Making People and Places Central to Government

Our Resilient People & Places Program is transforming government to meet the needs of the people it serves.

Together with our partners we are  redefining how government supports people, strengthens communities and paves the way for system transformation.

Our Impact

Detailed blueprints to scale people- and place-centred models to a state and national level

Key State and Commonwealth reforms covering employment, migration and settlement, to better serve and enable people experiencing disadvantage 


Building local jobs deals to capture opportunities for people and communities facing disadvantage by uniting industry, government, academia and service providers 

Demonstrating a People- and Place-Centred Approach

In partnership with the Brotherhood of St Laurence, CPD launched the Western Melbourne Jobs and Skills Collaboration, uniting training and skills providers, local councils, employers, and regional bodies to combat unemployment, particularly for people facing barriers to employment. This is creating a lasting system in Western Melbourne that connects local people to local opportunities and supports them to thrive. 

Our work has already made a significant difference. Our Jobs and Skills Collaboration was referenced in the Interim Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee’s report as a model that demonstrates innovation. We are informing renewed efforts, including through the inquiry into Workforce Australia Employment Services, to transform the current employment service system, from fragmented, punitive and unresponsive to truly people- and place-centred.

An Employment System that Works

Drawing on our work on people- and place-centred approaches to employment services, early childhood development and a just transition to a zero carbon economy, we outlined a holistic vision to advance full employment in Australia and to build a bigger, better-trained and more productive workforce.

We urged: 

  • universally accessible high-quality early childhood education and care, 
  • investing in emerging industries and diversifying our exports in a way that puts climate-affected people and communities first; 
  • scaling up regional and community job deals – place-based approaches to jobs and skills; and 
  • identifying a number of place-based investment sites to demonstrate new approaches to policy, implementation and service system design and delivery.

We have seen the Federal government address these priorities through the Budget, regulation and their legislative agenda. 

National Ambitions for People and Place

CPD’s long history in people- and place-centred policy has won support at a national level with three separate announcements in the 2023 budget backing mission-based, people and place-centred models with funding of more than $250 million.

The Investment Dialogue for Australia’s Children, the Stronger Places, Stronger People program and the Social Impact Outcomes Fund are testament to the evidence base that CPD and our partners have created through years of practical work at a local and regional level. 

The surge of interest in an area of specialist expertise for CPD positions us to guide urgent reforms of Australia’s service systems, renewal of our public service culture, and restore our national capability in ways that put people and place at the centre of government.