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Our work is done by people who rely on social security payments to live and those subjected to harmful social policies, including by exclusion from support. We are experts because we are subjected to the policies we seek to change.

The Antipoverty Centre’s operations coordinators are responsible for planning our activities and assisting people who take on an organiser or contributor role. The oversight committee supports operations by ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Operations coordinators

Jay Coonan, research and policy

Kristin O’Connell, research, policy and communications

Oversight committee 

Joey King and Dr Elise Klein, co-convenors

Priya Kunjan and Paul McMillan, co-secretaries

Maiy Azize, treasurer

AC collective

Rafi Alam
Rafi is a campaign director at GetUp, and has a doctorate in sociology looking at labour issues, legal justice, and social movements. Ed’s note: a huge nerd. Follow him on Twitter.

Mel Fisher
Mel is an unemployed artist and antipoverty advocate. Read her Guardian article about life after the COVID supplement. She is a proud owner of brand new teeth thanks to the generosity of her community. Follow her on Twitter.

Joey King
Joey is an unemployed social worker who advocates for people who are homeless and critiques harmful media. You can read Joey’s story on the Guardian, her essay on poverty, or listen to her recent interview with Noongar radio here. Resident dog lover. Follow Joey on Twitter.

El Gibbs
El is a disabled person, award winning writer and disability advocate who works in policy and communications. Follow her on Twitter.

Jess Kendall
Jess is the founding co-director of the Economic Media Centre and supports people from marginalised groups to develop media skills for self-advocacy.

Oversight committee 

Tabitha Lean
Tabitha is a Gunditjmara storyteller, writer, abolition activist and ex-prisoner. Follow her on Twitter.

Elisha Portelli
Elisha is an essential worker, unionist and advocate for low-income and insecurely employed workers. Read Elisha’s essay, You Belong To Us, from the Green Institute’s recent ebook on the future of welfare. Important to note: obsessive bird lover.

Jeremy Poxon
Jeremy is an unemployed antipoverty activist and former spokesperson for the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union. He is leading a campaign to abolish Work for the Dole and all forms of forced and coercive labour. Known for: popularising strawby milk. Follow Jeremy on Twitter.

Erica Watson
Erica is a mature-age student and active member of the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union. She is the 2020 recipient of the Myint Zan Prize for the Philosophy of Science and contributed to the senate inquiry into the Disability Support Pension. You can read about Erica’s story and her perspective on changes to university funding in the Canberra Times.

Get in touch with members of the AC collective via email: team@antipovertycentre

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