Community Engagement

The UNSW School of Social Sciences is committed to being a valued partner, making an impact on contemporary and social issues, providing expertise and thought leadership, and contributing to public debate.

Integrating Study & Work

Our School has extensive experience in integrating study and work experience and engages with a wide range of audiences and external stakeholders, including:

The School of Social Sciences is engaging with an increasing number of private sector and corporate entities, professional associations and multilateral organisations on research programs and linkages, consultancy services, student internships and graduate placements.

IFC and the Business Coalition For Women

Researchers from UNSW's Gendered Violence Research Network, located in the School of Social Sciences, are partnering with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Pacific Adventist University in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to examine the impacts of family and sexual violence (FSV) on the workplace in PNG. This includes the development of culturally-appropriate, gender-sensitive and gender-equitable strategies for employers to address the effects of FSV on their employees and organisations. The team has created PNG’s first ‘Model Policy on Family and Sexual Violence’ based on international good practice and participatory research in PNG. The current phase involves providing implementation support for local employers through research, training and advisory services, as well as building the capacity of local trainers.

Australian Council of Trade Unions

A long-term collaboration between researchers from the School of Social Sciences and the ACTU has already led to domestic violence clauses for around 1.6 million workers in Australia. Currently, the partners are conducting an online survey of employer experiences of the implementation of domestic violence clauses. This will provide evidentiary material for a case which the ACTU will take to the Fair Work Commission in 2015 for the inclusion of domestic violence paid leave in modern awards.

UNSW’s School of Social Sciences is a valued partner to National and State government departments, agencies and other public sector entities through our extensive research, as well as our involvement in advisory committees and other government-appointed bodies.

NSW Department of Housing

Since 1995, the UNSW Community Development Project (UNSW CDP) has developed strong relationships between UNSW, public housing tenants in Sydney and the NSW Department of Housing, and provided resources and support to build the capacity of the local community for neighbourhood improvement/renewal.

NSW Department of Justice

The School of Social Sciences has been instrumental in UNSW’s 20-year relationship with the NSW Department of Justice through continuous ARC and Category 2/3 grants involving divisions such as Juvenile Justice, Corrective Services, Legal Aid and the Police. In addition to building expert research and knowledge in key areas, our staff members contribute to the Department’s role through numerous ministerial, law reform and advisory committees.

NSW Health

The School of Social Science’s longstanding relationship with NSW Health has resulted in ARC and NHMRC research projects to measure, understand and catalogue best practice responses to intimate partner violence. This has included the development of close working relationships with rural and urban Local Health Districts and Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health services.

UNSW’s School of Social Sciences engages with a wide cross-section of civil society including international and local non-government organisations, philanthropic foundations, community-based and grassroots organisations, and corresponding multilateral bodies.

Barnardos Australia

Collaboration between Elizabeth Fernandez from UNSW’s School of Social Sciences and Barnardos Australia on ARC-funded research on outcomes for children in care has progressed to research commercialisation benefitting the child welfare sector nationally through initiatives such as the Practice Development Centre, the Looking After Children (LAC) project, and the Supporting Children and Responding to Families (SCARF) model.

Ted Noffs Foundation

Academics from the UNSW School of Social Sciences are partnering with the Ted Noffs Foundation on a 2014-2017 ARC Linkage research project to examine the benefits of life management development for young people using alcohol and drugs who are caught up in the criminal justice system.

UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees)

UNSW’s Centre for Refugee Research (CRR), located in the School of Social Sciences, has collaborated with UNHCR on research and advocacy initiatives for over a decade. This has led to significant improvements in protection for refugee women and girls at risk of sexual and gender-related violence. UNSW is one of the few international universities to have a MOU with UNHCR. In addition, staff and student interns are actively involved in UNHCR's Annual Consultations with NGOs in Geneva, and other high-level UNHCR meetings.

UNICEF Vietnam

Richard Hugman from UNSW’s School of Social Sciences has worked closely with UNICEF Vietnam for over a decade to advise the Vietnam Government on the development of professional social work. These efforts were instrumental in the government’s decision in 2010 to formally establish social work as a profession, and the project continues to examine the implementation of social work services in Vietnam.c nisi leo, hendrerit vitae scelerisque sed, molestie congue justo.

The academic staff at UNSW’s School of Social Sciences are active contributors to domestic and international media through commentary, feature articles and opinion pieces. Some examples are listed below. For a full list of articles, please visit our newsroom.  

ABC – The Drum

Mark Rolfe comments on why politicians are often quick to level accusations of dishonesty at each other: When is a lie not a lie in politics?

The Age

Elizabeth Fernandez discusses the critical need for data about the lifelong impacts of growing up in institutional care: Finding the forgotten Australians – UNSW research project into children's homes

The Australian Financial Review

Alan Dupont, defines the new security challenges for Australia and the US: Australia's importance as US ally increasing, says professor

The Conversation

Anthony Billingsley comments on the likelihood of continued violence in Gaza: The Gaza bloodshed demands a proper process of accountability

Daily Life

A study by Associate Professor Jan Breckenridge and Dr Jesse Cale provides keen insight into young Australians aged 16–25 and their views towards gender stereotypes and violence in Australian society: ‘Five things we know about young people’s view on domestic violence

The Guardian

Dr Aminath Didi and Professor Leanne Dowse share report findings which show that the discussion around domestic violence has so far excluded the experience of victims living with a disability: ‘Domestic violence more severe against women with disabilities, research shows

Nikkei Asian Review

Monika Barthwal-Datta explains why there is still cause for concern despite the recent slide in global food prices: Low prices aren't a food security panacea


Claudia Tazreiter highlights how Australia's treatment of asylum policy is influencing other countries, such as Indonesia and Malaysia: UNHCR 'extremely alarmed' at reports of boat turnbacks

The Sydney Morning Herald

Siobhan O’Sullivan cautions that proposed laws are designed to ensure activists could not let the community know about the abuse of animals: New laws could stop revelations of animal abuse

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