What is the background of GROW?

Addressing Disadvantage has been a G21 priority project since 2011. The G21 Board was concerned that despite opportunities presented by population and industry growth, access to social and economic benefits are not evenly distributed.

The Addressing Disadvantage Taskforce was commissioned by the G21 Board in March 2011 to examine models for addressing disadvantage that might be applied to the G21 region. The Taskforce comprised representatives from local government, education, community and business organisations and has explored different approaches.

At the same time, Give Where You Live Foundation (GWYLF) identified that up to 90% of the grants distributed each year were located in 3214 or 3219. GWYLF have a vision to address disadvantage, and are keen to explore ways of having a sustainable impact on these communities.

Why the G21 region?

In spite of many strengths the G21 Region has:

  • Significant disparity between advantaged and disadvantaged groups in the Region
  • Areas with very high levels of relative socio-economic disadvantage
  • High proportion of work in low paid and lower skilled industries and occupations
  • High rate of part time work (especially women)
  • Lower level of year 12 completion and university qualifications to State average
  • Higher than average disability rates

Which areas in the G21 region are being targeted?

Seven key areas in the G21 Region are identified as ‘decile 1’ on the SEIFA index of Socio-Economic Disadvantage:

  • Corio
  • Norlane
  • Thomson
  • Colac (central and east)
  • Whittington
  • Bell Park
  • Part of St Leonards

What factors contribute to place based disadvantage?

Persistent place based disadvantage is found in all local government areas (except Queenscliffe) and correlates with:

  • Joblessness and higher youth unemployment
  • Lower levels of education and lower skills
  • Low income retirees
  • Low English proficiency
  • Higher rates of single parent families

What approach will GROW take to tackle the problems?

Tackling wicked problems together

  • GROW’s approach to addressing joblessness will be multi-sectoral and based on a collective impact model
  • It will facilitate links and a strategic approach to the significant regional investment and activities currently in place
  • It will recognise that job creation and economic growth do not always ‘trickle down’
  • Private, public and civic investment are all needed to achieve change

Sometimes coordination is the challenge and sometimes local actions need regional support.

What assumptions does GROW make about place based disadvantage?


  • Joblessness is the consistent feature of disadvantage.
  • Disadvantage and unemployment overlap with lower education and skill levels.
  • Persistent place based disadvantage is complex.
  • Issues are multi-causal, multi-sectoral and involve multiple stakeholders.
  • The most successful models internationally:
    • Take a systems approach
    • Work in places with local people
    • Adopt and develop cross-sector capabilities and partnerships in a collective impact model.

What is the collective impact model?

Collective impact model (link)

Key elements

  • A model of social change being used internationally.
  • Aims to solve substantial impacts on complex, large scale social problems.
  • Based on structured collaborative efforts across multiple and often cross sector stakeholders.
  • Seeks to draw together and build on existing initiatives within an agreed and structured framework of collaboration and measurement.
  • Formal agreed focus increases the likelihood of achieving change to common targets.

A model for change

The model is based on 5 rings of response that all address place based disadvantage:

  1. The people experiencing disadvantage are in the centre and should be involved in co-design.
  2. People based responses include employment, training, education, family, health, community and specialist services that wrap around individuals.
  3. Place based responses include connectivity, physical regeneration, safety, community, cultural, environmental and economic development.
  4. Regional integration and innovation includes investment, diverse industry and employment base, asset development and measurement.
  5. Broad goals –infrastructure, pathways and advocacy.

What are the core strategies of the GROW project?

GROW strategies (link)

GROW has 4 core strategies to increase and target jobs in the G21 Region:

  1. Social procurement
  2. Place based investment
  3. Demand-led employment brokerage
  4. Tracking and measuring job outcomes