Economics and finance, Environment & energy, Government and governance, Social policy, Arts, culture & society | Australia, Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, The Pacific, The World

7 February 2020

On this week’s pod, we look at the impact of the bushfires on those who were already struggling before disaster struck and the state of Australia’s social security system.

While hundreds of bushfires still burn throughout Australia, some communities are beginning the enormous task of rebuilding. While the fires didn’t discriminate as they tore through towns around the country, the recovery process is especially difficult for those who were already struggling even before the disaster. People on low incomes, those living with a disability, rough sleepers, and other marginalised groups now face a huge task to recover. Listen here:

On this episode of Policy Forum Pod, our expert panel – Professor Sharon Bessell, Dr John Falzon and Professor Peter Whiteford – join us to discuss how best to support those who need it most.

Peter Whiteford is Professor at Crawford School of Public Policy. He previously worked as a Principal Administrator in the Directorate of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.

Dr John Falzon OAM is Senior Fellow, Inequality and Social Justice at Per Capita. He is also a sociologist, poet, and social justice advocate, and was national CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society from 2006 to 2018. John’s current work focuses on social security reform, housing and homelessness, workers’ rights, and rebuilding the concept of the common good across society.

Sharon Bessell is a Professor at Crawford School of Public Policy, where she is co-leader of the ANU Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) team. The IDM is a new, gender-sensitive and multidimensional measure of poverty.

Martyn Pearce is a presenter for Policy Forum Pod and the Editor of Policy Forum.

Policy Forum Pod is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherSubscribe on Android or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group.

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