Launch of Australian Cohesion Index

​Australia’s social cohesion is strong, with economic prosperity, optimism for the future and support for multiculturalism all trending upwards, according to the Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion 2021 report.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke MP said despite the challenges of the pandemic, social cohesion in Australia has remained strong, with the nation continuing to pull together.

“Australia’s strong social cohesion is a national asset and in no small part the reason we are the world’s leading multicultural society,” Minister Hawke said.

“Despite the tough year many Australians have experienced, we have stayed together, with the value and trust we place in our neighbours and local communities increasing.

“Strong support for multiculturalism has continued, with 86 per cent of people agreeing that immigrants are good for Australia’s economy, and 86 per cent believing that multiculturalism has been good for Australia.

“Personal experiences of discrimination remained stable at 16 per cent, and attitudes toward specific multicultural communities became more positive across the board, with no increase in racist or xenophobic views amongst respondents.

“Sixty per cent of respondents consider racism and discrimination to be significant issues that must be addressed. This strong increase in community awareness is crucially important to stamping it out,” Minister Hawke said.

Despite the extended impact of the pandemic on large parts of the surveyed population, 71 per cent of respondents indicated they are satisfied with their financial situation, and 71 per cent of respondents are optimistic about Australia’s future.

The Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion 2021 report includes the inaugural Australian Cohesion Index (ACI), which is the result of a new partnership between the Government and the Scanlon Foundation Research Institute, and is part of the Government’s $62.8 million social cohesion package, to strengthen Australia’s social cohesion and community resilience in the COVID-19 recovery period. This builds on a $71 million package of social cohesion measures announced in March 2019.

The Index combines data from the survey with demographic data, including from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, to create one of the world’s most comprehensive social cohesion trackers.

For more information about the ACI and the findings of the 2021 Mapping Social Cohesion report visit
https://scanloninstitute.org.au/mapping-social-cohesion-2021

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