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reports

The Regional Wellbeing Survey team produce a wide range of reports that draw on data collected in our surveys. This page provides links to the reports our team have produced. You can find out how other people and organisations have used our survey data here. All reports are publicly accessible, as are some of our journal papers. If you wish to access one of our journal papers that is not available to download for free, and are having difficulty doing so, please contact us as regionalwellbeing@canberra.edu.au and we will assist you in accessing the article.

 

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2022 |2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2013-14

2022

Health and safety in Victoria’s agricultural workforce, 2021

An analysis of work health and safety (WHS) risks amongst the Victorian agricultural workforce in 2020 found that agricultural workers were much more likely than those working in other industries to experience WHS risks. This report builds on this analysis by identifying how the types of WHS risk experienced by Victoria’s agricultural workforce changed between 2020 and 2021. It then examines whether WHS risk increases when those working on farms experiencing any of a range of farming challenges, from drought to flood to labour shortage and supply chain issues, and the role of factors such as farm planning, personal resilience, help seeking and access to personal support in moderating WHS risk.

The results from the project can be found here:

Health and safety in Victoria’s agricultural workforce 2021 – full report

Caring for others and yourself - results from the 2022 Carer Wellbeing Survey

The Regional Wellbeing Survey team have worked with Carers Australia to produce another year of data tracking the wellbeing of Australian unpaid carers. The 2022 Carer Wellbeing Survey highlights the impacts COVID-19 has had for carers, with many experiencing reduced access to support (informal and formal), an increase in caregiving responsibilities, and an increase in isolation due to the effects of the pandemic. While carers continue to be more likely to report poorer health and wellbeing and higher financial stress compared to the average Australian, many carers feel positive about how their ability to provide high quality care is changing over time, and more feel that access to support is improving than feel it is declining.

The full results from the 2022 Carer Wellbeing Survey can be found here:

2022 Carer Wellbeing Survey – Full data report

Living well in the ACT region: The changing wellbeing of Canberrans during 2020 and 2021

Since 2019, the wellbeing of Canberrans has been challenged by multiple events, including bushfire, pandemic and severe storms. This report examines how the wellbeing of Canberrans changed between 2019 and 2021, using data from the University of Canberra’s Living Well in the ACT Region survey. Survey data are used to examine a number of wellbeing indicators from the ACT Wellbeing Framework, including personal wellbeing, access and connectivity, nature connection, health, identity and belonging, living standards, safety, social connection and time use.

Living well in the ACT region2022

2021

Carer Wellbeing Survey

The Regional Wellbeing Survey team are proud to be working with Carers Australia to track the wellbeing of carers. The 2021 Carer Wellbeing Survey found that unpaid carers are lonelier, in poorer physical and mental health, and are less likely to be employed compared to the average Australian.

The results from the 2021 Carer Wellbeing Survey can be found here:

Carer-Wellbeing-Survey-Executive-Summary

Carer-Wellbeing-Survey_Full-Report

 

Mental Health Commission: Community Resilience, Wellbeing and Recovery Project Resources

University of Canberra undertook research to better understand what local factors  (community assets) contribute to community resilience, recovery and wellbeing, and how to best leverage and support community assets to take advantage of their role in community recovery.

The results can be found here:

https://www.nswmentalhealthcommission.com.au/advocacy-work/community-resilience-wellbeing-and-recovery-project-resources

 

Resilience of NSW farmers

This report examines the resilience of farmers in New South Wales (NSW) in 2020, and compares this resilience to earlier findings on farmer resilience in 2015. The report was commissioned by the NSW Department of Primary Industries Rural Resilience Program.

The report can be access here:

Resilience of NSW farmers_26May2021

 

Health and safety in Victoria’s agricultural workforce

This report investigates the types of workplace risks the agricultural workforce (farmers and farm workers) experienced in the last 12 months in Victoria, and more broadly in Australia. It then examines which farmers are at higher risk of specific types of poor WHS conditions or events, and factors associated with reduced risk of poor WHS outcomes.

The report can be found here:

Farmer WHS_final report

 

2020

Living well in the ACT region: initial insights into wellbeing of ACT residents in 2019-20

The first report from the Living well in the ACT region survey tested different measures of quality of life, and examined how bushfires, hailstorm and COVID-19 changed the wellbeing of ACT residents between late 2019 and May 2020. You can access four reports:

Thriving, Surviving or Declining Communities: socio-economic change in Murray-Darling Basin communities

The Regional Wellbeing Survey team were commissioned to draw on a range of sources to examine the extent to which different communities in the Murray-Darling Basin have been thriving, surviving or declining. The report was commissioned by the Panel for the Independent Assessment of Social and Economic Conditions in the Murray-Darling Basin.  CLICK TO VIEW

Understanding Participation In Water Trading By Irrigators In The Murray-Darling Basin

As part of the Murray-Darling Basin water markets inquiry, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission commissioned the Regional Wellbeing Survey team to produce a report examining how irrigators participate in and experience water trade markets in the Murray-Darling Basin.

