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About the 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 support and enable place-based approaches to social and ecological justice through research, collaboration, engagement and knowledge exchange.

New research examining the features of effective place-based approaches

Our work

Understanding equity, disadvantage and wellbeing

We’re 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. The Centre will also lead future iterations of this research, building in a stronger emphasis on strength-based indicators.

Supporting place-based and strengths-based approaches

We’re 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.

Amplifying lived experience

We’re 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.

Enabling climate justice

We’re partnering with community service organisations, communities, and governments to build local climate resilience and adaptation capacity.

Collaborative Action Plan for climate justice in Melbourne's west
Participants at a climate action forum

Participants at a climate action forum

Our objectives

The Centre engages in research, action and advocacy on place-based inequities and injustice. We focus on addressing the root causes of social, economic and environmental inequity and injustice. Promoting a social and ecological lens in place-based research and action, we collaborate with communities and cross sectoral stakeholders to support and enable effective place-based approaches.

Our work rests on three pillars: research, action and advocacy.

  • 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
  • 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
  • Promote First Nations self-determination principles
  • Promote an ecological justice lens
  • Advocate for national, state, and local policies and processes that promote social and ecological justice
  • Amplify stories from community and lived experience
Why Jesuit Social Services?

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 already experiencing disadvantage 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.

Child planting seedling at community event

Advocacy, news and resources

The Centre for Just Places engages in advocacy to address place-based inequities and injustice in Australia. We bring a social and ecological lens, inviting discussion on what action can be taken by governments, individuals, organisations and the community services sector within Australia to build a socially and ecologically just society.

Explore our advocacy, news and resources

Research publications

The Centre for Just Places undertakes research on place-based disadvantage and innovative place-based policy and practice.

Explore our research publications

Our team

Our team works with community members, community and health sector organisations, practitioners, policymakers, universities and researchers, philanthropy, and government at all levels, to enable and support place-based approaches to social and ecological justice.

Our partners

Founding partners
  • Gandel Foundation
  • Department of Justice and Community Safety Victoria
Other partners
  • Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation
  • VicHealth
  • New South Wales Department of Communities and Justice
  • Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities
  • Grassroots Youth Engagement Palmerston
  • Northern Territory Council of Social Service


  • Yipirinya School
  • Harris Farms
  • Helen Lyons Trust
  • Foodbank
  • Second Bite
  • Oz Harvest
  • Our Lady of the Way parish
  • Holy Family parish

Contact us

For more information about the Centre for Just Places, please contact Director, John Ryks, at John.Ryks@jss.org.au or 0409 496 452.