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Leading anti-poverty advocate visits Australia

Julia Unwin, the distinguished CEO of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) visited Australia in May 2014 as a guest of the Reichstein Foundation and our partners the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and Jobs Australia. Julia Unwin met with government, business and community to provoke a renewed focus on addressing the growing gap between the wealthy and the disadvantaged.

Julia Unwin’s inspiring discussion paper and an infographic on poverty in Australia were released as part of a renewed focus on the extent of poverty and widening inequality and to share insights about how to tackle these issues:

See Julia Unwin’s keynote address at the 2014 VCOSS Summit, where she spoke about roles for the community sector, government and philanthropy in a changing economy marked by rising inequality:

JRF is a world leader in social change philanthropy, with a capital base in excess of close to £300 million and priorities on tackling poverty; developing stronger communities and ageing with dignity. Julia Unwin also brings a unique perspective on housing affordability, with the associated Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust having 2500 units under management.

We believe:

  • Australia needs deep thinking about more effective responses to poverty and inequality. We need to engender greater trust in government, political institutions and civil society at a time of widespread public cynicism and mistrust.
  • The not for profit sector must take the lead in fostering a national debate about the relationship between government, citizens, markets and civil society – resulting in a stronger sector articulating its values and vision for civil society with a secure seat at the table with government, business and unions
  • A more engaged philanthropic sector can contribute positively to public debate, monitor large scale shifts in government priorities, and strengthen the skills and capabilities of civil society and the not for profit sector in Australia.

See Julia Unwin as she appeared on ABC News 24, Friday 30 May 2014, where she was asked to share lessons from the UK. 

Watch Julia speak at the VCOSS 2014 summit. 

Follow Julia Unwin and the JRF on Twitter @juliaunwin @jrf­_uk and participate in ongoing discussions using the hashtag #aupoverty