In May, I will be joining 999 other young Australians for the MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY roadtrip campaign traveling from Melbourne to Canberra and stopping at many country towns along the way.
At Canberra I will be joining 999 other MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY Ambassadors from the 12th to the 14th of May for a history making summit focussed on what Australia can do to end poverty. There will also be an MP breakfast held at Parliament House on the 13th May where I, with many other ambassadors, will be meeting and discussing his concerns with many MPs - whom I am hoping will include my local (Lalor) MP – Julia Gillard.
Overall, my aim will be to create awareness within Australian communities as we journey towards Canberra, that we each can 'make a difference'. Each of us will make that difference in our own ways, whether that being in donating money, understanding the issue further, sharing and spreading the insights and perspectives and listening to the suggestions and feedback from others.
We will be doing this through flash mobs, meetings with MPs and businesses, speeches at schools, music events and more, we will generate the groundswell of support necessary to achieve real change. Like many other social movements, there will be challenges in achieving the end goal, i.e. to make poverty history. The main thing that we all have to realise is that change (social change) relating to issues such as poverty does not happen overnight.
But is it possible?
We believe it is possible as we are already moving forward towards zero poverty. Examples include:
- Since in 1990 42% of the world was living in extreme poverty, now it’s 19%
- Australia’s own Aid effort has wiped out Polio in the Pacific. Through our efforts this crippling disease will no longer disable the people of our region.
- In 2007 over 700 young Australians took to the road on the ZEROSEVEN Road Trip and made history when it created the public support and political will to increase Australia’s foreign aid from 0.3% to 0.5% of GNI by 2015. This historic increase of over $2.3 billion has brought Australia closer to its promise of 0.7%.
Can we do more?
Yes, we can urge individuals, communities and governments to do more to create the world we all want to live in. We will asking Australia to keep its promise to increase foreign aid to 0.7% of our GNI from it's current level of 0.5, i.e. Australia doing it's fair share to end global poverty by investing just 70 cents from every $100 of our national income in effective aid solutions.”