Interdisciplinary Placement Project with WIL Central

Modern Slavery Interdisciplinary Placement Project 

In Term 3 2020, 21 students from three UNSW Faculties undertook an interdisciplinary placement project with WIL Central. The placement involved students creating resources for a Modern Slavery Prevention Toolkit for the purpose of assisting in educating UNSW students, staff, and wider stakeholders about modern slavery and how we can work together to combat it.

The project afforded students the opportunity to learn about the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and specifically SDG 8, Target 8.7 to: Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.

Expand on the examples below to find out more about each of the other artefacts.

Modern slavery is an inherently undisclosed issue with no universal definition. Our team filmed a series of vox pop interviews with UNSW students to discover their thoughts on modern slavery and facilitate student-to-student dialogue on the topic. This video aims to generate an understanding and awareness of modern slavery for UNSW students and beyond to assist in the eradication of modern slavery.  

By: Stephanie Harris, Godfrey Leung, Maddie Natoli-Jimenez and Matthew McLeod

Our project is an animation video aimed at raising awareness about different modern slavery issues. The animation looks into cases such as the Vietnam garment industry and a restaurant owner in Australia. The animation is directed towards UNSW students and staff but is relevant to a wider public audience.

By: Claris Lai, Flora Wu, Kyle Zhang, Kyle Zhang and Qin Yan

These infographics have been designed to be used for a social media campaign that could be launched by UNSW on Instagram. The infographics have been thoughtfully designed to include statistics and facts which then progresses down to actionable information. See the social media toolkit that was produced.

They aim to promote awareness and engagement within the UNSW community about the issue of modern slavery in both a global and Australian contexts.

By: Lucy Li, Gayathri Shankar, Nikki Chan and June Wang

phone with modern slavery tiles mosaic
Modern Slavery - Social media on facebook



Our artefacts take the form of pamphlets and posters for both electronic and physical distribution. The intention is to create awareness of the serious human rights abuses involved in the global supply chain of coffee beans and to encourage consumers to purchase ethically sourced coffee beans.

We took a minimalistic, hand-drawn approach to personalise the reader’s experience and make for a more engaging design.

By: Annie Wang, Brandon Pham and Sachin Kinger

Modern Slavery - Poster on coffee animated
Modern Slavery - Poster on coffee

Modern slavery is all around us, often hidden in the coffee we consume, the clothes we wear, and the goods and services we use on a daily basis.

The UNSW Modern Slavery Map aims to bring awareness to these hidden risks, highlighting the key modern slavery risk areas that staff and students may encounter on campus and in their everyday lives.

By: Katherine Zheng, Gautham Shankar, Matthew Chiam and Hardy Huang

Twenty-one students from the faculties of Art & Design, Arts and Social Sciences, and Law worked in interdisciplinary teams to develop educational resources for UNSW students, staff and partners to assist in their understanding of the issues and how we will work together to combat modern slavery in accordance with the new UNSW Modern Slavery Prevention Policy.

Five student teams were given the opportunity to design and develop unique education artefacts. They were supported by a small team of supervisors from WIL Central, with invaluable input from the Law School’s modern slavery expert Professor Justine Nolan, as well as from Elektra Woodrow from UNSW Legal and Compliance.

During their final presentations, the students reflected on their experience in undertaking the placement, identifying their many learnings. These included the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams, which enabled individual students to bring their particular knowledge and skill set to solve complex problems.  

As one student noted on behalf of the interactive map team, ‘This placement [has] fostered a unique learning experience for all of my group. We’re all final year students heading into the workplace, so it was essential for us to experience and learn how to act in a professional setting through an online medium which seems to be part of the new norm going into next year. Finally the significant control our group had over planning and carrying out our interactive map allowed us to develop and learn project management skills. At the start of the term we had a basic idea of benchmarks we wanted to reach each week, and these evolved and changed as we received feedback.'

‘When the five student teams presented their final deliverables in week 10, we were all blown away with their creativity and the ability to synthesise such complex information into clear and concise messaging, using a range of really effective multi-media tools’ says Academic Director of WIL Central, Associate Professor Leanne Piggott.

Modern slavery describes situations where offenders use coercion, threats or deception to exploit victims and undermine or deprive them of their freedom. Modern slavery is not the same thing as substandard or dangerous working conditions, or underpayment of workers, though the existence of such conditions in an organisation may also be an indicator of modern slavery. Under the Commonwealth Criminal Code it is an offence to engage in slavery or slavery like practices, and to exploit others through conduct such as human trafficking; debt bondage; forced labour; deceptive recruiting for labour or services; the sale of children; and forced marriage.

In 2018 the Australian Government passed the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth), which requires ‘entities based, or operating, in Australia, which have an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million, to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and actions to address those risks’. As UNSW falls within this scope, the University is required to report annually on the steps which it takes to identify, and address, the risks of modern slavery in its operations and supply chains. 

As part of its response to obligations under the Act, and as an expression of its commitment to human rights and the creation of a just and equal society, the University has published its Modern Slavery Prevention Policy. The policy provides guidelines on how members of the University need to meet our obligations in collaboration with suppliers and other organisations. Included in the policy statement is the commitment to ‘promote awareness of modern slavery through training and the availability of materials to build understanding and provide practical tools to enable University staff and affiliates to identify modern slavery risks so that the University can respond appropriately to those risks’ (Section 2.4).