Australians more united during pandemic

The Morrison Government welcomes the release of the highly respected Scanlon Foundation Research Institute’s
Mapping Social Cohesion Report for 2020. The Report shows Australians are united and optimistic about our future and have the highest level of trust in one another in more than a decade.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke said even with the great challenges Australians faced during 2020, the Scanlon Report reminds us of the strong cohesion of the Australian community.

“What is most pleasing is that Australians’ trust in one another increased substantially during the pandemic, and that most people agree that immigration and multiculturalism are good for Australia. We truly have been ‘in this together’,” Minister Hawke said.

The Report shows strong support for Australian multiculturalism (84%, up from 80% in 2019), while 71% of Australians believe immigration makes us stronger, and 83% of respondents agree that immigration is good for Australia’s economy.

“Australians continue to agree that a well-managed migration program is critically important to the success of our economy and to their own prosperity. Australians also continue to strongly endorse Australia’s unique brand of multiculturalism,” he said.

And despite the pandemic, Australians also feel more positive across a range of personal financial indicators compared to previous years.

“Notwithstanding the negative economic impact of the pandemic, 73% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their financial situation. This is another clear endorsement of the Morrison Government’s signature economic measures like JobKeeper and JobMaker,” he said.

Pleasingly, trust in government was also the highest ever recorded by the Report, at 54%, while 85% considered the federal government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic ‘very well’ or ‘fairly well’. The Report cites Pew international research showing 94% had a positive view of Australia’s response to the pandemic.

“The Morrison Government’s commitment to social cohesion is a key part of our pandemic response and has helped to keep Australians together at this difficult time,” Minister Hawke said.

However, challenges remain. 39% of Asian Australians reported an experience of discrimination in the last 12 month. Negative attitudes towards people of Muslim faith have declined since 2018 but remain at 35%.

The 2021 Federal Budget includes $63 million of social cohesion measures to bring Australians together, including:

  • $37.3 million to promote Australian values, identity and social cohesion, and counter malign information online
  • $17.7 million to enhance engagement with multicultural communities
  • $7.9 million to establish a research program to inform initiatives to strengthen social cohesion.

“While the vast majority of Australians welcome people from all backgrounds and are committed to giving everyone a fair go, racism is still an unwelcome and unacceptable feature of too many attitudes. This is why the Morrison Government will continue to heavily invest in Australia’s social cohesion, and work to counter the extreme elements that promote racism our multicultural communities,” Minister Hawke said.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.