When a government undertakes an inquiry, you can participate by making your views known via a submission.
A submission is a document or other communication that represents the views of an individual or organisation, and is provided to the inquiry body for consideration.
Anyone can make a submission — that includes people with lived experience of homelessness and the organisations providing support and advocacy.
Have you experienced homelessness?
You have valuable knowledge that can help change the system for good. Consider becoming part of a group working to end homelessness via our Peer Education Support Program (PESP).
Sharing your knowledge of what could have helped prevent your experience of homelessness can make a huge difference.
You will get full support from our team and you don’t have to share your story if you are not comfortable doing so.
Planning your submission
When conducting an inquiry, Parliamentary committees invite submissions during a specific period. When you have identified an inquiry that you would like to contribute to, it’s time to start preparing.
Each inquiry has terms of reference outlining what the committee will consider, which are published on the committee’s website or can be requested. You should read the terms of reference and ensure that your submission addresses at least one of the issues that the committee is considering.
Check the deadline for submissions, as timeframes are usually very strict. Be sure to give yourself enough time to create and send your submission prior to the deadline.
Choose a format that suits you. Although many committees prefer to receive written submissions, they will make efforts to accept submissions in other formats. If writing isn’t your thing, you can prepare a video or voice recording.
What to include
There is no set format when creating a submission, but there are some valuable tips that can help you to make your submission as impactful as possible.
Make recommendations. This is the most important piece of advice for creating a submission. Whether you have lived experience of homelessness, or you support people who do, you can use your insights to help Parliament see what they should be doing about homelessness, and to determine what happens next. Consider the following questions:
Think of a time when you, or people you have supported, had a home and were about to lose it. What could have changed things? What might have helped to avoid homelessness?
Think of a time when you, or people you have supported, didn’t have a home. What might have changed things to avoid or reduce the amount of time being without a home?
Be clear. Committees often receive hundreds of submissions. Making your points clear and succinct will help to communicate the key issues. If you are writing a longer submission, consider using headings, bullet-points, and a summary at the beginning of the document.
Include your details. If you are an individual, it is a good idea to include your name and address. However, if you don’t have an address or don’t want to provide your name, you don’t have to. Your submission will still be accepted.
If you are creating a submission on behalf of an organisation, include your position in the organisation and the level at which your submission has been authorised.
Sending your submission
When you are happy that you have created an impactful submission containing clear recommendations according to the inquiry terms of reference, it’s time to send.
Digital submissions are the usual method of sending a submission. Visit the e-submissions area of the committee’s website for further information, or you can send an email with your submission to the listed email address.
Hard copies of submissions can be sent via post to:
Parliament House, Spring St
EAST MELBOURNE VIC 3002
Remember to leave enough time for your submission to arrive prior to the deadline.
For more information about preparing, creating, and sending a submission to a Victorian Parliamentary committee, visit the Parliament of Victoria web page.