20 Feb

World Day of Social Justice 2023

Anglicare Southern Queensland is committed to promoting social advocacy projects and, this year, we’re celebrating World Day of Social Justice (Monday 20th February).

In 2007, the United Nations declared February 20th as World Day of Social Justice. Each year, the event is supported with a different theme. This year’s theme is Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice.

What is World Day of Social Justice?

World Day of Social Justice was created to raise awareness and put an end to global inequities. The event encourages the importance of overcoming issues like gender inequality, systemic racism, unemployment, poverty and more.

The United Nations has a global mission to promote development and human dignity. They believe that this mission can be achieved through the elimination of inequities.

This year’s theme

This year’s World Day of Social Justice theme has been influenced by some of the economic and social disturbances that have plagued nations in recent years. This includes the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters and armed conflicts. The United Nations are encouraging us all to have conversations with local, state, national and international stakeholders to strengthen connections between communities and leaders.

Social justice in Queensland

Last year, the Salvation Army conducted their annual Social Justice Stocktake in each Australian State and Territory.

In Queensland, participants responded by offering their perspective on the top five social justice issues facing Queensland. They were:

  1. Housing affordability at 53.2%
  2. Mental health at 52%
  3. Alcohol and drug use at 47%
  4. Family violence at 40%
  5. Homelessness at 35.2%

Anglicare Southern Queensland is working to address all five of these issues through several of our Mental Health and Family Wellbeing services. Last year, we reported on rental affordability in the Greater Brisbane region (the Rental Affordability Snapshot 2022). Our report detailed how dire affordability was, and still is, revealing some of the worst results we’ve seen in a decade. This research was conducted to influence a response from governments and policy makers to support people in need. Ongoing discussions are still being conducted.

We know that housing affordability can lead to increased homelessness, which is another social justice issue that our organisation provides services for. Each year, our homelessness services support an increasing number of clients. Several fundraising initiatives and campaigns have been implemented to raise awareness of this issue and allow us to continue giving back to disadvantaged Queenslanders. However, we still need support.

Among the other issues that the Salvation Army identified, there are things that we can all do at a community and individual level to reduce the impact, including:

Eliminating homelessness and affordability constraints

For homelessness and housing affordability we can advocate, volunteer or donate to people experiencing hardship. Additionally, we can educate ourselves on the issue and show dignity and respect to people experiencing difficulties.

Mental health

Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding mental health issues remains evident in some communities. Education regarding mental health related issues is an important first step to change conversations at a community level. It’s important that people are supported to receive the help that they deserve.

Alcohol and drug issues

Queenslanders can do their part in fostering social connections which aren’t reliant on alcohol or drug use. Individuals should be encouraged to seek support if they are experiencing problematic drug or alcohol use. It’s also important that we show support and compassion to those who may be experiencing problematic use.

Family violence

There are numerous ways that we can tackle the issue of family violence from a community and individual level. Supporting victims of family violence is a priority, and as both individuals and a community, we can advocate for more governance that deters perpetrators from offending and supports victims by responding to them with compassion and support.

How to promote social justice

There are numerous ways that you can influence positive social justice outcomes. They include:

  1. Researching and understanding social justice issues within and outside of your community
  2. Partnering with local organisations and acquiring a greater network of connections
  3. Becoming an active and contributing member of your community by getting involved with stakeholders and understanding pressing issues
  4. Raising awareness of social justice issues
  5. Supporting political candidates who emphasise the importance of social justice
  6. Finding volunteer opportunities that promote social justice
  7. Donating to organisations that promote improved social justice outcomes


Pictured: Leanne Wood (left) with Tammy Lloyd (Right) speaking at a conference about Youth Justice in February 2023

Learn more about our advocacy efforts

Anglicare Southern Queensland is supportive of a more loving, just and inclusive society that reflects positive social justice outcomes. You can learn more about our advocacy efforts here.