Singers and Songwriters In Running for $10,000 Prize To Give Voice to Those On Low Incomes

6 July 2021 | 10:11 am | Mallory Arbour

Listen Up Music and philanthropic group Wyatt Trust have joined forces to create a competition to campaign the need for increased support for JobSeeker.

Award-winning mental health music charity Listen Up Music and philanthropic group Wyatt Trust have joined forces to create a songwriting competition to campaign the need for increased support for JobSeeker.

A new song competition with a $10,000 cash prize will be launched on 6 July 2021 to give voice to those who are unemployed or underemployed. Australian musicians are asked to write and record their best anthem, one that represents those unable to make ends meet on current income support and submit this by 5 September 2021 to be in the running for the prize.

The one-off song competition is responding to the community outrage that people on JobSeeker Payment, and similar income support payments, are being forced to live below the poverty line. A payment of $44 a day results in people having to choose between things like providing food for their family or paying an electricity bill.

Raising awareness of the plight of people forced to live below the poverty line, when they are unable to secure work or underemployed, is the aim of the competition.

Competition co-convenor Stacey Thomas, CEO of The Wyatt Trust states, “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. 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.”

In providing the platform for the competition, Ali Taylor, Listen Up Music Co-Founder and CEO says, “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.”

The support for the message of raising the rate of income support has not only been evidenced in public sentiment from politicians and business leaders, but also the 100+ people who are contributing to the crowdfunding campaign to raise the cash prize.

Song contest co-convenor, Paul Madden, says, “Providing, along with others, a donation towards the $10,000 anthem prize was easy. The hard part is understanding why our government persists in refusing to provide a basic safety net for those who are unemployed or underemployed.”

The JobSeeker Anthem Song Contest will be open from 6 July 2021 and submissions close at 11:59 pm Sunday 5 September 2021. Entries can be lodged online here.

Listen Up Music is an award-winning, registered mental health charity that runs music-focused events and education. Listen Up Music has partnered with concerned citizens who want to highlight how the inadequate rate of income support drives inequality and poverty. The adverse impact of the low rate of JobSeeker includes increasingly poor mental health and further barriers to seeking support and treatment. 

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Image: Supplied