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Who We Are

Our Purpose

Anti-Poverty Week supports the Australian community to have an increased understanding of poverty and to take action collectively to end it. We are a diverse network of individuals and organisations who share this purpose.  Since 2002, we have been active each year in the week around the 17th of October, the United Nations Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Our key message is: Poverty exists. Poverty hurts us all.  We can all do something about it.  It is one of hope, not despair.  In 2021, Anti-Poverty Week will be held from the the 17th to 23rd of October.  

Governance and Structure

The Week is coordinated through a National Facilitating Group, with two honorary National Co-Chairs and two part-time staff. Our finances have been kindly managed by Uniting Communities SA for many years. Key organisational roles are played by honorary Co-Chairs and Facilitating Groups in each State and Territory. Our National and State Facilitating Groups represent a large range of community organisations working to fight poverty all around Australia.  Many of these have been our long term financial sponsors and we have also been joined by some philanthropic funds, a number of unions and the University of New South Wales.

National Facilitating Group 2021:

National Co-Chairs:

Eileen Baldry AO, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Professor of Criminology, UNSW Sydney

Eileen Baldry (BA, DipEd, MWP, PhD, FASSA) is Deputy Vice-Chancellor Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Professor of Criminology at UNSW Sydney. Professor Baldry has held senior positions in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and is the first female Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UNSW. Professor Baldry has taught social policy, social development and criminology over the past 30 years. Her research and publications focus on social justice particularly in relation to the criminal justice system. She is currently a Director on the Board of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre as well as the UNSW lead for their Poverty and Inequality Partnership with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and joined APW as National Co-Chair in May 2018. Professor Baldry was awarded the NSW Justice Medal in 2009 and in 2016 was named in the AFR/Westpac 100 most influential women in Australia.

Ian Carter AM, CEO, Melville Cares

Ian Carter is the CEO of Melville Cares, a community based not-for-profit that provides aged care and disability services to veterans in WA. This comes after 24 years of serving as the CEO of Anglicare WA from 1995 to March 2019.  Ian’s career in community service, particularly in community capacity building and social justice, has been extensive and prolific. He has been involved in both creating and governing a wide range of community organisations at local, national and international levels. Previously he was a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Homelessness, as Deputy Chairman of the Board of Anglicare Australia, Deputy President of the ACOSS and President of Family Services Australia.  Ian has also been appointed or served on numerous West Australian taskforces. He was appointed as the Co Chair of Anti-Poverty Week in May 2018 after serving on the National Facilitating Group for over 10 years. Ian was inducted into the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2009 and was a member of the Board of White Ribbon Australia from April 2014 to 2019.


Lucia Boxelaar, Acting Executive Director, Brotherhood of St Laurence

Kasy Chambers, CEO, Anglicare Australia

Tony Keenan, General Manager, Community & Economic Development, City of Port Phillip

Michael Perusco, CEO, Berry Street

Simon Schrapel, Chief Executive, Uniting Communities SA

National Staff:

Toni Wren, Executive Director

Toni Wren joined Anti-Poverty Week in the new role of Executive Director in early 2019. She was Project and Policy Lead at the Australian Network on Disability from 2015-2018. Prior to that, Toni spent a decade advising leading non-profit agencies across Australia on employment and social policy research, development and advocacy, as well as non-profit management and strategic thinking. Between 1995 and 2005, Toni worked in employment and social policy in Japan, the USA and the UK. During her earlier career in Australia, she was a consultant to a Ministers and Shadow Ministers across the political spectrum and worked for ACOSS and the NSW Welfare Rights Centre. Toni was a member of the National Facilitating Group for Anti-Poverty Week from 2009 to 2018. She has a Masters in Non-profit Management from the New School for Social Research in New York, and undergraduate degrees in economics and business communication from Australian universities.

2021 Major Sponsors:

Brotherhood of St Laurence

Berry Street


Life Course Centre


St Vincent de Paul Society

2021 Sponsors:


Anglicare Australia

UnitingCare Australia

Australian Education Union

Uniting Communities SA

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

Uniting Vic. Tas

Salvation Army

Anti-Poverty Week 2021 State & Territory Co-Chairs

Australian Capital Territory

Jenny Kitchin

CEO, Woden Community Service

Emma Campbell

CEO, ACT Council of Social Service

New South Wales

Brad Webb

NCOSS Board Director, Former CEO Samaritans Newcastle

Joanna Quilty

CEO, NSW Council of Social Service

Northern Territory

Noelene Swanson

NT & WA State Director, Save the Children


Jason Ware

QLD State Director, Save the Children

Lindsay Wegener

Executive Officer, PeakCare QLD


South Australia

Helen Connolly

SA Children’s Commissioner


Kim Haworth

Divisional Commander, Salvation Army, TAS

Chris Demeyer

Family and Community Services Manager, Baptcare, TAS


Bronwyn Pike

CEO, Uniting Vic.Tas, VIC

Michael Perusco

CEO, Berry St, VIC

Western Australia

David Cain

Executive Director, Communicare

Greg Hebble

CEO, Foodbank, WA