Songwriters Required: JobSeeker Anthem Song Contest To Raise Awareness For The Plight Of Australia's Unemployed/ Underemployed

Entries for the JobSeeker Anthem Song Contest close on 5 September.
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

Poverty exists. Poverty hurts us all. Australia can do better.

A new, one-off song competition for indie Australian singer-songwriters aims to raise awareness for the plight of unemployed or underemployed in Australia, many of whom are living below the poverty line.

The JobSeeker Anthem Song Contest will offer a $10,000 cash prize for the winner (plus a full day recording session), with the winning song to be used in a future campaign to drive forward the paramount need to increase the JobSeeker payment.

To be in the running, musicians need to write and record an anthem that represents those unable to make ends meet on current income support.

For the vast majority of people dependent on JobSeeker payments or similar income support payments, the daily $44 payment results in making choices between providing food for their family or paying an electricity bill (choices no one should have to make).

The competition is driven by award-winning mental health music charity Listen Up Music and philanthropic group Wyatt Trust.

"There was widespread support for a raise in income support rates, but the resulting $4 per day earlier this year did little to change things for people living in poverty," competition co-convenor Stacey Thomas, CEO of The Wyatt Trust, says.

"We need to continue to give voice to those on JobSeeker and having an anthem that speaks to the dilemmas they face is a new way of doing this."

Adds Listen Up Music Co-Founder and CEO Ali Taylor: "Music is a universal language. We know that people experiencing different forms of adversity find not only solace, but voice and community through song.

"This competition expands our reach from those passionate about positive mental health to a larger group whose financial hardship has far-reaching health and well-being impacts."

More than 100 people have contributed to a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money for the cash prize. "Providing, along with others, a donation towards the $10,000 anthem prize was easy," song contest co-convenor Paul Madden says.

"The hard part is understanding why our government persists in refusing to provide a basic safety net for those who are unemployed or underemployed."

Entries for the JobSeeker Anthem Song Contest close at 11:59pm EST on 5 September. More information.

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