Aligned Referral Pathways

The path of most resistance

Definitions of hardship and vulnerability vary from business to business. Every organisation has its own processes, policies and work cultures in relation to vulnerability, and negotiating this complex web of help can be difficult and stressful for those trying to find a pathway to assistance.

The evidence we have bears this out – we know that, although 21% of customers arrange a payment plan with a utility provider, they rarely seek assistance from all their providers.

It’s easy to see that corporations as a collective are providing an inconsistent customer experience – and why, when faced with this siloed approach to offering help, many vulnerable customers fall through the gaps.

If we stand in the shoes of our customers, we realise there is a need to build a common approach that is empathetic to the needs of customers. In turn, we can improve our collective system of support and our business efficiency if we respond to this need.

What is the purpose of this project?

Our primary goal is to reduce system complexity so that we can improve our services for customers and community workers. A common understanding of vulnerability and hardship will enable greater cohesion and future opportunity for collaboration among all the members of the partnership.

Defining an aligned view of hardship and vulnerability, and a common language to describe them, is a critical first step in our endeavours to deliver the ‘vulnerability hub’.

How will we kick things off?

On 24 August 2017 a co-creation workshop will be held at the Melbourne Arts Centre to facilitate the collaboration of more than 50 organisations in the development of the charter.

Participating organisations have been invited to share their existing policies, to enable us to find synergies for workshopping. During the session, we will focus on building an aligned view and common language as a foundation for effective referral pathways across sectors.


If you would like to participate in the workshop you can reach us via email at


Share this Post: