DOTE 2015

Dropping off the Edge 2015

A report commissioned by Catholic Social Services Australia and Jesuit Social Services

A small number of communities across Australia continue to experience disproportionately high levels of unemployment, low family income and education, housing stress, domestic violence and prison admissions. Such factors limit the life opportunities available to individuals and families, potentially locking them in to lives of continuing poverty, with the further potential to endure on an intergenerational basis.

Dropping off the Edge 2015, commissioned by Catholic Social Services Australia and Jesuit Social Services, demonstrates that such disadvantage is not only significantly concentrated among these communities, but is entrenched and enduring, featuring interconnected barriers that inhibit the consistent efforts over many years of individuals and families to break free.  Most of these communities are in regional Australia and communities with high Indigenous populations are amongst the most disadvantaged.  The outer metropolitan areas of some of our capital cities are also “close to the edge”.

This structural inequity is something for which all Australians – governments, opposition, business and community leaders – must take responsibility, as the effort required to change the outcomes for these communities will rely on the sustained and cooperative efforts of all contributors over the long term.

Our Catholic social services network members are working in many of the communities identified in the report. We have the information, expertise, and most importantly the relationships and trust to work in partnership with local communities to bring about change.

The findings from Dropping off the Edge 2015 suggest that Australians experiencing disadvantage do not lack will power, ambition or a willingness to change their outcomes in life, but are held back by entrenched structural barriers that limit their opportunities in life, and the opportunities of their children.  Catholic Social Services Australia wants to help change that.

Please visit the Dropping off the Edge 2015 website for comprehensive information about the report and its findings.