Eight year high for social cohesion in Australia

The latest Scanlon-Monash Index of Social Cohesion report has confirmed that social cohesion in Australia is at an eight-year high.

The Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells says, it is encouraging that the 2015 report shows Australians continue to overwhelmingly support a multicultural Australia.

The Scanlon-Monash Index of Social Cohesion (SMI) has been mapping social cohesion since 2007.

“This is a good result in difficult times and I am pleased that Australia remains a stable and cohesive society”, said Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.

“The SMI found there is strong support for our cultural diversity with more respondents than ever (86 per cent) agreeing that ‘multiculturalism has been good for Australia’ Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“Multiculturalism is the glue that holds us together and makes us the envy of the world.”

“With 45 per cent of us either born overseas or with at least one parent who was, we are one of the most culturally diverse, yet socially cohesive nations on earth,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

The Mapping Social Cohesion report includes views on the extent to which Australians and immigrants should change their behaviour.

Two new questions asked ‘we should do more to learn about the customs and heritage of different ethnic and cultural groups in this country’ and ‘people who come to Australia should change their behaviour to be more like Australians’ yielded similar results of 65-68 per cent of respondents in agreement or strong agreement.

“Our diversity and strong social cohesion supports the proposition that we are compatible and complementary,” said Senator Fierravanti-Wells.

The report also found a strong (93 per cent) “sense of belonging in Australia” (92 per cent in 2014).

The Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion report released today is the eighth in a series of detailed surveys on social cohesion, immigration and population issues. The series measures and tracks the social attitudes and trends of a diverse cross-section of members of the Australian community.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to a multicultural Australia and continuing to strengthen Australia’s high levels of social cohesion.

“We will continue to promote community harmony and social cohesion by working with business, the community, individuals as well as state and territory governments.”