Falling foreign aid budget puts iconic Australian ‘fair go’ under threat

YOUNG Australians overwhelmingly view ‘fairness’ as our most important national value (42 per cent), well ahead of second-placed ‘mateship’ (28 per cent), according to new Galaxy Research Poll released today.

But this iconic Australian characteristic is under threat with less than one in three Gen Ys (29 per cent) believing Australia is a fairer nation today than it was five years ago.

As a globally connected generation, Gen Ys say Australia is no longer acting fairly on the world stage, with nearly half (45 per cent) agreeing it is unfair that Australian aid has been cut to its lowest level ever.

University students in Sydney will be invited to back their personal commitment to a fair go today when the Campaign for Australian Aid launches its Fair Share food truck.

Students who visit the Fair Share food truck will be invited to pay what they think is fair for a meal of authentic Southeast Asian cuisine.

The street-style food will be served by UNICEF Australia National Ambassador for Nutrition and host of SBS Television’s Destination Flavour winner Adam Liaw and will showcase the key role Australian aid plays in expressing Australians’ commitment to a fair go internationally.

“Asking uni students to pay what they think is fair for a meal is brave – it will be a great test of our understanding of fairness and an interactive way for young Aussies to participate in the Campaign for Australian Aid,” Adam said.

Following today’s launch at the University of New South Wales, the Fair Share food truck will be visiting other universities and public venues in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne over the coming weeks.

The truck isn’t just about great food, though. It is a catalyst for an innovative campaign by Australian aid organisations that taps into our national sense of fairness, and poses a strong challenge to continuous cuts to the Australian aid budget. The campaign aims to build greater understanding and support for Australian aid by showcasing its effectiveness in countries around the world.

“As Australians, through Australian aid, we have played a key part in one of the greatest success stories ofour time,” World Vision chief executive Tim Costello said.

“In the past 20 years we’ve been part of an international effort that has now halved the number of people living in extreme poverty. It’s not something that we see or hear about very often, but we’ve helped to make the world a fairer place for all, and that’s something we can be very proud of,” Mr Costello said.

“We believe that through this grassroots campaign we can encourage all Australians to stand up for what they believe is fair; and rally together to continue the great work that we do, helping people living in poor communities to build a fairer future.”

While young Australians may feel that Australia is becoming less fair, they hold out hope for a fairer future and believe that we can make a difference for those who need it most.

Today’s Galaxy Poll shows Gen Y want to see Australian aid deliver better access to healthcare (59 per cent), education (56 per cent), and clean water (49 per cent) for all.

Mr Costello added it was reassuring to see young people valuing such important work around the world.

“As a nation, we value fairness more than any other Australian attribute. We want to be known for fairness, and Australian aid is a powerful expression of our belief in a fair go for all.”

The Campaign for Australian Aid is a joint initiative of the Make Poverty History and Micah Challenge coalitions for all Australians who believe we can and should do more as a nation to end extreme poverty around the world.

The Campaign for Australian Aid is online at www.australianaid.org.

Source: UNICEF Australia

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Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities with another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years of experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities.

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