Australia is about to get its eyes opened to life in our most disadvantaged communities. SBS has finished making the second season of it's gritty documentary series Struggle Street.
The new series was filmed last year in Victoria and Queensland, but it wasn't an easy task. Producers were refused permission to film by several Victorian councils. They were really worried about how the show would stigmatise particular suburbs and cause more long term harm.
But perhaps the new series is the sobering reality check our country needs? Over two weeks, Struggle Street will dive deep into some of the key issues impacting so many Aussies.
A report by the Australian Council of Social Service found a staggering 2.99 million Australians – 13.3% of the population – live below the poverty line. Struggle Street will shine the spotlight on these 5 big issues:
- Unemployment. Despite an increase in the number of people working full time, the ripple effect of our car makers closing down is expected to culminate in the loss of 200,000 jobs alone.
- Homelessness. One of the most potent examples of disadvantage and social exclusion in Australia today, impacting more than 105,000 people. Women aged over 55 are the fastest growing demographic living on the streets.
- Substance abuse. Research from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows the number of people using illicit drugs has increased from 2.3 million to 3.1 million in recent years.
- Mental illness. This comprises a wide range of disorders and its influence is far-reaching. More than four million Australians will experience a mental disorder at some time in their life, and nearly a third of them will have a drug or alcohol problem.
- Disability. Did you know there were 2.7 million unpaid carers in Australia in 2015? Around 856,000 are primary carers, with an average age of 55. A quarter of Australian carers on benefits live below the poverty line.
The series starts on SBS on November 28th. SBS is also working with a number of charities and organisations such at Social Policy Research Centre, the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and Beyond Blue to give the documentary more context, and raise awareness of the help available to disadvantaged Australians.