CLICK TO VIEW

Exploring The ‘Issue-Attention Cycle’: does length of time since wildfire predict social acceptability of prescribed burning? (journal paper published in Environmental Management)

In this paper, lead author Mel Mylek examines whether the level of attention being given to bushfires at a given point in time predicts the extent to which members of the public support the use of prescribed burning.

CLICK TO VIEW

Forest Industry Workforce — socio-economic wellbeing and community contributions

This report examines the wellbeing of workers employed in the forest industry in Australia, and contributions made by the industry’s workforce to the communities they live in.

CLICK TO VIEW

2019

Wellbeing, Resilience and Adaptive Capacity — A review of current knowledge of social conditions in the Murray-Darling Basin

The Regional Wellbeing Survey team were commissioned to draw on a range of sources to examine the extent to which different communities in the Murray-Darling Basin have been thriving, surviving or declining. The report was commissioned by the Panel for the Independent Assessment of Social and Economic Conditions in the Murray-Darling Basin.  CLICK TO VIEW

Farm Exit, Wellbeing and Autonomy: a quantitative analysis of exited farmers in Australia (journal paper published in Rural Society)

In this paper, lead author Dominic Peel and co-authors examine the wellbeing of people who have left farming, finding out whether their wellbeing is higher or lower than those who remain in farming. The paper specifically examines the role of ‘autonomy’ – broadly, having the ability to control what happens to you in life – in the wellbeing of those who have left farming.

CLICK TO VIEW

Drought and Distress In Southeastern Australia (journal paper published in EcoHealth)

In this journal paper, lead author Ivan Hanigan and co-authors examine which rural Australians experienced greater psychological distress associated with drought.

CLICK TO VIEW

Engaging With The National Carp Control Plan: summary of a stakeholder workshop

This report examines views of a range of stakeholders living and working in regions affected by invasion of European carp about proposed carp control methods.

Reports of the ‘Carp control: understanding community and stakeholder attitudes and assessing social effects’ project

These reports examine the potential socio-economic impacts on different groups of using a carp virus to reduce numbers of European carp in inland and estuary areas of Australia. The reports draw both on data from the Regional Wellbeing Survey and from other sources.

NSW Forest Monitoring Project: stakeholder and public views about forest monitoring

This project examines views of the public and stakeholders about investing in a forest monitoring program. It does not draw directly on Regional Wellbeing Survey data, but does examine how important stakeholders find monitoring of topics related to how forests affect wellbeing and quality of life.

CLICK TO VIEW

2018

Supporting Drought Affected Farmers and Communities

This report examines key findings from the 2018 Regional Wellbeing Survey about how to support drought-affected farmers and communities.

CLICK TO VIEW

Graziers With Better Profitability, Biodiversity And Wellbeing

This report, led by Sue Ogilvy, examined whether farmers engaging in best practice approaches to regenerative farming have better than average profitability, biodiversity and wellbeing. The Regional Wellbeing Survey team contributed the wellbeing analysis, drawing on data from the survey.

CLICK TO VIEW

Environmental Conflict: Engaging With Scientific Information And Community Activism (Book Chapter In Land Use In Australia: Past, Present And Future)

This book chapter draws on data from the Regional Wellbeing Survey and other sources to examine the challenges of engaging constructively in discussion and debate about important environmental management issues, and the role of scientific data in doing so.

CLICK TO VIEW

Quantifying an Integral Ecology Framework: A case study of the Riverina, Australia (journal paper published in Earth’s Future)

In this journal paper, lead author Sarah Wheeler and co-authors examine the use of integral ecology, a philosophical framework seeking to address community, economic, social and environmental sustainability simultaneously.

CLICK TO VIEW

Mechanical Fuel Load Reduction Trials — social attitudes

This report, commissioned by the Australian Government, examines community and stakeholder views about the potential use of mechanical fuel load reduction to reduce bushfire risk. Multiple bushfire inquiries have recommended investigated of increased use of mechanical fuel load reduction, and this study examined whether and under what circumstances this would be considered acceptable. Data from the Regional Wellbeing Survey are used to examine community views.

