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Place-based and strengths-based approaches have been popular in Australia for many years but they have never been more critical as governments respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and our changing climate. There is still a lot to learn about how place-based approaches can address the social, economic and environmental challenges communities are facing across Australia, as well as the changing roles and relationships of government and community involved in this way of working.

‘What works for place-based approaches in Victoria?’ project (June 2021-December 2022)

Funded by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Victorian Government

The Centre is leading a consortium of research partners – including RMIT Centre for Urban Research and the Centre for Community Child Health at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute – to gather key lessons from place-based research and practice in Victoria and Australia.

The project’s advisory group and reviewers are experts and practitioners working on different aspects of place-based policy, practice and evaluation from the Social Solutions Research Group in the Institute for Social Science Research (University of Queensland), the Institute for Resilient Regions (University of Southern Queensland), the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (Australian National University), the Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria, and Stand Up Collaboration.

The impact

The project includes a meta-synthesis of existing literature, six case studies of place-based initiatives in Victoria, and guidance materials to inform a range of stakeholders – including community leaders and organisations, service providers, governments and philanthropic funders.

Inside the report

Inside the research report

For more information

Contact Susie Moloney at and Haydie Gooder at to discuss this project.

Learn more and download the research report and case studies

Supporting place-based initiatives across Australia and building on Jesuit Social Services’ long term place-based work

The Centre is working with a range of cross-sectoral stakeholders to support and enable place-based approaches to social and ecological justice, and building on Jesuit Social Services’ long term place-based work in Western Sydney and the Northern Territory.

The Northern Territory program

Jesuit Social Services has had a presence in the Northern Territory since 2010, and delivers a range of programs across Darwin on Larrakia country, in Katherine on Jawoyn, Dagoman and Wardaman country, and in Alice Sprrings (Mparntwe) on Arrernte country.

We work alongside Aboriginal peoples in the Northern Territory to establish and strengthen community governance structures, support Aboriginal peoples to better their situation and have more control over their lives, and help communities identify areas for corporate, philanthropic and government engagement. We only work with communities that invite us to work with them.

Keep reading about Jesuit Social Services' Northern Territory program
The Western Sydney program

Since 2008, Jesuit Social Services has been building on the strengths of Western Sydney communities – on Dharug country – to support them to break out of cycles of disadvantage.

We work in partnership with Mount Druitt’s Holy Family Parish, community leaders and local organisations, and partner with Aboriginal organisations and Elders to deliver culturally safe initiatives.

Keep reading about Jesuit Social Services' Western Sydney program