Impact Fund: Tackling Inequality

Improving opportunities and life outcomes.

Tackling Inequality relates to social, economic, political, and cultural inequality. It is the unequal distribution of desirable life outcomes and the unequal distribution of opportunities that need to be addressed in an Australian context.

The need

In Australia, as well as globally, the risks associated with inequality are becoming increasingly recognised. For a country with strong values for  ‘a fair go’,  a person in the top 20% wealth group now has a staggering 70 times as much wealth as a person in the bottom 20%.

Studies into inequality in Australia have highlighted many issues, including:

  • Higher level of income inequality than global OECD averages, as well as a widening wealth gap
  • National gender “pay gap” has remained stuck between 15 per cent and 18 per cent for the past two decades.
  • Number of long-term unemployed (out of work for more than 12 months) people climbed to 190,000 in 2015, the highest level for 16 years. One in every four Australians now looking for a job falls into the category of long-term unemployed.

Funding focus

The Impact Fund aims to support projects or organisations working to combat the unequal distribution of opportunities across the social, economic, political, and cultural spheres. Examples include:

  • Ensuring access and fair treatment through the law and justice system
  • Universal access to education
  • Addressing inequalities between gender, race/cultures, and sexuality
  • Reducing the increasing gaps in income and wealth
  • Addressing the social determinants of health inequities.

Previous Impact Fund investments

In 2017, the Impact Fund supported the following important projects.

Alliance for Gambling Reform – Down, down, bets are down ($60,000 over 3 years 2017 – 2019)

Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) – Poverty and Inequality Partnership ($ 178,000 over 5 years 2017 – 2022)

ACOSS has partnered with the University of NSW to undertake a five-year collaboration to study the causes of poverty and inequality in Australia, and to identify policy changes and actions to reduce these social and economic problems.

Anglicare Tasmania – Tasmanian Poker Machine Reform ($30,000 in 2018)

Campaign to support an election pledge to remove poker machines in all pubs and clubs across Tasmania. Anglicare ran a non-partisan campaign, through TV and social media that illustrated the harm caused by pokies and supported the case for their removal.