The Issue: Poverty & Inequality


of Australians live below the poverty line


3.24 million







young people


1.1+ million

children & young people

That’s 1 in 8 adults

And 1 in 6 children & young people

Did You Know?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are especially made vulnerable to poverty & inequality. Indigenous Australians are approximately:


more likely to be placed in out-of-home care


more likely to be under community-based supervision


more likely to be in detention than non-Indigenous children

Key Causes:

Justice System

Work & Income



Health & Disability

Racism & Discrimination

How is KWM Responding?

View our 2022 Strategic Vision

The Response: Strategy in Context

We seek to inspire and empower all of our people to address some of the most pressing justice challenges of our time & to create a more just society by reducing inequality & poverty among young people.


Our 2022 Strategic Vision sets out the over-arching strategic priorities and themes to guide its implementation over an initial three years and beyond. Supporting this framework is our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (2020 to 2023) and our Indigenous Attraction, Employment & Retention Strategy (2020 to 2023).

Our 2022 Strategic Vision, and supporting strategies, outline an exciting, ambitious and outcomes-centric agenda reflecting our clear responsibility to support communities in need.

Our plan has at its core our grassroots work which has, and will continue to, create positive social change. At the same time, we want to use the knowledge gained through that work to explore major justice challenges and see what further contributions we, as an industry leader, can make to structural causes of inequality and poverty among young people.

Priority Group

First Nations Young People

Purpose: Why We Do It

There are 1.1 million children & young people living below the poverty line in Australia. Sadly, this number continues to rise. It is also a challenge beyond Australia. It is a global challenge.

And global challenges impact upon all communities, and they also impact our people, our clients & our business.

As a global leader in the legal sector, we want to do what we can to create positive social change and at the same time, explore how we may be able to positively contribute to the major challenges facing Australia & humanity worldwide.

We also have a clear responsibility to support communities in need.

Objectives: What We Want To Do

Pivot the entire program towards our Strategic Vision & to align our work with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), & the firm's wider strategic ambitions.

Maintain & build our existing pro bono practice, whilst also pursuing pro bono projects which have potential to create large scale impact and address structural causes of poverty & inequality.

Build our people's knowledge & understanding of the program to drive increased participation & pride.

Develop strong & holistic partnerships with leading community organisation aligned to our Strategic Vision.

Be industry leaders in the impact we have, as well as leaders in measuring, evaluating & reporting on our community impact.

Our Strategic Matrix

How We Do It

Built around three pillars, People, Operations and Partnerships, we are looking to make a long term and significant impact for those in need. Through these pillars we will gain, gather and transfer knowledge, allowing us to provide valuable assistance to others and work collaboratively with our commercial clients and community partners.


What We Will Achieve

  • 1

    Our community impact work will utilise our industry leading skill set, & be bold, dynamic, challenging and to ensure maximum impact, directed to where we may be able to improve the legal system.
  • 2

    Our community impact work will focus on providing direct assistance & creating opportunities to support improved legal, social & economic wellbeing. In partnership with our Community Partners, we will exchange information, and provide our legal expertise, specialist skills & resources to help create improvements.
  • 3

    We will work with & alongside our Community Partners, and civil society in general, to help build strong & adaptable organisations, and confront challenges when they arise.
  • 4

    We will facilitate informed discussion, debate & where appropriate, advocacy, on the major justice challenges facing Australia and humanity worldwide as they relate to poverty and inequality.
  • 5

    We want to explore new ways to deliver legal advice & assistance to disadvantaged communities to improve equal justice, while at the same time, respond to the challenges new technology presents.
  • 6

    Our impact work is always aligned to, and strengthens, the mission & ambitions of our Community Partners, & allows our commercial clients to participate in our program.
  • 7

    We want to be the best place for extraordinary people to work, grow & create
    positive social change.
  • 8

    We want to be industry leaders in the impact we have, as well as leaders in
    measuring, evaluating & reporting on our community impact.


Where We Want To Be

KWM demonstrates that it has made a valuable contribution to reducing inequality & poverty among young people, and we have engaged more of our people in support of this goal.

Read more

2022 Strategic Vision Reimagining Equal Justice

View document

Strategic Vision

View document

Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)
(2020 to 2023)

View document

Indigenous Attraction, Employment & Retention Strategy (2020 to 2023)

View document

Theory of Change

View document

Capability Statement

View document

Poverty & Inequality

View document