National Centre to explore innovative community-led solutions to address disadvantage

The Albanese Labor Government will establish a National Centre for Place-Based Collaboration to explore and enhance community-led solutions in addressing social complex problems and entrenched disadvantage.

A consortium of partners has been appointed to conduct the foundational work to inform the establishment of a National Centre, including undertaking extensive consultation with a broad range of stakeholders and designing community supports.

The consortium, which includes the University of Queensland, the Australia and New Zealand School of Government and not-for-profit organisation Collaboration for Impact, will receive $2.5 million in Commonwealth funding to begin the foundational work.

Place-based solutions have an evidence base in generating positive outcomes in addressing complex social needs and entrenched disadvantage because the solutions are community-designed and led.

The National Centre is envisaged to be an independent, non-government entity that will work with governments, communities and other stakeholders to amplify the benefits of place-based initiatives.

It will develop smarter ways to consolidate and expand existing place-based efforts including by:

  • facilitating more holistic approaches to complex problem solving at the community level
  • building long-term expertise and sharing approaches at the local leadership and community level
  • undertaking cross-cutting reforms in data, evaluation and research
  • attracting and coordinating philanthropic investment to support emerging community leaders through sponsorships, scholarships, job placements and other development activities

The Centre will provide resources and tools to more than 130 communities around Australia currently engaged in place-based approaches. It will also build the knowledge and resource systems supporting the Closing the Gap priority reforms.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the Albanese Labor Government was committed to holding no one back and leaving no one behind and enhancing place-based solutions would help in that goal.

“We need to look at addressing complex social problems and entrenched disadvantage in new and innovative ways. What we’ve been doing to date hasn’t always worked,” Minister Rishworth said.

“Place-based solutions, including shared decision making, working across governments, and facilitating access to community-level data will help communities – but it will also help government and non-government sectors to empower communities with the supports that best suit them.

“I’m excited about the possibilities of a National Centre to solving some of the challenges communities experience.”

The National Centre is hoped to be operational by early 2025 with the foundational work commencing in January 2023.

For more information on the National Centre, visit the Department of Social Services website.