Free, or not so free ? The cost of education
State school education is widely considered to be free, but there are many extra costs parents are asked to pay. For families facing disadva ntage, these can be difficult to meet and community organisations are increasingly stepping in to help families to meet school costs. Monica Thiel king, Paul Fl atau and Anne Hampshire tell the story.
Reducing crime by investing in communities
While Victoria has pursued a harsher law and order approach to sentencing, justice reinvestment approaches appear to be proving effective in the USA and are being trialled in the UK. Michelle McDonnell outlines what the results have been overseas and recommends our politicians consider justice reinvestment over law and order approaches if they want to make our state safer.
Something to crow about? Victorian government finances under the Coalition
The Coalition Government claims a strong economic record going into the election. David Hayward examines its levels of infrastructure spending, social policy spending and debt levels to see whether the claim stands up to scrutiny.
Changing the culture, changing the system
The following is an edited extract of a speech about tackling family violence, given by Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay at the 2014 VCOSS Summit in May.

The Business Council of Australia says significant investment in education and training is needed to help stem the tide of rising unemployment, particularly among ... Read More

As we head towards this year’s state election, Alan Attwood urges our politicians to remember that they are part of the community; not separate to it. Several ... Read More


After listening to the stories of almost 200 Aboriginal children in out-of-home care, Andrew Jackomos says we must face up to the truth about the struggles some ... Read More


Insight Economy

Whoever takes power in Victoria this November will be working within the ambit of federal government policy proposals that, if legislated, would cut the incomes of those Victorians ... Read More


Pitching policy to government can be both an art and a science. After researching the ‘black box’ of policy-making processes, Gemma Carey says social change advocates need to break ... Read More

Amid change and reform, the community sector and government can work together positively to support people facing disadvantage, Helen Dickinson says. The old adage that ‘the only ... Read More


Australia’s economy keeps growing, but many at the lower end of the income scale are not reaping the rewards. Ro Evans looks at the reasons behind our rising inequality and the ... Read More