Many people in Victoria continue to experience persistent disadvantage that manifests in disengagement from school, joblessness, homelessness, substance misuse, family violence, contact with the justice system, mental ill-health, and trauma. These are complex challenges, especially because they intersect, interact, and are often intergenerational.
The Victorian Government is to be commended for implementing several important initiatives to tackle disadvantage. However, there is more to be done.
Jesuit Social Services therefore welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the development of the Victorian Government’s 2022-23 State Budget, and offers a suite of solutions so that everyone in the community has the best chance to thrive.
Summary of our recommendations
- Continue to support and develop long-term place-based approaches in areas of disadvantage that centre community decision-making and address the range of factors that lead to inequity and disadvantage.
- Ensure Victoria’s adult and youth justice systems are centred on prevention, early intervention and restorative justice, and resource Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in the justice system.
- Empower people to reach their full potential by increasing the stock of safe, sustainable and energy-efficient social housing, and strengthening pathways to education, training and employment.
- Further resource initiatives aimed at engaging boys and men to prevent violence and other harmful behaviours from occurring, as well as initiatives that intervene early.
- Continue to invest in transforming Victoria’s mental health system, consistent with the recommendations made by the Royal Commission.