August 08, 2012
Extracts from the study:
Some households struggled with daily necessities like food, and some children did not attend school when there was no food:
"My mum struggles, she gets paid on Thursdays but struggles on the Wednesday. Me and my brother if there is no food for school, we don't go to school at all. She has never sent us to school with no food." (Billie, female, 15 years, NSW).
One young person was not in education, training or employment or in receipt of any government benefit.
Interviewer: Do you ever not ask [for bus fare] because you are worried that your family doesn't have enough?
Response: Yes. A lot of my family use it more than I do. I don't need...
Interviewer: What kinds of things do you miss out on?
Response: Like say if I wanted, like stuff, shoes and that. Like this week I really needed, but parents just say they can't, but yes, those kinds of things.
Several young people clearly wanted to do more, but were missing out because their families couldn't afford it.
Interview with 'Max'
Boy: Oh I wouldn't mind playing cricket.
Interviewer: Cricket? What would stop you, is there a club around here?
Boy: Yes there is but…. I can't get in, too many people or something, I don't know. I heard that it's full.
Interviewer: I imagine it would be pretty popular. Does it, do you think it costs a lot to play something like cricket?
Boy: Yes, something like $200 a year, $250, something like that.
Interviewer: That is quite a bit. And would you be able to get the money for that, would your dad be able to get the money for that, if you wanted to play?
Boy: No, he wouldn't. I would have to somehow make a deal with the club, like I don't get a trophy at the end of the year so it saves a couple of bucks, I don't know. Somehow we would make a deal! Get it cheaper.
Interview with 'Rose'
Researcher: OK so when you were little you used to ask for lots of things and what changed, why?
Rose: I think all the yelling that we got threw me. So I got it (Rose, female, 12 years, NSW.
What Tessa, 15, said about her parents not having enough money:
"I wouldn't want to ask because I feel sorry for them."
Billie, 14, said that her mother's money conservation strategies impacted on her relationships with her friends:
"My mum doesn't like having [my friend] over when there isn't much food; she gets ashamed like she is going to go tell her mum. In case she says we didn't have much for dinner tonight."
Mitch told us about a variety of tactics that he and his friends used to get into swimming pools (several suburbs away), or hang out in games arcades with no money.
"Yeah I suppose like there's heaps of stuff yeah, there's a swimming centre you got to pay to get into and stuff like usually it's only like six or seven bucks to get in but some kids just can't you know, some kids just can't afford it yeah.
"I had no money when I was going into the swimming centre with mate. If one of them has been standing at the door and the lady's just [looked the other way] … walk on through! You know, cheers, and walk straight through."
Tahlia believed that attending a technology-oriented school offered better opportunities, she also recognised that this was not a viable option for her family due to the costs.
"I was going to go to Southern Falls High. Mum wanted me to go to Southern Falls but we couldn't afford like the bus passes and all that so we went to White Ibis Plains," she said.