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Thanks for your interest in the Abolish Work for the Dole campaign. We’re working to end all forms of coercive labour imposed on people who rely on the social security system. The AWFTD campaign is for people who on welfare payments, led by people on welfare payments. It is supported by the Antipoverty Centre.

Our goals are clear on the path to full abolition: we want to get as many people out of the program as possible. If you’re stuck on a Work for the Dole site or are being bullied into dangerous and humiliating activities to keep your welfare payment you are not alone – we are here to help. You can reach us via awftd@antipovertycentre.org.

PHASE 1: Identify the worst offenders

We’re running the most comprehensive survey ever conducted about all forms of coercive labour inflicted on unemployed and disabled people through ‘mutual’ obligations. Our first goal is to abolish Work for the Dole.

We are documenting people’s experiences to develop a list of the worst organisations involved in Work for the Dole, Community Development Program, Local Jobs Program, PaTH, ParentsNEXT, volunteering, training, wage subsidies and Australian Disability Enterprises. By sharing your experiences, you will help us pressure job agencies, charities, politicians and others involved in the poverty machine to end their support of ‘mutual’ obligations.

If you’ve done ‘mutual’ obligations yourself, either now or in the past, please complete the survey, and share it with others in the system if you feel comfortable doing so.

We’ll be reading every survey carefully and following up with people who request that we do so, and those who might need assistance dealing with their provider or host organisation.

HOW TO SUPPORT AWFTD

First and foremost, spread the word. If you have friends or family who’ve been on Centrelink payments please share the survey with them.

We also need financial support. AWFTD and the Antipoverty Centre do not receive any funding. Our work is made possible with the help of allies in our fight. We don’t want to reproduce the conditions we campaign against. We pay people to work on this campaign to ensure we have the widest possible reach and that every person who responds to our survey is cared for. If you are comfortably able to do so, we’d be grateful for any contribution, small or large.

900 active Work for the Dole sites as of January 2022. A full list of sites was provided by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment in response to a senate estimates question on notice. DESE did not provide addresses. The name of each location was searched and matched before being added to this map. Some locations were unable to be identified. A full list of location names is available here: https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloadestimatesquestions/EstimatesQuestion-CommitteeId4-EstimatesRoundId13-PortfolioId33-QuestionNumber72

WHAT’S NEXT?

We have a long term plan, including:

  1. Providing resources to people with ‘mutual’ obligations to help them assert their rights and organise other people at their job agency, Work for the Dole site, or other host organisation.
  2. Working with unions and community groups to create a network of organisations that will join us in campaigning against coercive labour programs.
  3. Building a coalition of charities and local governments who refuse to use Work for the Dole labour.
  4. Mobilising allies in the community to contact charities and politicians at all levels of government about their objections to ‘mutual’ obligations and why they support our campaign.
  5. Lobbying organisations that currently use Work for the Dole labour to divest from the program and transition to become volunteering sites.
  6. Coordinating boycotts of organisations that refuse to divest, including discouraging donations to charities that exploit Work for the Dole labour.
  7. Making the continuation of Work for the Dole, and all forms of coercive labour, untenable.

Getting in touch

You can contact us via awftd@antipovertycentre.org or send a message using the form below. You’ll be sent a copy when you submit so you have a record.

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