CLICK TO VIEW

Getting The National Carp Control Plan Right: Ensuring the plan addresses community and stakeholder needs, interests and concerns

This report uses data from the Regional Wellbeing Survey and discussions with stakeholders to identify key social and economic considerations important to incorporate as part of the development of the National Carp Control Plan.

CLICK TO VIEW

Socio-Economic Impacts Of The Forest Industry In Australia — multiple reports

These reports examine the social and economic impacts of the forest industry in the multiple regions of Australia in which it operates. The reports draw on data from both the Regional Wellbeing Survey and other reports.

CLICK TO VIEW

2017

Wellbeing Indicators Across The Life Cycle

This report, commissioned by the Sax Institute, reviewed indicators of wellbeing that are relevant to different stages of people’s lives, from birth to death. It reviewed the extent to which commonly proposed wellbeing indicators meet criteria for useability based on their frequency of use in reputable frameworks, the evidence that they measure something important to wellbeing, and availability of data.

CLICK TO VIEW

Growing Resilience To Drought: Natural Resource Management As A Resilience Intervention — report for NRM regions

This report examines whether investing in natural resource management activities can confer resilience to drought for farmers, and under what circumstances.

CLICK TO VIEW

Regenerative Farming: Healthy Land, Healthy Profits, Healthy People — 6th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium

This presentation examines whether farmers who use regenerative farming practices have better wellbeing compared to others.

CLICK TO VIEW

Water Reform: Socio-Economic Effects Of Investment In Water Infrastructure

This report, commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, examines how irrigators experienced specific aspects of key water reforms forming part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

CLICK TO VIEW

Socio-Economic Effects Of Commonwealth Water Recovery In The Murray-Darling Basin: Insights from the Regional Wellbeing Survey (2013-2016)

This report, summarises findings of three reports commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources between 2013 and 2015 that examined how irrigators experienced specific aspects of key water reforms forming part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

CLICK TO VIEW

Assessing And Managing The Social Effects Of Water Reform In Agricultural Areas (book chapter)

This chapter examines how the social effects of water reform in agricultural areas can be assessed, using examples from the Regional Wellbeing Survey.

CLICK TO VIEW

2016

Carers In Regional Australia: the 2016 Regional Wellbeing Survey report

Carers do highly important work that often goes unrecognised, and very little is known about the experience of being a carer located in rural and regional parts of Australia. This report uses data from the Regional Wellbeing Survey to better understand the quality of life of carers across Australia.

CLICK TO VIEW

Riverina Local Land Services Natural Resource Management Activities: evaluation of socio-economic benefits and costs

This report examines whether farmers who participate in natural resource management activities report achieving a better quality of life as a result, and under what circumstances.

CLICK TO VIEW

NSW Rural Women’s Challenges And Ideas For Action

In this project, the Regional Wellbeing Survey team worked with the NSW Rural Women’s Network to develop a picture of key challenges experienced by NSW rural women and ideas for action.

Water Reform: Assessing effects of investment in water infrastructure and water entitlement purchase

This report, commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, examines how irrigators experienced specific aspects of key water reforms forming part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

CLICK TO VIEW

Farm Exit Intention And Wellbeing: a study of Australian farmers (Journal of Rural Studies)

In this journal paper, Dominic Peel and co-authors examine whether planning to leave farming in the future is associated with lower wellbeing, and find that farmers who are thinking about leaving farming do often have poorer than typical wellbeing in the years immediately prior to exiting farming.

CLICK TO VIEW

2015

Wellbeing, Resilience And Liveability In Rural And Regional Australia

This report summarises the key findings of the 2015 Regional Wellbeing Survey, covering all our key topics from the wellbeing of individuals and communities, through to social connection, financial wellbeing, access to services and infrastructure, and views about leadership and governance.

Farming Challenges & Farmer Wellbeing: the 2015 Regional Wellbeing Survey - Farmer Report 1

This report summarises key challenges farmers reported experiencing in the 2015 Regional Wellbeing Survey.

CLICK TO VIEW

Wellbeing, Community Connections And Resilience Of Dairy Farmers

This report updates and expands on our 2014 report examining the wellbeing of dairy farmers in Australia, examining more about community connections and resilience of this group.

CLICK TO VIEW

Understanding The Resilience Of NSW Farmers

In 2015, the NSW Rural Resilience Program commissioned us to develop a method for measuring the resilience of farmers across NSW that could provide a basis for both longer-term monitoring, and shorter-term identification of specific issues. The report and powerpoint files provide key findings from the project.

