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What Australians think about their neighbourhood

Scanlon Foundation Research Institute
Season 2 Episode 2:
What Australians think about…their neighbourhood

Our sense of belonging is vital, as it provides us with a sense of identity, social support, safety, opportunities for civic engagement, and personal well-being. It helps build stronger communities, promotes unity, and enhances the overall fabric of society.

But there remain some concerns. The most recent results from the Scanlon Foundation Research Institute’s Mapping cohesion surveys reveal a decline in Australians’ sense of belonging, especially among the young and economically disadvantaged. Yet, interestingly, despite Australia’s rapid demographic shifts, a strong sense of community persists within neighbourhoods.

This episode, with host Anthea and guests Bronwen and Mahamed, explores these changes in the context of Australia’s fast-growing regions.

The implications of Australia’s evolving neighbourhoods are unpacked, as well as and demographic changes on our sense of belonging, both on a national and local scale. There will be discussion around how we can ensure no communities in our rapidly expanding regions are left feeling disconnected or overlooked.

Talking points in this episode:

  • How social and community infrastructure plays a role in community connectedness
  • Looking at opportunities in outer suburban areas
  • The role of volunteers in building neighbourhoods
  • The cultural shift moving away from CBDs to achieve the ‘city’ experience
  • How community services need to reimagine how they engage with young people


Bronwen Clark
CEO – National Growth Areas Alliance

Bronwen Clark is the CEO of the National Growth Areas Alliance. Bronwen has spearheaded the significant advocacy wins for the Alliance at the federal level. Through campaigns such as ‘Catch Up with the Outer Suburbs’ and ‘National Nightmare Commute Day,’ she has gained widespread reach in community and political spheres. As the Chair of Volunteering Victoria, she plays a vital role in promoting active citizenship and building resilient communities.

Mahamed Ahmed
Community leader and youth advocate
Mahamed Ahmed is a dedicated leader committed to building inclusive communities, especially for young people. Through his work in youth advocacy and participation, he addresses key issues and promotes positive masculinity. With a focus on empowering individuals and fostering a sense of belonging, Mahamed’s efforts have a lasting impact on creating stronger, more supportive communities.

Voices of Australia is a Scanlon Foundation Research Institute podcast exploring all things interesting in the world of social cohesion.

Voices of Australia is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Now available with video also, in addition to audio-only.
(podcast options – also previous episodes available)

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