Meredith is a 35-year old mum with an eight-year old son. She is currently studying four days a week, hoping that better qualifications will be the key that will lead her and her son out of a life of poverty. Meredith struggles with the high cost of living in Sydney, and while life was tough on the PPS, under Newstart it is nearly unbearable. Even with Rent Assistance Newstart only just covers the cost of their tiny two-bedroom unit, 30 minutes drive from TAFE and school. After being put on Newstart Meredith had to pull her son out of his only extra-curricular activity – gymnastics, once a week – because she could no longer afford the $15. She’s worried she’ll have to withdraw from her studies because she can’t afford it anymore, and feels she can no longer shield her son from the realities of a life of poverty.