Socio-Economic Outcomes Of Investment In On-Farm And Off-Farm Water Infrastructure Improvement: Regional Wellbeing Survey analysis

This report, commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, examines how irrigators experienced specific aspects of water reforms forming part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

CLICK TO VIEW

Agriculture in the Riverina: Value, importance and impediments to increased competitiveness

This report, commissioned by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, examined the value and importance of agriculture in the Riverina region of NSW. It draws on a number of data sources, of which the Regional Wellbeing Survey was one.

CLICK TO VIEW

Perceived Profitability And Well-Being In Australian Dryland Farmers And Irrigators (Australian Journal of Rural Health)

In this journal paper, Dominic Peel and co-authors examine the connection between how a farmer feels their farm is performing financially, and the wellbeing of the farmer.

CLICK TO VIEW

2013-14

People and Communities: the 2014 Regional Wellbeing Survey

This report summarises the key findings of the 2014 Regional Wellbeing Survey, and covers topics ranging from how socially connected people find their communities, to experience of financial stress, climatic variability, governance and leadership, and access to services and infrastructure.

CLICK TO VIEW

Farmers and Agriculture: the 2014 Regional Wellbeing Survey

This report explores the wellbeing of farmers across Australia, and seeks to better understand how changes and challenges on the farm affect the wellbeing of farmers.

CLICK TO VIEW

Dairy Farmer Wellbeing: the 2014 Regional Wellbeing Survey

This report examines the wellbeing of dairy farmers in Australia, testing how well we can examine the wellbeing of people employed in specific industries as part of our work.

CLICK TO VIEW

People and Place in Australia: the 2013 Regional Wellbeing Survey Summary Report

This report provides the results from our first ever Regional Wellbeing Survey, conducted in 2013. If you want to download higher resolution files, you can download the report in four parts below:

  • Front cover to page 35 (PDF, 3907.54 KB)
  • Page 36 to page 90 (PDF, 5647.74 KB)
  • Page 91 to page 143 (PDF, 6529.03 KB)
  • Page 144 to page 198 and Back cover (PDF, 5708.48 KB)

HELP US IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE IN RURAL & REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

Join us this November at the Building Wellbeing into Policy and Action in Australia workshop, being held at the University of Canberra. At the workshop you will hear about the diversity of wellbeing initiatives currently happening in Australia across the government, not-for-profit and private sectors.

Organisations across Australia are increasingly embedding consideration of wellbeing outcomes in their decision making and investment processes. At the summit, you will hear examples of how this is being done by different governments, not-for-profit organisations and community groups, as well as in industries such as agriculture. Participants will discuss key opportunities, challenges and needs going forward in Australia, and identify priorities for future action.

Through the workshop, we aim to build a network of people interested in working together to continue building wellbeing into policy and action across Australia. All participants are encouraged to discuss opportunities to continue discussions and action beyond the workshop.

 

Register here for the workshop 

Participants can register to participate in person in Canberra, or online. You can register for one day or for the whole workshop. Follow the link below to register:

https://canberra.onestopsecure.com/canberra/onestopweb/VW6/booking?e=2022WS

 

Workshop program

The workshop includes a packed program – download the workshop program here

If you have any problems logging in online, please email wellbeingsummit@canberra.edu.au

 

Monday 21 November

9.30-10.00: Wellbeing in politics and policy: why do we need wellbeing-focused decision making?

Speakers in this session include Mike Salvaris and Geoff Woolcock from the Australian National Development Index, and speakers from the OECD.

10.00-10.30: International perspectives: lessons for building wellbeing into policy and action

Speaker in this session is Kate Scrivens, OECD Centre for Well-Being, Inclusion, Sustainability
and Equal Opportunity.

11.00-12.30: From measurement to action: lessons from international experience.

Hear from speakers including Bryan Smale (Canadian Index of Wellbeing), Rob Tanton with Jacki Schirmer (University of Canberra) and Cressida Gaukroger (lead author of the Centre for Policy Development’s recent report reviewing lessons from international experience for wellbeing initiatives in Australia).

1.30-3.20 Wellbeing into policy and action across Australia’s governments – Session 1

Speakers from the Australian, State and Territory governments, those in the university and private sector who are working with different jurisdictions, will talk about their work developing a wellbeing economy, wellbeing frameworks, and wellbeing-centric decision making. Speakers include Tim Ogden (Treasury), Peter Robinson (ACT Government), Helen Thomas (Wellbeing SA), and Mike Salvaris with Geoff Woolcock (Australian National Development Index).

