Jesuit Social Services is a social change organisation that works to build a more just society through research and advocacy in areas of justice, reconciliation, disability services, housing and community work.
Ms Cleeland said the organisation’s work on the Dropping Off the Edge report covered location-based challenges across the state, finding that many of the most disadvantaged areas were located regionally.
“It was fascinating to talk with Andrew from Jesuit Social Services and hear about some of the location-based disadvantages felt in our regional communities,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Through the Dropping off the Edge report, you can see that our communities are suffering when it comes to our health system, education providers, economic opportunities, housing stress, internet access, domestic violence and many more factors.
“These are areas that have been neglected by this government for too long, whether it be from a lack of investment in our infrastructure, cuts to our health system, or a lack of funding directed to our regional schools.”
The research in the report shows that most of the disadvantage in Victoria was outside Greater Melbourne, with 25 of the 40 most disadvantaged locations outside the city.
Seymour, Benalla and Rushworth were all featured in the 40 most disadvantaged locations, with neighbouring areas such as Shepparton and Bendigo referenced too.
“The research not only identifies the challenges faced by our community but also highlights potential solutions, allowing advocates to direct their efforts effectively,” Ms Cleeland said.
“These insights serve as a valuable resource for community activists and organisations to initiate a community-led response.”