The University of Wollongong is committed to working towards the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its governance, teaching and learning, community engagement, partnerships and research. The following initiatives are by UOW staff and students working towards SDG 2: No Hunger.
Goal 2: No Hunger
Food+ With Care Initiative
UOW staff from across the institution have offered time and financial support to collaborate with community organisations and charities to distribute hot meals, frozen meals, groceries, toiletries and sanitary items in “Panty Packs” to student based in both Wollongong and Sydney. To date over 4000 students have received this support, with donations from staff and community in excess of $55,000.Read more about the Food+ initiative
Healthy Cities Illawarra
UOW’s partnership with Healthy Cities Illawarra, aims to address the underlying social, economic and environmental causes of health inequity. Healthy Cities Illawarra is a local organisation working to create healthy environments and enable healthy choices for the people of the Illawarra and Shoalhaven. Together, we are committed to taking action to prevent and control diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, asthma, dementia, depression and anxiety.
Hidden Harvest Wollongong
Hidden Harvest is a volunteer-fuelled, not for profit organisation based in the Illawarra region upskilling communities to tackle food waste and serve up a more sustainable future. Hidden Harvest has partnered with Sofie Kokalevski, the business development lead for the work-integrated learning subject Career-Ready Learning and Practice to provide numerous UOW students with a variety of meaningful internship opportunities. Hidden Harvest was the winner of the ACEN 2020 Local Hero Award. The Local Hero Award is awarded to a partner organisation that is a small-medium enterprise whose engagement with a university in WIL and whose contribution to the WIL experience of students, is above and beyond the expectation of the size of their organisation.
Foodways is a group of UOW researchers investigating what, how, and why we eat. The group strives to understand the intersection of food, environment and society, from local through to global perspectives, through aligning with the UN SDGs to promote inclusion and connection through food. Foodways brings novel and diverse approaches to complex issues around food, including community and key stakeholders’ perspectives to provide a new lens to disrupt and reform current food systems policies and processes. Foodways’ aim is to increase food autonomy, food system sustainability, and overall health and well-being.
Most vegan-friendly university in Australia
UOW is committed to providing a broad range of food options and was named Australia’s most vegan-friendly university in 2017, by the international group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Regenerative agriculture research
Regenerative agriculture is an environmentally sustainable way of farming that takes a holistic approach to land management. It emphasises improving soil quality naturally, increasing biodiversity, and enhancing soil carbon sequestration and soil water retention. This study looks at the social and emotional journey of farmers.read more about the project
The Sunraysia Burundian Garden arose via a collaboration between UOW researcher Natascha Klocker, University of Melbourne, refugees from Burundi (living in Mildura) and Sunraysia Local Food Future. Many refugees come from agricultural backgrounds, but face obstacles to farming once in Australia. This research shows that many former refugees living in Australia have a desire to access land on which to grow culturally important crops, but can’t afford to do so due to the cost of farmland. Refugees also struggle to access employment and thus experience protracted unemployment. This research partnership aims to determine how we can come together to match ‘landless’ refugee farmers with unused farmland.
Community-based management of coastal fisheries
This project investigates sustainable community-based management of coastal fisheries with over 100 local communities in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Outreach involves community awareness presentations, facilitation of development of community-based fisheries management plans, and training for community monitors to track catch in select sites with the goal to support adaptive management by communities.
Sustainable food systems and fisheries
UOW is home to the globally recognised Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources & Security (ANCORS), which is dedicated to delivering specialised research, advisory services, education and training in ocean law and policy, maritime security, and marine resources management. ANCORS’ world class multidisciplinary research includes investigating fish in sustainable food systems and fisheries economics management. As fisheries supply over 15 per cent of the animal protein consumed by 4.2 billion people globally and thus are an integral component in reducing hunger and ensuring sustainable fishing practices and capacity building.
Fish, food and security
This research supports the development of an integrated approach to address under-nutrition in children and over-nutrition (obesity) in adults by positioning food security as the central drive for sustainably managing coastal fisheries in the Pacific islands.read more about the fish, food and security project
Researchers from UOW’s Centre for Bioinformatics and Biometrics are working on cutting edge, free statistical software for rapid throughput, high quality grain research. Mathematical models are used by plant breeders around the world to select which crop varieties should be planted to maximise yield in the face of climate change and diseases.
The new system, called mfxlm, stands for the Mixed Effects Linear Models used to model the experimental results. Mfxlm is a free, open source software package, designed to be run on everything from laptops to on-demand cloud processing to supercomputers, supporting researchers here and in the developing world to move towards computationally efficient and reliable selection of the best crop varieties to grow.
Statistical tools to reduce hunger
Feeding the world and reducing poverty rely on increased agricultural productivity and sustainable food production. Publicly and privately funded plant breeders are continuously striving to produce new varieties with improved yields, resistance to constantly mutating diseases and resilience to our changing climate.
Statisticians from the University of Wollongong’s Centre for Bioinformatics and Biometrics collaborate with a network of Australian researchers and crop breeders to identify international crop genetic material (germplasm) that performs well in Australian environments whilst maintaining disease resistance and genetic diversity. This collaboration between Biometrics for the Australian Grains Industry (BBAGI) and University of Sydney-led CIMMYT-Australian-ICARDA Germplasm Evaluation (CAIGE) enables researchers from across the world access to the latest statistical technology with a view to improving variety selection decisions and ultimately global food security.