Australia has long been regarded as a working man's paradise or lucky country, an egalitarian society free of the poverty that has afflicted many other countries. This text challenges these views by charting the history of poverty in Australia since the beginnings of European colonization. It uncovers the history of the many who had to struggle to survive in the lucky country. The book also examines efforts to alleviate the plight of the poor. In mapping the transition from charitable poor relief to the welfare state, the book argues that systems of assistance have been impoverished by pervasive fears that the poor are not genuinely needy; Australia's truly needy have had to survive with inadequate welfare assistance. As Australia enters increasingly troubled economic times, poverty is increasing. This study provides an insight into how Australians have dealt with poverty in the past and it serves as a guide for future action.
Allen & Unwin
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