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  • Helen Fogarty
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Children’s Week shines a light on high levels of child poverty

Children’s Week is currently being celebrated across Australia and the Northern Territory, to shine a light on the rights of every child in every community to grow up with the opportunity to thrive. 

More than 30 years ago, Australia signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which highlights our clear obligations to every child in the community. 

“Recent reports have highlighted that 1 in 6 children in Australia live in poverty, so it is timely that this year’s Children’s Week theme is based on Article 27 of the Convention: All Children have the right to a standard of living that supports their wellbeing and healthy development,” says Meron Looney, NT Manager of the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN). 

“Children thrive when they have what they need to develop well. We know that growing up in poverty is more than not having enough money. Persistent poverty seeps into a child’s education, friendships, health, recreation and family relationships and increases the risk of experiencing adversity as an adult,” says Ms Looney. 

“The situation is even worse for Northern Territory families, where we see a shocking 1 in 3 children living in poverty,” says Nicole Hucks, Acting Northern Territory Children’s Commissioner. “As a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Australia needs to commit to eliminating child poverty as a matter of urgency.” 

“Australia is still falling short on meeting the needs of many of our children, despite being one of the richest countries in the world,” says Ms Hucks. 

Recently during Anti-Poverty Week, we saw widespread calls to parliamentarians to support action to halve child poverty by 2030.

Experts agree that this needs to be an urgent priority for Australia if we are to give every child in every community a fair go, and if we are to meet our international obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Actions the Government could take now to reduce child poverty include:

  • Increase JobSeeker and related payments so everyone can afford the basics including rent, food, medication and education. As we saw at the beginning of the pandemic, reviewing these payments can lift children out of poverty and change lives. 
  • Build more social housing and increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance so everyone has a safe place to call home.
  • Review family payments and child support and restore single parenting payment eligibility until the youngest child turns 16 (not 8 years old).


To find out more about Children’s Week activities in the NT – and for more information behind this year’s theme – go to www.napcan.org.au/childrensweek-nt/

Key Children’s Week activities in the NT include: 

  • Children’s Art Exhibition at Casuarina Library, Darwin City Library, Karama Library, Karama, Nightcliff Library
  • Lake Alexander, East Point Family Fun Day Darwin – Wednesday 26 October 
  • Alice Springs Library Stories, Songs & Games – Wednesday 26 October 
  • Katherine Children’s Week event – Thursday 27 October 

For more information about child poverty in Australia see the media briefing – 20 years on – Still Too Much Child Poverty in the ‘Lucky’ Country

Contact: Helen Fogarty, Communications Manager, NAPCAN 0410 541997, helen.fogarty@napcan.org.au