This week is Anti-Poverty Week 2015, the annual campaign working to encourage and highlight efforts to address poverty in Australia and across the globe.
The week-long campaign also serves to increase community awareness and understanding of the underlying causes and extent of poverty.
From large-scale international projects to smaller grassroots initiatives, there are many inspiring individuals and larger communities working to combat poverty and disadvantage.
Throughout the week NGOs, religious groups, schools and community groups will be hosting activities and highlighting efforts to address poverty.
Each year the Connections UnitingCare Anti-Poverty Awards recognise the outstanding efforts of young Australians passionately working to address inequality and injustice.
In 2015 more than eighteen schools and individuals have been nominated for the Connections UnitingCare Anti-Poverty Awards.
Students from Cornish College have been nominated in the schools category for their work supporting various anti-poverty and social justice campaigns.
Cornish College chaplain Jarrod Davies believes the college motto says it all when it comes to student’s involvement in social justice initiatives.
“Our motto ‘make a difference’ is really central to the life of the college,” he said.
“We’re fortunate to be in a position where as a community we can actually make a difference in the lives of others.
“So there is a strong emphasis on fostering a culture that seeks out opportunities to help others.”
In recent years Cornish College students have supported an impressive list of worthy causes both locally and further afield.
Students have taken part in the Winter Sleep Out, OzHarvest’s Eat Up Program, the 40 Hour Famine, World Vision sponsorship and supported the Noble Park English Language Centre.
Most recently students raised $10,847 for homelessness with the funds put towards purchasing 127 backpack beds from ‘Swags For Homeless’.
Cornish College families also regularly support the Noble Park English Language Centre, which supports recent arrivals to Australia, by donating books, clothing and sporting equipment.
Commenting on the importance of students being involved with anti-poverty and social justice related issues, Mr Davies says there never a shortage of individuals looking to get involved.
“Whenever it comes to social justice issues its clear we have a strong culture of thinking of others,” he said.
“There is always great take up from students when opportunities arise.
“Often students will approach staff about ideas they have to get involved with these sorts of activities and with events like the winter sleep out we’ve always got students lining up to be involved.”
“Whenever we put a call out to support a campaign we’re inundated with clothes, food or whatever support is required.”
For more information on the Anti-Poverty Awards please visit antipovertyawards.org.au.