The Australian Human Rights Institute has announced the successful recipients of its 2021 Seed Funding Round. 

UNSW academic staff who are Australian Human Rights Institute Associates were eligible to apply for 2021 seed funding grants in the range of $5,000-$10,000 for projects with a human rights focus.

Applications for the Institute's Small Funding Scheme remain open until 1 December 2021 and offers grants in the range of $500-$2,000 to Institute Associates. Application forms are available here.

The 2021 Seed Funding Round recipients are:

The Art of Human Rights: A Knowledge Translation Project By, With, and For Women Living with HIV in Australia

The study involves virtual tours and group discussions of the Positively Women Art Exhibition. The exhibition includes works of art created by women living with HIV throughout Australia. The research is being conducted to assess the transformative potential of arts-based approaches for reducing stigma and promoting human rights for people living with HIV, particularly women living with HIV. The exhibition launched in September at:

Project team:

  • Dr Allison Carter, Kirby Institute, UNSW
  • Dr Patricia Morgan, Kirby Institute, UNSW
  • Jane Costello, Positive Life NSW
  • A/Prof Christy Newman, Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW
  • Dr Asha Persson, Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW
  • Professor Katherine Boydell, Black Dog Institute, UNSW
  • Dr Deb Bateson, Family Planning NSW


Human rights implications of COVID-19 vaccine passports

This is an empirical ethics research project that aims to examine the potential impacts of a ‘vaccine passport’ using a human rights lens. It will identify the human rights impacts that the introduction of a vaccine passport could have on populations who experience vulnerability and/or marginalisation in the health context.

Project team:

  • Dr Bridget Haire
  • Dr Jane Williams
  • Professor Jackie Leach Scully


The Impact of Human Rights-Related Stressors during the Refugee Determination Process on Mental Health in the Context of Sustained Displacement

The aim of this project is to identify what aspects of the Refugee Determination Process in Indonesia are associated with feelings of injustice for refugees in sustained displacement. Associations between stressors and mental health will be investigated as well as what coping strategies improve wellbeing in these contexts that can be shared with service providers and stakeholders in Indonesia and in similar contexts globally.

Project team:

  • Professor Angela Nickerson - UNSW/Science/Psychology/Refugee Trauma and Recovery Program 
  • David Keegan - CEO of HOST International 
  • Zico Pestalozzi - SUAKA Legal Aid Indonesia
  • Assistant Professor Randy Nandyatama - Institute of International Studies/Department of International Relations/Universitas Gadjah Mada in Indonesia
  • Diah Tricesaria - HOST International and Monash University


Let’s talk about tax – Identifying and supporting women experiencing economic abuse

Despite appearing gender-neutral, Australia’s tax-transfer system gives rise to de facto discrimination and gender inequality. This research, led by UNSW Tax Clinic, will: (1) explore the use of the Clinic as a safe mechanism for screening for domestic and family violence (with a focus on economic abuse); (2) address the knowledge gap around the otherwise unmet need for independent tax advice among women experiencing economic abuse; and, (3) evaluate whether mental health and financial wellbeing outcomes are improved among women experiencing economic abuse who are otherwise unable to access independent tax advice and referrals to domestic violence support services.

Project team: 

  • Associate Professor Ann Kayis-Kumar, School of Accounting, Auditing & Taxation, UNSW
  • Professor Jan Breckenridge, Head of School of Social Sciences, UNSW
  • Dr Jack Noone, Centre for Social Impact, UNSW
  • Dr Youngdeok Lim, School of Accounting, Auditing & Taxation, UNSW
  • Professor Michael Walpole, School of Accounting, Auditing & Taxation, UNSW
  • Lily Pan, Final Year Student, UNSW Faculty of Law & Justice


From Blackbirding to the Season Workers’ Programme: Tracking Inter-Generational Vulnerability

This project aims to create the prototype for an online, searchable Pacific Voyages database to tell the story of kidnapping, slavery and indenture in the Pacific. The database will allow connections between blackbirding and Seasonal Workers Programmes today to be researched and interrogated by lawyers, community activists, descendants, and other researchers. 

Project team:

  • Scientia Associate Professor Emma Christopher
  • Laureate Postdoctoral Fellow Emma Thomas
  • Waskam Emelda Davis, Chairwoman of the Australian South Sea Islanders, Port Jackson