Homeless People In Australia PhotoVoice

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Word Count

3000 words


Social Work


2 Days

Assignment Criteria

PhotoVoice is a research methodology commonly used with disadvantaged groups as a way to examine their interactions with, and perceptions of, the world. Photos become the visual image through which a story can be told.

In the first week, Chris Abani spoke about human rights in terms of dignity and what happens when it is oppressed – when basic freedoms are denied.

Choose a population group or an issue related to human rights and social justice where you believe dignity has been oppressed and freedoms have been denied. Using 3-5 photos (please do not include anyone's face), construct a narrative that you believe represents the current situation with this population group or issue and how a human rights-based practice within your discipline can advocate and empower people in such situations. For example, a photo of bars could represent imprisonment; a photo of two different hands together could represent the freedom to talk to an advocate. Use peer-reviewed articles and scholarly books, as well as media pieces, to justify and strengthen your arguments.

You won't be marked on your photographic skills but you will be marked on the strength of your arguments and narrative.

Your assignment will be marked out of 50 marks:

  • Academic writing – 5 marks 
  • Concepts (Content and issues) – 20 marks 
  • Analysis and Critique – 25 marks

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Assignment Solution


Poverty, living on the street, asking for alms etc. are scenarios traditionally associated with developing and poor countries in Asia and Africa. The pitfalls of capitalism and the global recession of 2009 whose effects are seen to be prolonged and felt even today has resulted in a section of people in developed countries losing all their money and facing sudden poverty (Baker & Lester, 2017). This has led to the appearance of a heartbreaking phenomenon called homelessness in developed countries like the UK, USA and also Australia. This essay puts forward the view that the human rights approach to homelessness views the issue of homelessness in its totality and is the best possible approach for people and institutions addressing the issue of homelessness to adopt. 

For arriving at a definition of homelessness, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) differentiates between rooflessness and homelessness (ABS, 2012). Mallet (Mallett, 2004) identifies the elements of a home such as a feeling of safety, privacy, stability and an ability to control living space etc. Technically speaking a person may have a roof over his head but not the other elements of a home. The above definition helps us differentiate between rooflessness and homelessness. It is a very heartbreaking phenomenon in Australia and the developed world today to see increasing numbers of people, sometimes even families facing both rooflessness and homelessness in varying degrees.

The Australian census does not directly measure the characteristic of homelessness. There are no current statistics for homeless people in Australia for 2016. The ABS has statistics for the number of homeless people in Australia in 2011 that have been derived from census data using analytical, statistical tools and from the way people respond to census questions  (ABS, 2016). The 2011 census determined that there are 1,05,237 homeless people in Australia. This translates as 1 in 200 people are homeless in Australia  (Hutt St Centre, 2017). Analysing the population of homeless people in Australia tells a very complicated story. People of all ages and from different walks of life end up homeless and on the streets of Australia for varying reasons.

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