By Anna Bowden The following article was published by Pro Bono Australia on 18 May 2016 In recent years, a suite of new tools have emerged to help us ease some of our most pressing societal problems, such as impact investing, shared value, social enterprise, and social innovation. Gradually, all sectors have come to recognise the value of these models, albeit with some disagreement over their scale of value.  

Mental health issues affect 1 in 5 Australians – more people than cancer and diabetes combined. It’s estimated that mental illnesses cost over $30 billion every year in Australia, in everything from increased health costs, to lost worker productivity, to homelessness, and unemployment. We also know that there is a strong correlation between mental health and employment. People who work in secure, stable, and supportive environments, not only retain employment for

By Anna Bowden, Social Outcomes It seems almost impossible to go a day in Australia without the topic of property coming up, and more specifically, the rapid rate at which housing prices are escalating. For low-income earners in Australia, access to housing is a serious concern. Across the country, the proportion of households spending more than half their incomes on rent rose from 20% in FY2007-08 to 25% in FY2009-10.

You know something is shifting when a senior Government executive says of a two day design forum “I’ve never had a conversation like that in all my time in Government”. The Department of The Premier and Cabinet and Queensland Corrective Services, Department of Justice and Attorney General invited 80 colleagues from the community sector, half a dozen other Government agencies, social enterprises, philanthropists, universities and the private sector, to attend

The first Financial System Inquiry (FSI) in over 16 years has called out impact investing as a valuable and needed mechanism to fund social service delivery in Australia. The FSI called impact investing an important tool in the Australian context, especially given reduced government capacity to fund social services. The Inquiry also noted that impact investing presented an opportunity for Australia to: Reduce costs, and improve the impact of social