It is one of the wealthiest countries on Earth - enriched by the bounty of a once-in-a lifetime mining boom - but Australia remains bedevilled by a rising number of its children living in poverty.

Trapped by disadvantage are more than 730,000 youngsters, according to the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS).

It laments a "national shame", and its research suggests about 13% of the population - or three million people - are living below the breadline.

Indigenous children suffer more than their non-Aboriginal counterparts. Single-parent families also endure great hardship.