3.40-5.00pm Wellbeing into policy and action for specific sectors and groups

Hear about how different groups are developing wellbeing-focused approaches to policy and action to support the wellbeing of groups including children and carers. Speakers include Joyce Cleary (Deakin University), Gemma Wood (Australian Youth Development Index, Numbers and People Synergy), and Kate Reynolds with Robert Gotts (National Student Wellbeing Project).

Discussion: Challenges and opportunities for building wellbeing into policy and action for children, carers, those with disability, and other specific groups.

5.00-6.00pm Social networking drinks

 

Tuesday 22 November

9.00-10.30: Sustainability, climate change, disasters and wellbeing

Hear about how we can develop Earth-centred wellbeing approaches, and maintain wellbeing through disasters, from speakers including Michelle Maloney (Australian Earth Laws Alliance and New Economy Network Australia), Julie Boulton (Monash University) and Rebecca Huntley (89 Degrees East).

Discussion: Sustainable wellbeing in a changing climate

11.00-1.00pm: From measurement to action: from data to action across Australia

Hear about the different groups who are measuring wellbeing across Australia using surveys and statistical data collections. Find out where you can access information, and help identify key needs going forward. Speakers include Mark Wooden (Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey), Ray Lovett (Australian National University), Kate Lycett (Deakin University) and Lauren Binns (ABS).

Discussion: Challenges and opportunities for data collection and measurement

1.30-3.30 Urban, regional, rural and remote – wellbeing from all regions

How do we build wellbeing into policy and action across Australia’s diverse regions? Hear from speakers including Jacki Schirmer (University of Canberra), Kim Houghton (Regional Australia Institute), Susi Tegen (National Rural Health Alliance) and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

Discussion: Wellbeing into policy and action for all regions

3.50-5.10pm Wellbeing into policy and action for all: not-for-profit and community sector
experience

Hear about how not-for-profit and community groups are working to build wellbeing into policy and action, and the challenges and opportunities experienced. Speakers include Ben Latham (Victorian Council of Social Service), Julia Keady (X Factor Collective), Peter Gordon (Hands Across Canberra, Vital Signs initiative) and Andrew Yule (Jesuit Social Services).

6.30pm Dinner - Societal wellbeing: what's the economy got to do with it? Speaker Katherine Trebeck

 

Wednesday 23 November

9.00-11.00am Wellbeing into policy and action across Australia’s jurisdictions – Session 2

Speakers from the Australian, State and Territory governments, those in the university and private sector who are working with different jurisdictions, will talk about their work developing a wellbeing economy, wellbeing frameworks, and wellbeing-centric decision making. Speakers include Arthur Grimes (Chair of Wellbeing and Public Policy, Victoria University of Wellbeing), Sandro Demaio, (VicHealth), Richard Parsons (DPI NSW), Michael Gadiel (NSW Treasury) and Libby Lester (University of Tasmania).

Discussion: What are the best paths to building wellbeing into policy and action?

11.30-1.00pm Closing session: Identifying priorities for building wellbeing into policy and action and next steps

This session will include group discussion to identify the priorities and needs for building wellbeing into policy and action in Australia going forward.

 

Speakers

You will hear from inspiring speakers who will discuss the different approaches being used in Australia and internationally to build policy and decision making processes that best support societal wellbeing, from local to national scale.

Join us in person or virtually to hear from our expert speakers, including:

  • Katherine Trebeck, co-founder of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance and WEAll Scotland
  • Michelle Maloney, co-founder of the New Economy Network Australia and the Australian Earth Laws Alliance
  • Bryan Smale, Director of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing
  • Cressida Gaukroger of the Centre for Policy Development and lead author of the recent report Redefining progress: global lessons for an Australian approach to wellbeing
  • Arthur Grimes, Chair of Wellbeing and Public Policy, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Peter Robinson, discussing the ACT Wellbeing Framework
  • Mike Salvaris and Geoff Woolcock discussing the Australian National Development Index
  • Sandro DeMaio of VicHealth, discussing the recently launched Wellbeing Economy Toolkit and Wellbeing Economy website
  • Libby Lester, University of Tasmania, discussing The Tasmania Project and Good Life Initiative
  • Jacki Schirmer, leader of the Regional Wellbeing Survey, Carer Wellbeing Survey and Living Well in the ACT region survey

…and many more from organisations including The Treasury, NSW Government, Wellbeing SA, Regional Wellbeing Survey, and National Student Wellbeing Project.

Contact us

Have questions? Contact us at wellbeingsummit@canberra.edu.au.

 

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