Goal #1

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

UN SDG 1 icon for No Poverty

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

UNSW is committed to reducing poverty and demonstrates its commitment through:

  • Research that tackles poverty, inequality, wellbeing and justice
  • Education programs that nurture students and create opportunities for economic security
  • Support for students from low-SES backgrounds, through financial support and scholarships
  • Collaborative work to improve the quality of life for people around the world

How do we end poverty?

SDG #1 defines extreme poverty as people living on less than $1.90 a day. This amount is clearly relative but we can see that when we talk about extreme poverty, it is a matter of bare essentials. 'No poverty' is the first SDG for good reason. We know poverty makes vulnerable people even more vulnerable, it goes hand in hand with SGD #2 No Hunger, and is exacerbated by all forms of inequality, including gender inequality (SDG #5), and intimately linked to a lack of access to education (SDG #4). But lifting individuals out of poverty does not end the circumstances that create poverty. And if poverty persists in a wealthy country like Australia, how do we eradicate it on a global scale?

In this video, Dr Jinki Trevillian from the Centre for Social Impact, UNSW, breaks down some of the key challenges behind SDG #1. 

UNSW and the Australian Council of Social Service have partnered to undertake a five year research and impact collaboration to sharpen the national focus on poverty and inequality in Australia.


The Social Policy Research Centre is dedicated to tackling critical social issues through research with a focus on poverty, inequality, wellbeing and justice. We are also experts in evaluating programs to improve outcomes for individuals and communities.


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Talking about poverty and disadvantage at UNSW

Following a 2023 survey to gain a greater understanding of UNSW students’ attitudes and awareness of poverty and inequality, UNSW and ACOSS produced this video to share information with students about support available at UNSW and make finding assistance easier.

Access & Equity 

The 2025 University Strategy includes a commitment to developing student access and support activities that position UNSW as a leader, ensuring we nurture students of high potential regardless of their background. The Access and Participation Plan commits to increasing the participation and achievement of students from all equity backgrounds.

UNSW Tax Clinic

The UNSW Business School Tax Clinic was launched in mid-2019. Under the directorship of its founder, Associate Professor Ann Kayis-Kumar (School of Accounting, Auditing & Taxation), the Clinic has proven to be an impactful initiative that provides access to free, independent and confidential tax advice for individuals and small business owners in severe financial distress, and invaluable student development opportunities. As a teaching clinic, it also offers year-round opportunities to both enrolled students and student volunteers.

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UNSW Social Policy
Research Centre (SPRC)

UNSW Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) undertakes independent research on critical social issues, engaging in policy design, impact and evaluation & design and delivery of systems to improve social outcomes. Researchers review the implementation and effectiveness of services, programs and policies through program evaluation and policy analysis.

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The Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP)

Aims to increase the awareness of new and existing support services available to students including financial hardship support and assistance. The FIAP focuses on areas including: providing products and services that provide financial education, support to all students and assistance to those facing financial hardship.


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The Access and Participation Plan

The Plan commits to building strong partnerships with both Sydney metro and rural NSW schools identified as being disadvantaged to build social capital within these communities.

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Talks & Film Screening on Homelessness

Image of the two characters in the movie 'Some Happy Day' (2021)

Housing Law at UNSW Law & Justice has been taught every year for ten years, and to mark the occasion, this event aims to increase awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness, and the supports available, particularly for UNSW students experiencing, or at risk of homelessness.

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Housing birds eye view

Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI)

UNSW researchers & researchers at other universities partner with the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), which undertakes evidence-based policy development on a range of topics including tenancy reforms, housing & labour markets, urban growth & renewal, supply & affordability, homelessness, social cohesion & wellbeing.

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Staff Hardship Fund

UNSW has a dedicated Staff Hardship Fund. Financial assistance can be granted to assist with immediate and essential expenses including bills or rent, temporary accommodation or food insecurity. 

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Refugee and Asylum Seeker Scholarships 

UNSW has introduced two scholarships to support talented students who are asylum seekers or refugees, to engage in tertiary education.

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Poverty, equity and the drivers of health. Decolonising global health means a dismantling of privilege and the structural barriers to health, both across countries and within. In a world where everyone’s health matters, whose knowledge do we value? Whose voice is loudest and how do we shift the dial?  

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Good Economics for Hard Times

Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee were winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics for their ground-breaking work on solving global poverty. In conversation with UNSW Professor Rosalind Dixon, they explore how cutting-edge economics can take on these challenges and bring the world back from the brink.

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UNSW Sustainable Development Goals 2022 Report

This report outlines UNSW's performance against the SDGs in 2022.


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