About 550 Reasons to Smile

550 Reasons to Smile began with the happiness of a mother finally able to afford a new pair of pyjamas and sparked the desire to share our stories of simple joys while temporarily raised out of poverty during the COVID-19 crisis. Those existing on JobSeeker Payments (formerly Newstart Allowance) survived on just $40 a day and went without many basic necessities, such as adequate heating, food, and access to essential medical services. The COVID-19 supplement has essentially doubled this amount, easing intense financial stress and poor sleep, while giving us the opportunity to smile with full bellies and warm clothes.

Unfortunately, these necessities are temporary and come September we will be plunged back into poverty and the constant struggle to make ends meet. Once more our bellies and our children’s bellies will cry with hunger and those essential medications must once more be rationed, but for a few brief months we will smile at the simple joy of a new pair of pyjamas and a trip to the dentist.