Tamworth, NSW, was the venue for a special community meeting on Monday 14 October to launch a Snapshot of poverty in rural and regional Australia
jointly prepared by the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) and the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS).
The event was run in conjunction with Anti-Poverty Week (Sunday 13 October to Saturday 19 October).
Speakers included a number of local community service managers who gave insight into the challenges on the ground in caring for the vulnerable and disadvantaged in the New England area. Other speakers were local GP Jenny May, representing the NRHA, Rosemary Young, life member of Friends of the Alliance, Tessa Boyd-Caine, Acting CEO of ACOSS and David Briggs, Chair of the New England Medicare Local.
People living in poverty not only have low levels of income; they also miss out on opportunities and resources that most take for granted, such as adequate health and dental care, education, employment opportunities, affordable quality food and recreation.
Alleviating poverty is a critical part of what needs to be done to achieve better health for the people of rural and remote communities. ACOSS and the NRHA will continue their national advocacy for governments at all levels to ensure that the special needs of the vulnerable in rural and remote areas are properly recognised. In undertaking this high-level work effectively it will remain vital for the two organisations to remain in close touch with local communities and their representatives.