Poverty And Inequality In Australia - What Are The Facts?

Poverty And Inequality In Australia - What Are The Facts?

Lesson 4 of 5 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 9 - 10
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Health
  • Physical Education
  • Social
  • Equality
  • Homelessness
  • Human Rights
  • Social Action
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this lesson, students explore poverty and inequality through a series of short video clips whereby they respond to the experiences of living on government income support payments. Students further explore the ideas of poverty and inequality by engaging with a number of data sets and online reports, analysing their content. Students then articulate their understanding of poverty and inequality and formulate solutions for addressing these issues through the development of a digital presentation.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand that inequality and poverty can negatively impact people’s lives
  • understand why inequality and poverty can negatively impact society
  • explain why poverty is a risk factor for Australia’s overall health
  • utilise technology to promote solutions for reducing poverty and inequality in Australia.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • identify the inequalities that exist due to poverty
  • interpret and analyse health data
  • understanding the poverty gap and its impacts on health
  • communicate their understanding of poverty and inequality in a digital format.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions: 

Years 9 & 10 Health and Physical Education:

  • Critique behaviours and contextual factors that influence health and wellbeing of diverse communities (ACPPS098)
  • Propose, practise and evaluate responses in situations where external influences may impact their ability to make healthy and safe choices (ACPPS092)

Syllabus outcomes: PD5-1, PD5-2, PD5-3

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative thinking, Personal and Social Capabilities, Ethical Understanding

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: 
By the end of Year 10, students critically analyse contextual factors that influence identities, relationships, decisions and behaviours. They analyse the impact attitudes and beliefs about diversity have on community connection and wellbeing. They evaluate the outcomes of emotional responses to different situations. Students access, synthesise and apply health information from credible sources to propose and justify responses to health situations. They apply decision-making and problem-solving skills when taking action to enhance their own and others’ health, safety and wellbeing.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion

Resources required

  • A device capable of creating audio-visual recordings, such as an iPad or camera (optional)
  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • A device that allows students to conduct research in a safe manner
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Community engagement
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Digital literacy
  • Empathy
  • Ethical understanding
  • Global citizenship
  • Problem solving      

Additional info

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion

These lessons have been designed in consultation with Anti-Poverty Week and ACOSS/UNSW Poverty and Inequality Partnership.

The content and information in these lessons may be overwhelming and cause some students to experience heightened emotions.

Please ensure you allow students to ask questions and to discuss any issues or concerns. Before teaching the lesson, you may consider conducting a class check-in or circle time to establish a safe learning environment. Inform students that this might be a complex topic for them to comprehend. However, let your students know that differences in people’s incomes and wealth are nothing to be ashamed of and that these may be beyond the control of individuals and families – for example, some have more luck than others in landing a good job.

Assure students that organisations and campaigns are working towards decreasing poverty in Australia, and if they would like more information, they can visit the Anti Poverty Week website (www.antipovertyweek.org.au) and the Poverty and Inequality website (povertyandinequality.acoss.org.au).

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