Issued Thursday 12 October 2017
Caption: Kerry Jose from Salvation Army Cranbourne, Leanne Petrides from Cranbourne Information Support Service, Susan Magee from Casey North Community Information Support Service, Professor Guy Johnson from RMIT University, City of Casey Cr Amanda Stapledon, Aboriginal Elder Uncle Mik who is a proud Bunurong Man, Paula Correia from Doveton Neighbourhood Learning Centre and Tim Spinks from Ermha, at the inaugural Casey Cardinia Housing Summit.
The inaugural Casey Cardinia Housing Summit was held on World Homeless Day on Tuesday 10 October 2017, bringing together organisations from across the region and beyond to discuss possible solutions and innovative initiatives to address housing affordability and homelessness.
Hosted by the City of Casey and Cardinia Shire Council, the summit was attended by about 140 representatives from agencies and service providers who work in the housing and homelessness sector.
There were presentations throughout the day including from the Department of Health and Human Services on the Homes for Victorians Initiative, Professor Guy Johnson who leads the Unison Housing Research Program at RMIT University and from the Council to Homeless Persons.
City of Casey Mayor Cr Sam Aziz said the summit was an effective way to come together and hear about issues around housing and homelessness and how organisations can better work together in this space.
“Earlier this year, representatives from the City of Casey and Cardinia Shire Council came together to discuss the emergency housing crisis facing the region,” Cr Aziz said.
“Our initial discussions uncovered the complexity of this issue and the need for a response that is collaborative, owned by multi-agencies and holistic in addressing the root causes of this issue.
“As a result, the Casey Cardinia Homeless Network was formed which led to the inaugural summit.”
Speaking at the summit, City of Casey Cr Amanda Stapledon said the aim was to stimulate discussion about how together service providers can support communities experiencing hardship and homelessness.
“Sadly we know that many residents across the Casey Cardinia region are, or will at one point, experience hardship. The extraordinary speed of growth across the region brings many benefits though sadly, this places increasing stress on the support offered by local government and community service organisations,” Cr Stapledon said.
“With limited resources and a growing need for support, our response must change. I am confident that together, we can achieve change.
“Today you will hear many innovative ways we can make a difference, ways we can connect with our most vulnerable residents, ways we can break the cycle of hardship and ways in which we can play a part in changing the increasing trend of homelessness across our region.”
Cr Aziz said the summit was a great success and it was hoped that it will lead to more collaboration and new approaches in the sector.
“All those involved were encouraged to explore the strategies and innovative programs they heard about and form new partnerships that will make a real difference to homelessness and housing affordability,” Cr Aziz.
“Following on from the summit, there will be a report back to Council on how both the City of Casey and Cardinia Shire can best assist and support in the emergency housing crisis and homelessness areas.”