Policy and research

VCOSS raises awareness of the existence, causes and effects of poverty in Victoria, and develops solutions.

Our role includes:

  • Researching new and existing approaches,
  • Responding to current and proposed government policies,
  • Advocating for change, both publicly and privately, and
  • Coordinating community sector responses to emerging issues.

To do this, we are in constant dialogue with VCOSS members, people with lived experience, policymakers and others.

We select policy areas that are the most critical and where we can make the biggest contribution.

Latest reports and submissions

Browse all VCOSS policy reports and submissions here.

Feedback to the 2023 Measuring What Matters Statement
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FLAGSHIP RESEARCH | The ways heatwaves are hurting Victorians doing it tough
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VCOSS Submission on the Protecting consumers of distributed energy resources consultation paper
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2023 VCOSS Victorian Budget Submission

Coming soon after an 2022 Victorian election, this carefully focused submission is geared towards helping the re-elected Government realise its progressive goals and promises.

Recommendations fit thematically into two broad streams. Measures that:

  1. Directly assist with the smooth and timely delivery of election promises, and
  2. Align with the Government’s existing reform agenda.

In addition, we identify areas not directly related to the Government’s election agenda or ongoing reform goals, but requiring attention in this budget cycle.

These include:

  • Responding to the 2022 floods across northern Victoria, and
  • Preparing for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
About VCOSS Budget submissions

Each year, VCOSS produces a formal submission to the Victorian Government detailing the policies and approaches we believe should be funded.

These submissions are the result of extensive consultation with VCOSS members and partners, including frontline service agencies, affected communities, people with lived experience of poverty and disadvantage, and other peak bodies.

They contain specific recommendations to make Victoria fairer and more equitable, so every Victorian and Victorian community can experience wellbeing.

Their scope is limited to actions the Victorian Government can take, and that require funding through the regular budget process.

The annual VCOSS Victorian Budget Submission is in addition to our regular output of policy submissions and flagship reports.

Past VCOSS Budget Submissions

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Key projects

(We are currently updating this section.)

Community Services Industry Plan

The 10-Year Community Services Industry Plan presents a unified vision for the Victorian community services industry and the actions required to achieve this vision.

Human Services and Health Partnership Implementation Committee

The Human Services and Health Partnership Implementation Committee (HSHPIC) was established in 2004 to guide and implement the commitments of the 2002 Human Services and Health Partnership Agreement.

Renters’ Rights

Learn all about Victoria’s new rental rules.

Service Agreement for Community Service Organisations

VCOSS plays a critical role in negotiating the terms of the standard Funding and Service agreement, on which most fudning agreements between the Victorian Government and communtiy sector organisations are based.

Strengthening Sector Resilience

VCOSS is working wth organisations providing disability information and advocacy services to build their capacity for the transition to the NDIS ILC (and other funding sources).

Our influence

As the peak body for Victoria’s social service organisations, VCOSS represents members on numerous government panels, steering groups and advisory bodies, etc. See below.

We also proudly work with universities, NGOs, businesses, unions, service providers and other peak bodies to achieve the greatest impact, while maintaining our independence.

Ministerial advisory bodies
  • Family Violence Steering Committee
  • Industry Taskforce
  • Social Services Taskforce
  • NDIS Implementation Taskforce
  • Roadmap to Reform Strong Families Safe
  • Public Housing Renewal Advisory Group

Note: This list may be incomplete.

Other advisory groups
  • NDIS Workforce Development and Transition Working Group
  • NDIS Participant Readiness Working Group
  • NDIS Sector Readiness Working Group
  • NDIS Housing Working Group
  • NDIS Cross Sector Innovation Working Group
  • Roadmap for Reform Universal Services Working Group
  • Department of Education and Training’s Early Childhood Development Advisory Group
  • Victorian Climate Change Advisory Panel
  • Victorian Child and Youth Area Partnership Implementation Group
  • Victoria Police Commissioner’s Human Rights Advisory Group
  • Seniors Commissioner’s Social Isolation and Loneliness and Senior Victorians Advisory Group
  • HSHPIC Service Agreement Working Group (the key consultation body for the Victorian Common Funding Agreement)
  • Aboriginal Children and Families Agreement and Strategic Action Plan External Working Group
  • Centre for Social Impact Victorian Advisory Council
  • Early Childhood Development Advisory Group
  • Equal Workplaces Advisory Council
  • Project Advisory Group. Registration and accreditation for Victoria’s disability workforce

Note: This list may be incomplete.

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Analysis and insights

The latest from VCOSS staff and member organisations.

Key contacts

In the short term, people need help to pay their bills and stay warm this winter.
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Extreme heat is a major killer we should all be thinking about and planning for.
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Lasting solutions won’t be found in universal cash-splashes, short-term payment freezes or cute gimmicks. 
Read more


  • Libby Buckingham
    Director, Thiriving Communities
    Email Libby
  • Deborah Fewster
    Director, Policy and Advocacy
    Email Deb

VCOSS acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country. We pay respect to Elders both past and present, and to emerging leaders. Our offices are located on the sovereign, unceded land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation.