ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Media Release: Anti-Poverty Week 14-20 October 2018 ACT Theme: Together Creating Pathways out of Poverty

15 October 2018

Joint media release by the ACT Council of Social Service and Red Cross ACT

Anti-Poverty Week is organised every year to raise awareness and encourage people to take action to eliminate poverty, both in Australia and across the world. There are dozens of activities that will be hosted in Canberra during this week by organisations, congregations and services that want to contribute to raising awareness and eliminating poverty.

Each day in Canberra there will be something to watch, read, support or learn. The full list of activities is here:

The main activity for the week is release of a film produced to tell the stories of people who have created their own pathway out of poverty, and people who have used their resources and networks to create pathways out of poverty for others. The stories shared show that poverty is created by adverse circumstances, and lack of options, not individual failings or choices. The positive message of the films is that people’s resourcefulness in difficult circumstances and the thoughtfulness of others create real and lasting pathways out of poverty.

You can find the Together Creating Pathways out of Poverty films at the ACTCOSS YouTube channel:


Full film HD:

Individual films:

Glen’s story – Escaping poverty & Shobha’s story – Lessons from Prisoners Aid:

Greg’s project – As CEO of Thread Together:

Roslyn’s story – Growing up in poverty:

Emma’s project – Ginninderry Joint Venture:

Glenn’s story – Living in poverty:

Rob’s story – Living in poverty:


For comment please contact:

Susan Helyar, Director, ACTCOSS on 0448 791 987 or 02 6202 7200
Matt Davies, ACT Manager, Red Cross ACT on 0466 513 382


Descriptions of individual stories shared in Together Creating Pathways out of Poverty

Glenn’s journey – Living in poverty

Glenn speaks about what a typical day was like for him living in poverty, the social isolation and accompanying psychological struggles, and about the assistance he found through homelessness services. Glenn believes that respecting human rights and having time and a place to organise oneself are pathways out of poverty.

Glen T’s journey – Escaping poverty

Glen speaks about homelessness, hunger, and self-worth; and how a large green garbage bag of presents from the St Vincent de Paul Society and a note from a kind police officer really made a difference. Glen said that being given the opportunity for a job gave him a pathway out of poverty, but that it take many hands in the pot to help people in poverty.

Shobha’s story – Lessons from Prisoners Aid

Shobha grew up in India and Sri Lanka, worked with RESULTS to end world hunger and said that accommodation and paid work are essential pathways out of poverty.

Emma’s project – Ginninderry Joint Venture

Emma is the Training and Employment Manager at the Ginninderry Joint Venture, working to develop a range of economic and social inclusion opportunities for the 11,500 new homes to be built in West Belconnen over four decades. Emma talks about partnering with range of stakeholders to connect people to education and networks of knowledge so their choices are expanded and their confidence is rewarded with pathways to real jobs.

Rob’s story – Living in poverty

Rob speaks about applying for worker’s compensation, losing his carer’s payment and secretly living in an industrial area. Rob shares about losing his identification and phone many times, buying 50 shirts for job interviews and the difficulties of ensuring adequate housing when you are not listed on a property lease.

Greg’s story – As CEO of Thread Together

Greg speaks about how restoring dignity and hope at people’s darkest hour is key to Thread Together’s work and that we should always provide the best to people in need and not assume that they deserve anything less.

Roslyn’s story – Growing up in poverty

A Ngunnawal elder, Roslyn talks about growing up with racisms and poverty, being made to feel like the ‘worst form of life on the planet’. She identifies being left off the radar, and the lack of social services and community support, as major contributors to poverty.

Roslyn believes in self-empowerment for Aboriginal people and tells us to stop thinking that it’s weak to be kind. Roslyn sees education, building resilience and empowerment as the pathways out of poverty and believes we need to ‘work with [people] in their life’s journey’.


The Anti-Poverty Week committee would like to thank:

Rafael Perez – filming
Diarna Genovesi – editing
Yasmin Hassen – production manager