Many people live every day with illness that cannot be seen by others. Often times, those people feel judged and misunderstood, or ashamed of behaviours or impairments that are linked to their condition. Many chronic diseases have no outward signs that alert others to the challenges that individuals are facing. People living with these hidden conditions often don’t disclose the extent of their hardship for fear of being treated differently, stigmatised or disbelieved.
This article is intended to raise awareness of invisible illness and hidden disability. Hopefully readers will pause before they pass judgement about that person using the disabled toilet or car space who “looks perfectly fine”, or that friend who consistently declines social invitations, or that work colleague who takes a lot of time off and is often referred to behind their back as lazy or “bludging“.
The Senate Inquiry into Domestic Violence in Australia released its interim report this week. Many of the recommendations support the pleas of crisis accommodation services, women’s groups and welfare organisations for reinstatement of funding cut in last year’s budget. Although the final report is not due to be released until July, the current volatile political situation (with the possibility of a double dissolution looming) and the extreme severity of the situation, costing nearly $14 billion in 2008-9 (report p.2), was felt to justify the release of the interim report now.
Justice targets are measurable goals which aim to reduce incarceration rates for Indigenous Australians. Their addition to the existing Closing the Gap targets, set collaboratively by all State and Territory governments, was announced in August 2013 by then Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin. This was a recommendation of then Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma in 2009’s Social Justice Report. How can this be a bad idea?
The video below highlights the key findings from the 6th Productivity Commission Report into the wellbeing of Aborignal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage.
There is cause for hope that the improvements in child mortality, life expectancy, education and employment outcomes will continue to trend positively. However, it is still a major concern that statistics on chronic health problems, mental illness, community and family violence, illiteracy and rates of incarceration and interaction with the justice system remain unacceptably high for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Yet again ACOSS have delivered a worrying report quantifying the growing income disparity across Australia. Although its warnings are dire, little media attention has been given to its release or to National Anti-Poverty Week (Oct 12 -18 2014). I have to admit, I was all but oblivious. Thank you New Matilda for keeping us all informed of the important issues.
ACOSS have made it clear lately that the budget cuts will adversely affect many aspects of Australian society, with the burden of redressing the ‘fiscal incompetence’ of the previous government largely falling on low-income families with children.
On April 30th, Anglicare Australia launched its annual Rental Affordability Snapshot, highlighting the difficulties that low-income households face in securing affordable housing. Low-income families in regional areas were found to be virtually unable to find suitable housing on their budget, especially if they were single parents receiving Newstart Allowance. Anglicare Australia’s first key priority was “recognition of income inadequacy as a barrier to secure housing and meaningful social participation” (page. 5).