Sometimes, A Little Help Is All We Need
Earlier in the year, regular Australian funny man, Wil Anderson, made comments in support of the dole.
As a comedian, he knows all about what it is like to start out and the struggles that come with this.
In a news.com.au article, Anderson said “I can’t imagine any stand up comedian who didn’t go through a period on the dole.”
Many musicians, actors, artists, comedians and various other creative types fully commit to their work and in order to do so, they often find that it means giving up their jobs to pursue their dreams.
The dole is not a choice but is often turned to when creatives want to get serious about their work. Lacking proper financial support, many seek welfare payments to tide them over just in the beginning while they get started.
Despite being a well known comedian who takes a crack at almost everything, it wasn’t very much fun living on welfare payment back in his early days.
Anderson recounts what life was like then telling news.com.au that “People don’t want to be on the dole, it’s always been this idea that it’s easy, but it’s terrible having no money, doing all the pointless work, constantly being rejected.”
“I would catch up with people from uni and would pray that when the bill came I would only have to pay for what little I ate, if someone suggested splitting the bill eight ways I would be f***ed for the week.”
But look at him now. Imagine if we didn’t give him a chance. Imagine if it was in our current context, where the government is looking to restrict the access to unemployment benefits. Would he have taken the risk? Would Anderson have pursued his career, become incredibly successful and given the Australian public plenty of laughs?
We need to keep the unemployment system as it is and make accessible to everyone. It isn’t fair to limit people in pursuing their dreams, in particular in the arts and culture sphere as Australian society will suffer for it in the end.
Keep the dole system as it is because you never know where another talented person could be who just needs a helping hand.