Mapping Social Cohesion 2007 Report
The Mapping Social Cohesion 2007 Report – the Scanlon Foundation surveys, represented the first round of a major longitudinal survey of attitudes to social cohesion in Australia, under the direction of Professor Andrew Markus of Monash University.
This first large-scale survey in 2007 showed that:
- a majority of people trust their fellow Australians;
- a growing number support government assistance to ethnic minorities;
- community disaffection rates in Australia are comparatively low; and
- there is strong and broad based majority support for current immigration intake levels, even though these are at their highest point in the post World War 2 period.
The survey polled 2000 adults across Australia. The results were further underpinned by a series of comparative surveys in five local areas of high immigrant concentration where, it is thought, the potential for social tension is higher.
The report (refer to Reports of the Scanlon Foundation Surveys, Monash University), contains key findings from the national and local surveys which include:
- A majority of Australians agree with the proposition that 'most people can be trusted', a marked change from responses given in the past decade;
- The lowest level of support for government immigration policy is found among people with trade level qualifications, people born in Australia to Australia-born parents, and those aged over 54 years;
- Nearly one in four long-time Australians (i.e. those born here to Australia-born parents) think that the current immigration intake level is too high, disagree with diversity in the immigration program and disapprove of government assistance to ethnic groups;
- Some 85% of people expect that their own lives will be the same or better in the next three to four years, but only 52% expect that the lives of today's children will be the same or better in the future (some 43% thought they will be worse off);
- Victorians and South Australians are most likely to agree with the proposition that 'accepting immigrants from many different countries makes Australia stronger';
- Nationally, around one in 10 Australians report discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity or religion over the past 12 months; 5.8% of respondents report experience of discrimination on a continuing basis, at least once per month; and
- In the local surveys, over half (53.6%) of those whose first language is Mandarin, Cantonese or Vietnamese report experience of discrimination over the course of their lives.