24/07 No Child Left Behind
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Vinnies has welcomed the Government’s increase to the JobSeeker rate and the new JobKeeper scheme. Combined, these have ensured more than four million Australians continue to receive an income and live above the poverty line during the pandemic.
Yet some people in our communities have been left behind, simply because they don’t hold citizenship. At Vinnies, we believe we have a responsibility to keep all people on our shores safe from poverty and homelessness. That’s why we joined more than 200 other organisations back in May in calling on the Prime Minister to leave nobody behind.
More than two months later, refugees, people seeking asylum, and temporary visa holders continue to go without government support.
There are currently around 16,000 children in families seeking protection in Australia. Many people seeking asylum work in the hard-hit services industry and have lost their jobs as a result of coronavirus.
People seeking asylum are not eligible for the JobSeeker or JobKeeper payments, unlike other workers. Some don’t even have access to Medicare. They have been left with nothing.
The responsibility has been left with charities like Vinnies, as well as the many amazing refugee support charities in Australia, to help families seeking asylum with food, medicine, rental payments, warm clothes for winter and other basic essentials. Without this charity support, these families could be left destitute.
Now, we are standing with The Refugee Council of Australia to say once again, loud and clear: our Government must leave no child behind.
It is well past time for temporary visa holders and people seeking protection to receive pandemic support from the place they now call home: Australia. Vinnies has always believed this country is big enough and generous enough for everyone to live safe, healthy lives. Especially children.
Please join us in calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Families and Social Services, Anne Ruston to provide children and families with the support they need. Sign the Refugee Council’s petition on their website.