In addition to the annual survey of social cohesion in Australia funded by the Scanlon Foundation since 2007, the Foundation has supported research in local areas of high immigrant concentration. Local area surveys were conducted in 2007, 2009 and 2012, with a focus on two Local Government Areas in Sydney (Fairfield and Bankstown) and two in Melbourne (Hume and Greater Dandenong). The research focuses on immigration and the impact of cultural diversity.
To extend the scope of these surveys, the then Department of Immigration and Citizenship, on the advice of the Australian Multicultural Council, provided funding for surveys in five local areas, one each in Brisbane (Logan) and Perth (Mirrabooka), and in three regional centres (Murray Bridge, Shepparton and the Atherton Tablelands). A minimum of 500 interviews were conducted in each of the five local areas.
The purpose of the 2013 local area surveys was to provide an enhanced evidence base to support the development and delivery of government programs, and to help inform the advice that the Australian Multicultural Council provides to government on issues of social cohesion. In addition to the five local surveys, the Scanlon Foundation provided funding to survey recent immigrant arrivals resident in mainland capital cities.
As a result of the surveys, two reports were published: Mapping Social Cohesion, The Scanlon Foundation Surveys 2013: Local Areas and 2013: Recent Arrivals. The reports were launched in Parliament House, Canberra, and were widely reported in the Australian media.
Professor Andrew Markus
Department of Immigration and Citizenship
Date of Award