Addressing social issue areas in the context of COVID-19

April 2, 2020

The Centre for Social Impact is producing a series of fact sheets to address specific social issue areas in the context of COVID-19.

Fact Sheet One: Homelessness (updated Apr 3)

> Download Fact Sheet One: Homelessness Statement 2 (pdf) (April 3)
> Download Fact Sheet One: Homelessness (pdf) (March 27)

In our first fact sheet (updated at April 3) CSI discusses the current state of homelessness in Australia and highlights specific risk areas.

The COVID-19 crisis will disproportionately affect those that are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness with respect to an increased risk of exposure and a greater likelihood of severe cases and mortality. In our updated response, we share a focus on public health responses and public health consequences.

The economic impact of COVID-19 and responses to it also places an enormous number of Australians at risk of homelessness, paving the way for a vicious cycle if policy levers across a broad range of domains are not fully utilised. Our homelessness policy response to COVID-19 is quite simple: Prevent, House, and Support.

Authors: Professor Paul Flatau - CSI UWA, Dr Ami Seivwright - CSI UWA, Chris Hartley - CSI UNSW, Catherine Bock - CSI UWA and Zoe Callis - CSI UWA
Contact: Professor Paul Flatau | | @pflatau

Fact Sheet Two: Loneliness & Social Connection

> Download Fact Sheet Two: Loneliness & Social Connection (pdf)

We have long known that loneliness and social isolation cause people significant emotional pain and can have a negative impact on their health and wellbeing. Now, with COVID-19, we are being told to socially distance.

This risks making the problems associated with loneliness worse. It’s important we focus on keeping up social connections even while physically distancing - it’s perhaps our greatest resource and underpins social capital, social cohesion, good health, great neighbourhoods and being a happy human.

Our second fact sheet in the series highlights some short-term tips on how we can be healthy social humans in these unusual times.

Authors: Professor Jane Farmer, Tracy De Cotta, Jasmine Knox and Viktoria Adler
Contact: Professor Jane Farmer |

Fact Sheet Three: Protecting People with Disability 

> Download Fact Sheet Three: Protecting People with Disability During COVID-19

There is an urgent need for the disability and health sectors to develop a coordinated response that protects the health of over 4 million Australians with disability.

This third fact sheet, in partnership with the Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health, details the actions needed to protect people with disability and the disability support workforce during COVID-19, with a range of recommendations.

Authors: Professor Anne Kavanagh, Professor Gemma Carey, Professor Helen Dickinson, Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn and Professor Bruce Bonyhady.
Contact: Professor Anne Kavanagh |

Fact Sheet Four: Digital Inclusion

> Download Fact Sheet Four: Digital Inclusion and COVID-19 (pdf)

Australia’s response to containing COVID-19 needs us to be more digitally connected than ever. Yet, more than 2.5 million Australians are not online and many of those who are lack the skills to benefit fully from this connectivity. Affordable access to the internet also remains a key concern, particularly for low-income households.

Many Australian small businesses and organisations are also limited in their digital access and capacity. This fact sheet focuses on the need for access, affordability, and improved ability. 

Authors: Professor Jo Barraket and Dr Chris Wilson
Contact: Professor Jo Barraket |

More fact sheets will follow throughout April, 2020.

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