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The Difference Magazine: Connecting the Nation’s Richest and Poorest


22 March 2011 at 1:43 pm
Staff Reporter
A new magazine that gives a report card on poverty and disadvantage in Australia, and provides readers with donation options to address these issues has been launched by the Australian of the Year Simon McKeon.


Staff Reporter | 22 March 2011 at 1:43 pm


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The Difference Magazine: Connecting the Nation’s Richest and Poorest
22 March 2011 at 1:43 pm

A new magazine that gives a report card on poverty and disadvantage in Australia, and provides readers with donation options to address these issues has been launched by the Australian of the Year Simon McKeon.

“The Difference” magazine takes a unique approach to raising philanthropic funding for projects working to address poverty and disadvantage in Australia.

The Difference is the brainchild of Editor and social entrepreneur Nic Bolto, who says the goal of the magazine is to bring the issues, the people and solutions together in one place.

Bolto says the magazine is aimed at high-net worth individuals, encouraging Australia’s richest people to help address issues of poverty and disadvantaged facing the nation’s poorest.

The slick design and production values mean the magazine won’t look out of place on a board room table or coffee table in the big end of town.

The magazine includes a report card on disadvantage in Australia, complete with personal stories of people facing these issues, and then details projects that are ready for funding to address theses issues. The magazine contains an investment form, so between the covers of The Difference readers are able to learn about pressing social issues, discover projects working to address them and contribute to making a difference.

It also provides direct ways for readers to engage and make a difference. Targeted at high net worth individuals and corporates, the magazine identifies ten key indicators of poverty and provides a donations pathway for readers to support specific projects that will help to make a difference to each indicator.

Copies of the magazine have been sent to the chairs of the top 200 listed companies of the stock exchange, with a further 5000 copies to be sent to chairmen of publicly listed corporations, according to The Age newspaper.

The Difference says the 10 ‘social investment projects’ that are highlighted in the magazine for philanthropic funding are led by charities with reputation, capacity and a track record of success.

Nic Bolto says the magazine uses research by Access Economics to illustrate the scale of poverty and social exclusion in Australia, through the use of ten indicators with represent the different between “the community we wish for and the community we have”.

The indicators are:

  1.  Growth in the number of homeless people
  2.  Applicants on public housing waiting lists
  3.  Indigenous mortality rates
  4.  Child abuse and neglect
  5.  Drug use
  6.  Imprisonment
  7.  Suicide
  8.  Employment to Population ratio
  9.  Children living without an employed parent
  10.  Credit default and household debt.

Bolto says sadly a number of the indicators show a decline in Australia’s progress on being an inclusive society. Indicators like child abuse and neglect, suicide, rates of reimprisonment, homelessness, public housing waiting lists and credit default show Australia is becoming less inclusive as a society.

Bolta says The Difference wants people to ask themselves if these stories and statistics acceptable in Australia in 2011, and if not, what are they personally going to do to change them.

The Difference is a collaborative project funded by a range of philanthropic, corporate and individual donors. It has also been supported as a project of the Victorian Government’s Consumer Credit Fund and credit union mecu.

Editor Nic Bolto is CEO of disability employment services provider Ostara Australia and President of Melbourne based Not for Profit organisation Chapter Seven, the publishers of the magazine.

Chapter Seven was established in 2004 with the vision to create a ‘a more inclusive Australia’ and a mission to use philanthropy to ‘reduce the incidence of poverty’.

The Difference will be on sale in 2012 for $27.50, however the first edition is available for free from The Difference website – http://urthedifference.net.au/latestedition.html



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