UNE students to host Global Poverty forum

Published 12 October 2009

povertyA student organisation at the University of New England is bringing to Armidale an event that aims at ridding the world of extreme poverty.

SIFE UNE has organised a presentation next week, by the Global Poverty Project team, of the 90-minute forum 1.4 Billion Reasons. The free event will be in UNE’s Lazenby Hall at 7 pm on Tuesday 20 October.

The Global Poverty Project is an Australian initiative founded by Hugh Evans, the 2004 Young Australian of the Year, and Simon Moss, former Chief Operations Officer at the Oaktree Foundation. It is funded by the UN Millennium Campaign and AusAid.

Using graphic visual material, 1.4 Billion Reasons to End Extreme Poverty highlights the fact that 1.4 billion people (about 20 per cent of the world’s population) are living today in extreme poverty. It demonstrates that, by making simple changes, everyone can be part of the solution.

“The aim of the Global Poverty Project is to communicate, in an easy-to-understand format, that extreme poverty is a global issue, that it is the responsibility of all individuals, and that it can be eradicated,” says Hugh Evans, who will lead the forum in Armidale. “We hope to do for global poverty what Gore did [with An Inconvenient Truth] for climate change.” 1.4 Billion Reasons will travel to The Netherlands, the UK, Canada and the United States after completing its tour of Australia and the Pacific region.

SIFE (“Students in Free Enterprise”) is a global organisation that challenges university students to make a difference in their communities. The Secretary of SIFE UNE, Nicole Fogarty, who is the Project Leader for this event, said her team was sponsoring the presentation of 1.4 Billion Reasons in Armidale as part of its program of community engagement. “We’re inviting the whole community to attend,” she said.

At last year’s SIFE National Conference and Championships, a SIFE UNE team won a “most inspiring community engagement” award for one of its projects – a project that was praised again at this year’s National Championships for its “ethical responsibility and innovation”.