Centrecare Director


From the Director's Desk

A Childhood Without Poverty

On 20 November 2019, I presented a paper at the Family & Relationship  Services Australia (FRSA) National Conference that focused on the issue of child poverty.  

Australia’s discussion on child development rarely focuses on the issue of poverty.  There is significant research evidence showing that poverty has a significant and lasting impact on children’s development and wellbeing.

A 2018 study found that there are 739,000 (17.3%) Australian children living below the poverty line. Over 200,000 of these children live in abject poverty. Poverty has a significant impact on the experience of children in their first 1,000 days and beyond. The experience of poverty has a devastating effect on their lives as it negatively impacts on their physical and mental wellbeing. It also negatively affects motor skill development, sense of security and educational outcomes. In view of this, there is very little policy direction and concerted effort in Australia to tackle child poverty.

This presentation will focus on child poverty in Australia.  It will explore its prevalence as well as its impact on early childhood experiences and development including how parental stresses caused by poverty impacts on newborn and very young children. It will inform participants on strategies being adopted in New Zealand to combat child poverty and that nation’s commitment to creating a society where children can flourish.

The paper will raise the question as to Australia’s current response to child poverty.  It will seek to engage listeners to better understand why Australia’s social policy and political commitment to eliminating child poverty is largely invisible.  It will ask what is the vision for Australia’s children, especially those living in poor circumstance? How can we both morally and practically respond to such a question so that we can build a future without child poverty? If we believe that a firm commitment to the significant reduction and elimination of child poverty is not possible in Australia, then what are the cultural, political and social foundations of this incapacity?  A positive response to this challenge will help create a positive future and open wonderful new horizons for Australia’s children.

Click here to read the paper.

Tony Pietropiccolo AM 



Previous articles from the Director


Mar - The First Three Months of 2019


Dec - Director's Chrsitmas address to staff
May - Three Sides of the Same Coin


Dec - Director's Christmas address to staff
Jul - What Are We Doing About Child Poverty


Nov - Preventative action saves children
Sep - Italian Eathquake Appeal 2016 
Jan - Curiosity, Caution and Social Impact Bonds


Aug - 70th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima


Dec - Directors Christmas Message to Staff 2014
Aug - The wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children - a common goal
Mar - Removing problem kids not the solution


DEC - Directors Christmas Message
NOV - Domestic Violence is Never OK
NOV - Rediscovering Poverty – 2013 Anti Poverty Week Statement
SEP - National Child Protection Week 1st – 7th September 2013
AUG - State budget lets down homeless in Homelessness Week
AUG - A house to call home now out of reach for many
JUN - World Refugee Day 2013
MAY - Detention of children needs to stop


DEC - Director's Christmas lunch address
NOV - Changes to the asylum seeker policy


APR - The common language of love


AUG - Suicide prevention
MAR - Refugee re-settlement


DEC - Director's Christmas lunch address
APR - Director's Easter message


DEC - Director's Christmas lunch address
SEP - People focus
JUN - Presentation to staff
MAR - Saying sorry


DEC - Changing mind and heart