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During this time when nine sites across three public housing estates have been completely locked down in two Melbourne suburbs for public health reasons, it is of vital importance that each one of the 3,000+ residents is treated with respect in regards to their inherent dignity. Public statement released by Catholic Social Services Victoria on 5th July 2020.

“Communities experiencing persistent disadvantage, need long-term and place-based solutions that address the underlying causes of disadvantage”, according to Joshua Lourensz, Executive Director of Catholic Social Services Victoria. “This includes using a strengths-based approach that recognises and harnesses the strengths of the local community and engages the community in the planning and development of solutions to address disadvantage." CSSV has released a report outlining the particular social service and infrastructure needs in the Warrnambool region.

“More than ever, communities in the Gippsland area need particular assistance. For those facing significant disadvantage in the region, improving infrastructure would help to improve access to important health, welfare, education and employment services and opportunities,” said Netty Horton, CEO of CatholicCare Greater Melbourne, and Gippsland.

Catholic Social Services Victoria has released two reports, which outline the social service and infrastructure needs of rural and regional communities living in the Great South Coast and surrounds, and in Gippsland. Building on long standing engagement and recent consultation work conducted in the Warrnambool and Gippsland areas in 2019, the reports reflect the experience of people working in their local communities with individuals and groups who face isolation and disadvantage; circumstances that have been further exacerbated by the devastating impact of COVID-19, and the bushfires in Gippsland.

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