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UNSW takes action to support community during COVID-19

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UNSW Sydney has launched a two-part action plan to change the course of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable members of its community.

UNSW Sydney has announced its core philanthropic priorities for tackling the immediate and longer-term impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), including providing emergency support for students experiencing hardship, and funding critical research projects into the varied impacts of the pandemic.

“The novel coronavirus has brought about immense adversity for so many, with very few remaining untouched by the widespread implications of this pandemic… we share our community’s concerns and desire to make a difference,” says Jon Paparsenos, Vice-President, UNSW Philanthropy. “I know that together we can make strides to reduce the impacts of COVID-19.”

The Student Emergency Response Fund is one initiative established by UNSW, providing a range of financial aid packages for domestic and international students experiencing hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. Since it was announced, this fund has attracted donations from a number of staff and alumni within the UNSW community looking to support students in need.

By supporting this fund we can ensure our students feel equipped to maintain focus where it matters most right now - their studies, their wellbeing and the welfare of their loved ones.

Mr Paparsenos

The University is similarly looking to provide financial support to staff in need, such as resident academics with no financial safety net. 

UNSW has also called for support of its Rapid Response Research Fund – an initiative made up of 12 pioneering research projects poised to formulate solutions to the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19. These research projects, spanning the healthcare, biomedical, societal and psychological impacts of the pandemic, have been prioritised in the national interest and are now the subject of a major fundraising effort. 

Through the Rapid Response Research Fund, we will enable the best researchers in their field to the deliver prognostics into potential scenarios that we will face across a range of spheres. Most importantly, the body of research to emerge from this initiative will be solutions-focused, providing a sound platform for policymakers and other key influencers to make informed decisions that help society rebound from the impacts of COVID-19.

Professor Nicholas Fisk, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), UNSW Sydney

One such project in development at the Kirby Institute at UNSW, is fast-tracking a new therapeutic treatment to provide protective immunity to vulnerable people. This new solution will minimise the spread of the virus, as well as the severity for those who contract it while a vaccine is still being developed.

“We have highly experienced teams, cutting-edge equipment and a track-record of uncovering the answers that save lives. We need to move very quickly, and we need your support to do that,” says Professor Anthony Kelleher, Director of the Kirby Institute.

Being developed in partnership with the Garvan Institute for Medical Research, this critical health research project will build upon the considerable body of knowledge established after the 2003 SARS outbreak. 

Though UNSW has invested significantly in these priorities, current constraints on the university sector mean that philanthropic support is more important than ever.

“No matter the form it takes, your generosity will make a profound difference,” says Mr Paparsenos. “We invite to join UNSW and help change the course of COVID-19 in a way that is meaningful to you.”

Learn more about UNSW’s response to the pandemic, or join us and help change the course of COVID-19.

At UNSW, every dollar received as a gift to the below causes goes directly to the specified area of need. This means 100% of your donation is used exactly as you intend.