Greens MP and State Member for Newtown (NSW) Jenny Leong, joins TV presenter, author and cook Julie Goodwin and journalist Caleb Bond as they take part in a 3 part SBS series experiencing living under the poverty line on welfare. The series is called “Could you survive on the breadline?” – millions of Australia live on welfare and are really doing it tough. Leong and others who took part and lived this life stated that it really pushed their limits and took them out of their comfort zone.
Here are some things Leong told The Guardian about her experiences living a night with Shenane – a survivor of domestic violence living in public housing and the others she meets throughout her time and seeing the poor living conditions of public housing:
“She is a survivor and a victim of domestic violence and has had her children taken away from her,” Leong says.
“She needs to be rehabilitated, and instead of being placed in a safe space she’s put in an environment where she’s triggered multiple times a day by trauma.”
“It made me so angry to witness the conditions that Simone was forced to live in with a disability and a small child,” Leong says.
“Every point in the system was making it hard for her.”
Leong also reflected on her experiences and feels changes need to be made to ensure those on social welfare are not living in poor conditions and are doing it touch day by day:
“We need to recognise people need more respect and support. The way people are treated is disgraceful. The system needs to change. It should be a system that is generous in its assumptions towards people because they are the most vulnerable people in our community.”
Could You Survive on the Breadline? premieres on 17 November at 8.30pm on SBS and SBS On Demand.
Images via Jenny Leong Facebook Page