Emergency situations are traumatic to anyone who experiences them. However, it is the most vulnerable members of society that are affected the most. According to studies by Professor Peter Saunders, Research Chair at the UNSW Social Policy Research Centre, 14% of Australians are unable to raise $2000 within a week in a case of emergency. A tenth of Australians is unable to afford home contents insurance, which inevitably will make the recovery from an emergency event more difficult and put the victims in a still more precarious situation.
Professor Saunders is an advocate for a more comprehensive understanding of what defines poverty given that those who experience it are facing significant and debilitating restrictions on their social and material wellbeing. That is why a recent approach to research is looking at deprivation and social exclusion at indicators for poverty.
Professor Saunders will address attendees at the inaugural National Emergency Relief Summit, to be held in March in Sydney. He will outline recent trends in poverty and inequality as well as addressing these issues when providing emergency relief.
Peter Saunders was the Director of the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) from February 1987 until July 2007, and now holds a Research Chair in Social Policy within the Centre. His research interests include poverty and income distribution, household needs and living standards, social security reform, comparative social policy and ageing and social protection in China. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 1995, and is currently an Australian Professorial Fellow working on the concepts and measurement of poverty and inequality, and on deprivation and social exclusion in Australia.
He has worked as a consultant for a range of national and international organisations, including the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the OECD, the IMF, the Asian Development Bank, the International Social Security Association, and the Royal Commission on Social Policy in New Zealand. He was appointed a Sciential Professor by UNSW in 2006, in recognition of his research contribution and eminence. He was elected President of the Foundation for international Studies on Social Security (FISS) in June 2009. Professor Saunders was elected as the inaugural President of the Australian Social Policy Association.
Visit the National Emergency Relief Summit website for more information about the speaker line-up and to register.