Transforming Lives and Regions

Sustainable Development Goals BannerAustralia and the sustainable development goals

The Project

United nationsIn September 2015, the United Nations (UN) announced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals. The objective of the SDGs is to produce a set of universally applicable goals that balances three dimensions of sustainable development: environmental, social, and economic.

There are 17 goals and 169 targets to be met by 2030. Each country is to pick the number and range of Complementary National Indicators that best suit its needs and capacity to collect and analyse data.  The first UN report on the SDGs was launched in July 2016 at the UN high-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.  These goals are extremely relevant to the Global Challenges Program and specifically the overarching theme of Transforming Lives and Regions.

This project looks at the relevance of the SDGs for Australia. It will focus on the following questions:

  • How is Australia positioned to meet these goals?
  • What is Australia’s role in supporting the attainment of these goals in the region?
  • What are the policy implications at local, state and federal levels?
  • What is the role of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) in supporting the attainment of these goals in the region?
  • How can our research support the attainment of these goals?

It will build on UOW's previous commitment to research on human rights, equity, climate change, environment, food security and social justice issues and focus on selected targets related to these themes.

Each team member will focus on an individual goal, looking at policies and relevant statistical data on progress towards the target, and seek out examples of best practice in addressing each targets.  This approach will provide opportunities for reflection on the inter-relatedness of all of the targets, as well as conceptual questions of the inter-sectionality of dimensions of inequality and difference.  Furthermore it will look at how we can engage NGO stakeholders. 

Sustainable Development GoalsThe Researchers

The interdisciplinary team includes researchers from several discipline areas, early career researchers and HDR students as well as external partners.

Prof Vera Mackie - Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts
Is the Director of the Centre for Critical Human Rights Research, residing in the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry.  She will focus on SDG5 (with a particular focus on the girl child), building on her earlier work on human rights and human security. 

Dr Hironori Onuki - Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts
Works within the Centre for Critical Human Rights Research, residing the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry.  He will focus on SDG8 (in particular migrant workers), building on his doctoral work on migration. 

Assoc Prof Sarah O’Shea - Faculty of Social Sciences
Sarah will focus on SDG4 (in particular access to higher education), related to her current OLT and pending ARC Discovery application.

Dr Linda Steele - Faculty of Law
Linda works within the School of Law and is part of the Legal Intersections Research Centre.  Linda will focus on SDG3 (in particular persons with disabilities). This will build on her doctoral research.

Assoc Prof Karen Walton - Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health
Karen will focus on SDG 2 (in particular the nutritional needs of girls, women and older persons), building on her extensive experience as a researcher and as a dietitian in clinical and community settings working with vulnerable groups.

Dr Susan Engel - Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts
Susan works within the Centre for Critical Human Rights Research, residing the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry.  She will focus on SDG 6 (in particular access to sanitation), drawing on her research in development studies and her experience in the government, community and aid sectors.

Dr Nichole Georgeou - Western Sydney University
Nichole is the Director Humanitarian and Development Studies Research Initiative. She will focus on SDG17 (in particular public-private and civil society partnerships), drawing on her experience in NGOs and her research on volunteering. 

Last reviewed: 9 November, 2016

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