All societies have made some provision for the poor and destitute. The manner in which the very poor are taken care of has, however, changed dramatically over time in many countries. This has been the case as much in Australia over the years. Modern governments have long taken responsibility for providing for the needy and providing social protection for the aged, the unemployed and the disabled. Indeed, in the last 50 years this has come to be viewed as the primary function of government by many.