Churchill Fellow Releases Report on Homelessness and Poverty Discrimination

Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington addressing the community at Tomaree Lodge which she believes offers a short term solution to homelessness in Port Stephens. Photo: Henk Tobbe.

CHURCHILL Fellowships are sought after opportunities to learn from communities around the world and to bring that knowledge to Australia to improve our methods and knowledge.

Last week was National Anti-Poverty Week, which coincided with the launch of the Churchill Fellowship Report into homelessness and poverty discrimination law frameworks by Fazaana Choudhury.

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Some of the most vulnerable members of our community are people facing homelessness, people fleeing family violence and facing discrimination.

Farzana’s report was written after her Churchill Fellowship this year took her to New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom to investigate world best practice in poverty discrimination laws to protect the rights of some of the most disadvantaged members of the community.

“Poverty and homelessness are both local and global problems,” Ms Choudry said.

“Australia can learn from overseas.

“We can definitely do better.

“Unfortunately, too many people are treated unfairly and excluded because of their socio-economic status.”

“Overseas, laws respond to poverty discrimination and provide better legal protection for vulnerable people in society.

Across Australia, this is currently not the case in every jurisdiction,” said Ms Choudry.

Choudry is now advocating for stronger discrimination law protections for marginalised communities in Australia.

Adam Davey, CEO of the Winston Churchill Trust said, “I commend Farzana on her report and urge jurisdictions to take up these findings, to create greater protections in human rights for vulnerable people in Australia to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Today in Port Stephens due to the housing crisis there are families living in cars, emergency housing and unable to find rentals through no fault of their own.

Port Stephens Councillor Leah Anderson told News Of The Area, “Homelessness is a problem for all levels of government, there are things that Council can do to help families in crisis, every Australian deserves a roof over their head.”


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