This project is a study of poverty in Australia in 2020 and 2021, the first two years of Australian responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on the experiences and insights of people in poverty during that time. The project aimed to explore the lived experiences of poverty among people who were most vulnerable to the shocks to public health and the economy brought by the pandemic, and the accompanying impacts on health, education, housing, and social participation. The project also aimed to analyse the benefits and strengths of policy responses designed to increase the robustness and scope of the social safety net during this time, and lessons that could be learnt from these responses for longer-term policy change. The project uses two primary sources of qualitative data to meet these aims: interviews with people who have experienced poverty, and published research with service providers and others who work with people living in poverty.

The project is an outcome from the Australian Council of Social Services and UNSW Sydney Poverty and Inequality Partnership, a research and impact collaboration to sharpen the national focus on poverty and inequality in Australia. The partnership monitors trends in poverty and inequality over time, explores drivers, and develops solutions to sharpen the focus and stimulate action to tackle these policy challenges.

For more information, visit the Poverty & Inequality website

Research Centre

Social Policy Research Centre

Research Area

Measures of Social Inequality and Wellbeing | Families and Communities

Related people

Research Director and Associate Professor kylie valentine
Research Director and Associate Professor