Report: The Australia we want
May 8th, 2019
Following the publication of the
Community Council of Australia’s (CCA) first report in 1916, this second report
released last Tuesday starts with a simple question: What kind of
Australia do we want to live in?
The Community Council for
Australia (CCA) has been framing new policy platforms for the future of the
Australian charities and not-for-profit sector over a period of years, to support
a stronger sector, and to ensure its work builds flourishing communities across
Australia we want reports are an exercise in measurement informed by
imagination and hope. We have dared to ask fundamental questions about our
future: what if we could live in an Australia where incarceration rates are
falling, where the suicide rate is less than the road toll, where levels of
violence against women and children have been significantly reduced? Imagine an
Australia where your postcode or cultural identity does not define your chance
of getting an education or a job or living a long life? Imagine an Australia
where creativity drives real innovation and achievement, not just in our arts, but
also in our schools and local communities? Imagine a humane and sustainable
Australia, where people are more connected and engaged in the communities they
live and work in, and where this involvement is reflected in the way we form
policies and laws? Imagine a generous and kind Australia where we take pride in
supporting the less fortunate in our own communities, in our region and beyond?
Imagine the Australia we want?
of Report – Overview from Rev Tim Costello AO, Chair CCA
The report notes that while the
trends are generally positive with Australia overall performing slightly better
than in the previous report, there are several areas of concern. Incarceration
rates, suicide rates, housing unaffordability, levels of giving and levels of
CO2 emissions are all tracking in the wrong direction in this report.
Volunteering, educational attainment, and female participation in the workplace
are all trending in the right direction. As a consequence of these changes,
some jurisdictions, including Victoria and Western Australia, have improved
their scores, while others, including the Australian Capital Territory and New
South Wales, have gone backwards since the first report.
values outlined in the first report on
this topic in 2016, include just, fair, safe, inclusive, equality of
opportunity, united, authentic, creative, confident, courageous, optimistic,
generous, kind, and compassionate.
New South Wales is
the equal lowest performing jurisdiction mainly because it has the highest
level of income inequality in Australia, an increasing suicide rate, increasing
CO2 emissions and a high level of housing unaffordability. Levels of giving are
declining but they remain relatively high, educational attainment is better
than the national average and increasing.
Across the country, Volunteering
is at the heart of community life in Australia; in education, sport, emergency
services, welfare, housing, culture, the arts and so many other areas, volunteers
make Australia a better place to live. In many ways, our preparedness to give
our time is one of the most important measures of the strength of our
For this reason,
charity and not-for-profit leaders see the rate at which Australians are
prepared to volunteer as a fundamental indicator in achieving the Australia we
want to live in. Recent census data from the ABS indicates that in 2016, around
19% of the population aged 15 and over volunteered in the past 12 months. This
was an increase compared to a volunteer rates in earlier census years (17.8% in
2011, and 17.9% in 2006).