in the news

Our wellbeing findings in the news: Read about how our research is informing public opinion and debate.


202220212020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015


Canberra is the happiest capital of Australia

The Regional Wellbeing Team’s Living well in the ACT region survey finds Canberra has the nation’s highest average income, some of the shortest commuting times and good access to services and green spaces, and its citizens are happier than other city dwellers across Australia.

However, not everyone in Canberra is equally enjoying it’s benefits. A decline in overall livability was greatest among young people, carers, renters, people living in units and apartments, and new arrivals to the city. These groups were particularly hard hit by the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, where social isolation and economic pressures took their toll. For the full report, click here.

You can find the media articles at the links below.

The Guardian, 4 August 2022

The Canberra Times, 4 August 2022

RiotACT, 7 August 2022


Examining wellbeing across Canberra - Vital Signs 2021 report

The Regional Wellbeing Team is proud that data from the Living well in the ACT region survey is helping to better understand what is going well and less well for the quality of life of people living in the ACT, as the 2021 Canberra Vital Signs report is released.

Canberrans can celebrate a high sense of pride in First Nations cultures and high participation rates in community events and activities. However mental health declined between 2019 and 2020, and there was an increase in the number of adults reporting high rates of distress. 

 You can find the full report at the link below. 

Canberra VitalSigns 2021, 6 November 2021

Making wellbeing an industry priority

There is growing recognition globally that sustainable, responsible agricultural industries need to monitor and report on their social outcomes, in additional to the more traditional focus on environmental and economic outcomes.

The integration of social and wellbeing considerations into the Australian cotton industry’s sustainability targets is identified in the CRDC’s Strategic Plan. As part of its commitment to the Strategic Plan, CRDC engaged the University of Canberra’s (UC) Regional Wellbeing Survey team to undertake research to develop a framework for monitoring wellbeing for the Australian cotton industry. The project began in 2019 and will run until June 2022.

Spotlight Autumn 2021, p20


How is quality of life changing for Canberrans following 2020 challenges?

These are both links to a wellbeing survey the team conducted in 2020 in the ACT – the Living Well in the ACT survey. The survey asked people living in the ACT and surrounding NSW about their wellbeing and the challenges posed by the summer bushfires, and now COVID-19.

Mirage news



Looking at Landcare — The measures of change

Report on the Farmers for Climate Action conference in Orange, NSW, where Jacki Schirmer presented on the impacts of climate change and drought for regional wellbeing and resilience.

Forbes Advocate | Marg Applebee

Community organisation hosts climate uncertainty forum

Report on the Resilient Farming Communities Planning for Climate Uncertainty’ forum held in Boorowa, where Jacki Schirmer presented on strategies to support social wellbeing of rural communities.

The Land | Stephen Burns


Research reveals wood promotes worker wellbeing

There was wide-ranging interest in our research conducted in collaboration with Pollinate which explored the connection between wellbeing of indoor workers and nature-connection within office environments. The use of wood in office design was found to have a significant effect on wellbeing, which was greatest when used in combination with other natural elements such as plants, water features and natural light.

This, and the next three tabs relate to this research.

Spacely News | Erin Delahunty

New Research: Wood a key plant in the business case for brining nature into the office Australasian Timber

Australia: benefit of wood at work

Wood and wellbeing in the workplace

Website to improve mental health of farmers prepares for launch

This is an article about the launch of the ifarmwell which is a program to provide online support to farmers to cope with stress and improve wellbeing. The article references 2014 Regional Wellbeing Survey found that almost 50 per cent of Australian farmers had a mild or worse mental disorder, compared with 26 per cent of the general rural population.

The Lead | Andrew Spence

Our concern about the drought isn’t fair dinkum

This article references the Conversation article written by the Regional Wellbeing team, which argued for the need for longer-term approach to drought policy.

The Sydney Morning Herald | Ross Gittins

Australia’s crippling drought crisis: Overcoming past mistakes to save ourselves for the future

This article references our research on differences in drought resilience across farmer demographic characteristics, such as age and gender.  

News.com.au | Stephanie Bedo


Love our lakes: Community groups welcome government education program to save our waterways

This article is about community response to the ACT Governments’ new education program on the quality of waterways in and around Canberra which references our research on the views and values of Canberra residents around water quality and their awareness and behaviour around preventing pollution of urban stormwater.

The Canberra Times | Clare Sibthorpe and Finbar O’Mallon


Farmers quitting in droves — and not happy about going

This article is based on research based on our 2014 Regional Wellbeing Survey and farmer interviews exploring factors affecting wellbeing and farmer exit from the sector.

The Land | Andrew Marshall

Report shows some farmers are struggling

This article is based on findings from the 2014 Regional Wellbeing Survey, exploring the variability in wellbeing of farmers across different areas of Australia and between farmers and non-farmers.

Country News

Almost half of regional Australians report internet is 'very poor', 'inadequate': University of Canberra survey

This article (and the next) investigate the implications of the disparity in digital connection across Australia, referencing our Regional Wellbeing Survey which identified that almost half of Australians living outside the major cities rated their internet as very poor, and that this was a significant impediment in farmer adoption of new technology.

ABC Rural | Anna Vidot

Australia’s digital divide is leaving the rural community behind

The Weekly Times | Gim Gall


Capital region farmers prepare for hot summer and possibility of future drought

This article is on the level of drought preparedness of capital regional farmers, referencing the 2014 Regional Wellbeing Survey with a focus on findings on the adoption of regenerative farming as a drought management strategy.

ABC NewsAdrienne Francis

Regional Wellbeing low in drought areas

This is an article about the impact of drought on regional wellbeing and is based on findings from the 2014 Regional Wellbeing Survey which identified the regions reporting the poorest level of wellbeing are those experiencing the effects of drought.

Western Magazine

Survey finds prolonged drought, mining downturn affecting regional wellbeing

This is an article is based on findings from the 2014 Regional Wellbeing Survey. It is focused on reporting our findings on wellbeing in the Orana region which covers covers the central and north western sectors of New South Wales. The article reports findings our survey findings which found the Orana region to have one of the lowest wellbeing ratings in Australia.

Wellington Times

Milkers a dairy happy bunch, University of Canberra report finds

This article is on wellbeing across different agricultural sectors with a focus on dairy farmers in Australia. It is based on an interview with dairy farmers in Victoria and references findings from 2014 Regional Wellbeing Survey, which identified dairy farmers to have the highest level of wellbeing in Australia compared to other agricultural industries.

The Weekly Times | Sarah Hudson


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