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Centre for Just Places

The Centre for Just Places was established by Jesuit Social Services, with significant seed funding from Gandel Foundation and the Victorian Government, to enable and support place-based approaches to social and ecological problems through research, collaboration, engagement and knowledge exchange.

The Centre aims to:

  • Demonstrate leadership in research and advocacy on place-based inequities and injustice.
  • Focus on addressing the root causes of social, economic and environmental inequity and injustice
  • Promote a social and ecological justice lens in place-based research and action, and
  • Collaborate and partner with communities and cross-sectoral stakeholders to support and enable effective place-based approaches.

Our current focus

  • Leading action and advocacy on Jesuit Social Services’ Dropping off the Edge research findings, which build an unparalleled picture of persistent and multilayered disadvantage across Australia
  • Building an evidence base of effective place-based approaches through research and practice in Victoria and Australia.
  • Supporting place-based initiatives across Australia and building on Jesuit Social Services’ long-term place-based work in Western Sydney and Northern Territory.
  • Partnering with community service organisations and local governments to build local climate resilience and adaptation capacity.
  • Leading a pilot initiative to increase the participation of community members with lived experience of government social, health, and justice systems to improve service design, integration and delivery in place.

Jesuit Social Services has a deep understanding of place-based inequities through practice and research over many decades in Victoria, Australia. We bring a social and ecological justice lens to our work, in the knowledge that people who are already disadvantaged are both the least responsible, and often the most impacted by environmental risk and inequalities.

Jesuit Social Services’ latest 2021 iteration of Dropping Off the Edge research into place-based disadvantage across Australia included environmental indicators such as air quality and vulnerability to extreme heat, alongside social and economic indicators.

Findings from the research show that environmental factors contribute to, and compound disadvantage in many communities. The Centre will lead future iterations of this research, building in a stronger emphasis on strength-based indicators.

Research, Action and Advocacy

We enable resilient, inclusive, and regenerative communities through research, action and advocacy

Research objectives:

  • Undertake action research with a wide range of communities
  • Develop case studies on effective and innovative place-based policy and practice
  • Initiate collaborations to address and bridge knowledge gaps
  • Lead our Dropping off the Edge research into entrenched place-based disadvantage.

Action objectives:

  • Create an accessible hub of resources and knowledge to support community capacity building
  • Support communities to design and implement
    place-based approaches
  • Lead and support local cross-sector collaboration

Advocacy objectives:

  • Promote First Nations self-determination principles
  • Promote an ecological justice lens
  • Advocate for national, state, and local policies and processes
  • Amplify stories from community and lived experience