack of awareness for the scale of child poverty, greater poverty and the ACT housing crisis is a major contributor to lack of action and change.

Poverty exists. Poverty hurts us all. We can all do something about it.

Learn more

ACT Anti-Poverty Week Events

Take 10 to Talk about Poverty

Monday Oct 18 to Friday Oct 22

Workplaces or friends and family across the ACT will be encouraged to take part in Anti-Poverty Week by watching a brief video about poverty, having a discussion about the experiences of those in our community and encouraging donations to local organisations through Hands Across Canberra.

Find Take 10 resources here.

CEO Media Conference

Monday Oct 18: 9.15am-10am

An address from the Chief Minister, followed by Anti-Poverty Week Ambassador Genevieve Jacobs and a number of community sector CEOs, whose organisations focus on women and children, speaking about the impact of poverty on the Canberrans who use their services.

Genevieve Jacobs in Conversation with Hugh Mackay

Wednesday Oct 20: 12.30pm-1.30pm

A pre-recorded interview between ACT Anti-Poverty Week Ambassador Genevieve Jacobs and social researcher Hugh Mackay will be streamed through ACTCOSS’ Facebook and promoted on the RiotACT’s website.

Missed the event? Watch the recording here

National Carillon Lit Up Blue

Thursday Oct 21, Friday Oct 22

The National Carillon will be blue for the evenings of Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd of October to acknowledge the end of Anti-Poverty Week 2021.

The colour blue has been chosen in line with the lighting up of monuments across Australia to symbolise a brighter future of hope particularly for children living in poverty.

Telstra Tower Lit Up Blue

Thursday Oct 21

Telstra Tower will be lit up in blue on the evening of Thursday 21st October. Telstra Tower will be lit in blue alongside other monuments across Australia during the week to raise awareness and communicate a brighter future of hope particularly for children in poverty.

APW Art Competition

Oct 22

The APW Art Competition is a youth art competition open to all ACT Youth 18 years and under! Entries are open until Friday 15th October and the theme of the APW Art Competition is “Hopes for My Future”. Winners will be decided by a vote during APW  and announced on Friday 22nd October.


This Anti-Poverty Week we are calling on our governments to unlock poverty for millions of Australians by raising income support above the poverty line and investing in social housing. 

In partnership with Everybody’s Home and Raise the Rate for Good campaigns, we have launched a petition calling on Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to increase the base rate of working age income support payments to at least $65 a day and invest in social and affordable housing and increase Rent Assistance payments by 50%.

You can read Ashlie’s story and sign the petition here.


APW is partnering with Region Media to produce a number of feature articles regarding the events of the week, stories from local community about community initiatives to address poverty and the urgency of increasing community housing in Canberra. Keep an eye out on The RiotACT and please share any content to your networks!

Education Content

Every community, every school in the ACT has children, young people and families enduring financial stress and poverty. This year due to the impacts of COVID, responding to poverty and hardship must take on an even greater priority. The evidence shows that unemployment, under-employment, financial and housing stress and metal health problems are compounded by COVID.   

We would appreciate any support promoting APW and sharing it with children and school communities:

Teaching resources are available online - ten lessons from Years 3 to 10 have been developed which map across the Australian curriculum and have been published on the Cool Australia online platform. You can find them here: Poverty and Inequality in Australia – Primary Lessons and Poverty and Inequality in Australia – Secondary lessons.  We are hoping teachers will use them in Term 4, especially during Anti-Poverty Week. 


For further information or if you have any questions, please contact [email protected] 

This year the 2021 ACT Anti-Poverty Week Committee gratefully received a grant from the ACT Government to support APW activities.