users & uses

Who’s using Regional Wellbeing Survey data?

An increasing number of organisations are drawing on data from the Regional Wellbeing Survey. Their reports are looking at quality of life, wellbeing, and changes occurring in rural and regional communities. Here are a few examples of the range of organisations drawing on our data, and how they are using it…

The Western Victoria Primary Health Network drew on our data tables for their region (amongst many sources of data) to inform their Needs Assessment. 


The Young Farmers Ministerial Advisory Council drew on the survey to help identify recommendations — check out their recommendations.


Survey data were drawn on as part of an assessment of the social and economic impacts of the Murray Darling Basin Plan in Victoria, commissioned by the Victorian Government.


Noosa Shire Council was one of the communities with the highest quality of life in our 2016 Regional Wellbeing Survey results — and they’re proud of it!


Monash University produced a report on social sustainability in dairy communities that drew in part on data from the survey.


Agricultural industries are including measures of wellbeing in their sustainability monitoring – with some drawing on Regional Wellbeing Survey data to do so. Read about how the wellbeing of farmers is being reported on as part of agricultural industry sustainability reporting in industries including dairy, beef and cotton…




South Gippsland Shire Council are drawing on survey data as part of reporting on health and wellbeing in their community — you can see it represented in their community health and wellbeing profile.


Ernst and Young drew on RWS data as part of examining the socio-economic impacts of options for recovering further water in the Murray-Darling Basin.


Our measures of access to important types of infrastructure in rural and regional areas are used by the National Farmers’ Federation to help measure outcomes against their 2030 Roadmap.


Want Some MORE Reading Material?

Here’s a list of selected journal articles produced by researchers other than the RWS team…


Vidyattama, Y., & Tanton, R. (2020). Using a Spatial Farm Microsimulation Model for Australia to Estimate the Impact of an External Shock on Farmer Incomes. In Statistics for Data Science and Policy Analysis (pp. 283-304). Springer, Singapore.

Alston, M., Clarke, J., & Whittenbury, K. (2018). Limits to adaptation: Reducing irrigation water in the Murray-Darling Basin dairy communities. Journal of Rural Studies58, 93-102.

Alston, M., Clarke, J., & Whittenbury, K. (2018). Contemporary feminist analysis of Australian farm women in the context of climate changes. Social Sciences7(2), 16.

Hasselman, L., & Stoker, G. (2017). Market-based governance and water management: the limits to economic rationalism in public policy. Policy Studies38(5), 502-517.

Mann, S., Freyens, B., & Dinh, H. (2017). Crises and structural change in Australian agriculture. Review of Social Economy75(1), 76-87.

Dinh, H., Daly, A., & Freyens, B. (2017). Farm adjustment strategies to water-related challenges in the Murray-Darling Basin. Policy Studies38(5), 482-501.


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:



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

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.



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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