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Transforming health and justice: our strategy to 2026

There are many people stuck in cycles of disadvantage, experiencing complex and intersecting
problems that affect their health, like poor-quality housing, fines and debt, violence, abuse and

In situations like these, one of the places people are likely to turn for help is a trusted healthcare worker, but often the solutions to their problems sit outside the healthcare system. Health Justice Australia supports and promotes collaborations known as health justice partnerships, which bring legal services into healthcare settings so people experiencing these kinds of problems can receive the support they need when and where they need it.

Over the past four years, Health Justice Australia has supported health justice partnerships by building the capability of services to work effectively together, gathering evidence to support and inform this way of working, and advocating for policy reform that supports health justice

The experience gained during this time is highlighting a better way forward. Services are learning how to work collaboratively in ways that best address the needs of their clients and patients, and health justice partnerships are helping to identify and address the range of factors that lead to poor health and legal outcomes in the first place.

Now we are looking to the future and have an ambitious agenda over the coming years to improve health and justice outcomes for people experiencing multiple, intersecting health, legal and other problems; and to reduce the complexity of the health and legal assistance systems that respond to those problems.

Informed by what we have learned over the four years since our establishment, our Strategy to 2026 will drive transformation in health and justice outcomes through new knowledge (what we learn), new practice (how we work) and new systems (working towards change at the system level).

The more people are in control of their own needs, the better their outcomes. A key element of our strategy to 2026 is our commitment to work towards stronger engagement with people effected by complex need, particularly people experiencing multiple and intersecting health and legal problems.

These are the people whose needs health justice partnership works to address. At its most integrated, health justice partnership reflects deep collaboration between health and legal assistance services; policy and service areas that are otherwise be siloed, operating from their own discrete, single vantage points. Through health justice partnership, health and legal assistance services have driven innovation in their own work, using partnership to drive multidisciplinary, holistic responses to people’s needs. Now we want to work with the practitioners in those services to evolve towards partnerships with the communities they serve. Our work towards greater engagement with the people served by health justice partnership is critical to improving health in people’s lives and the effectiveness of the service systems that exist to meet those needs.

The lessons of our work towards new knowledge, new practice and new systems will be captured, translated and shared as we transform ourselves into a knowledge hub. This is a further key element of our strategy to 2026, informed by the critical role of learning to drive growth, impact and outcomes. As a national centre of excellence, knowledge is critical to our impact in supporting the effectiveness and expansion of health justice partnership in addressing complexity. Only by learning about what works and how, and critically, what doesn’t, can we drive improved outcomes and reshape services around the people they are here to help. As a knowledge hub we will play a key role in informing and influencing the actions of others towards improved health and justice outcomes, particularly across research, practice, policy and community settings.

Download the full report to read more about what we’ve built so far, and what we aim to achieve in the coming years.