Life in Australia study

Life in Australia is a national study being undertaken by the Social Research Centre, a part of the Australian National University.

This invitation-only study is the first of its kind in Australia and invites people from all walks of life to participate in monthly surveys.  By being a part of the study, your views and experiences will influence Australian researchers, policy makers and academics.  You will have a real opportunity for your views to be heard and represented.

By joining you will:
  • participate in interesting and engaging monthly surveys asking about your views and experiences
  • ensure a true representation of the Australian population is reached in social research projects of national significance, and
  • have your say on the big issues facing Australia.

Frequently Asked Questions


About the surveys

Members of Life in Australia are invited to participate in surveys usually about once a month.  Over time the surveys will cover a wide range of topics such as health and social policy issues and issues of national importance.

Wherever possible, most surveys are completed online. If you do not have internet access or prefer not to do surveys online you can request to do the surveys over the phone with an interviewer.  We want to include as many people as possible in Life in Australia regardless of whether or not they have internet access or are comfortable using the internet.

Surveys will take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete, depending on the topic and your answers.  The surveys will mainly consist of multiple-choice questions and will be easy to complete.Topic areas covered by the surveys will include:
  • health and wellbeing
  • employment
  • crime, safety and policing
  • parenting and families
  • immigration and refugees
  • road safety
  • environment and sustainability, and
  • community attitudes.
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What is involved?

Participation is easy.
  • To join, complete an initial short survey and receive your reward.
  • Complete a 10 to 15 minute survey about once a month.
  • Receive a $5 to $10 reward for each monthly survey, or a charitable donation for the same amount.
  • All surveys are web-based, but you can complete by telephone with an interviewer if you prefer.
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Why is Life in Australia important?

Researchers in government and academic institutions often need to reach a representative sample of Australians (called random sampling or probability sampling). They need to hear from people from all walks of life so their results can reflect the views and experiences of the Australian population.

Life in Australia is the only study in Australia using random sampling to recruit people to a panel to do regular surveys.  The establishment of the study fills a gap in our national social science research infrastructure.

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Will I receive anything for participating?

As a sign of our appreciation, you will receive a $5 to $10 reward for completing each monthly survey.

The money for completing each survey can be paid via PayPal, Coles/Myer giftcard or be donated to a charitable organisation.

Don’t forget, in addition to receiving a reward, you will be helping advance our understanding of Australian society!

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Can I have the receipt for my charitable donation for tax deduction purposes?

Donations are made by the Social Research Centre in bulk payments each month. The value of the donation is not able to be used for individual income assessment purposes. Should you wish to request proof of the bulk donation, please send your request to or Life in Australia PO Box 13328 Law Courts, Victoria 8010.

So far, participants in the Life in Australia study have donated …

These charities were selected as they are well respected organisations with wide and varying goals.  All charities are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. You can search the Commission's register at  The list of selected charities may change over time. 

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Can anyone join?

The study is only open to people who have been randomly selected by the Social Research Centre. 

Apart from that, the only qualification is to be an Australian resident aged 18 years or over.

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Will I have to complete every survey?

In order to make our surveys as accurate as possible, we ask all Life in Australia members to complete each survey.  Most surveys will be available for completion for a couple of weeks, so we hope that you will be able to complete each one, even if you can’t do it when we first invite you.

It’s important to respond to all surveys so that the survey results reflect the views of the Australian population and policy decisions are made using accurate information.  We make every effort to keep the surveys brief. 

If we haven’t received a completed survey from you we will send you reminders by email, text message or over the phone.

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How long to I have to be involved?

Once you join, you can remain in the study for as long as you wish.  Participation is completely voluntary. However, the study relies on your participation to ensure that our survey results are as accurate as possible.
The survey topics are engaging and provide you with an opportunity to contribute to major policy decisions.  All the same, you are free to withdraw at any time and can do so by contacting us.

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How do I change my email or contact information?

It’s easy! Just email or call us with your new information. We’ll confirm that we have your new information with an email or telephone call back.

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How is my privacy protected?

Only the Social Research Centre will have access to your personal or research information.

The Social Research Centre believes that the privacy of your information is of the utmost importance.  We have stringent safeguards in place to protect your privacy as outlined in our Research Information Privacy Policy, available here.

We will not:
  • use or disclose your personal information for the purpose of advertising, promotions or direct marketing activities
  • disclose any personally identifiable research information we collect from you unless we have your express prior consent and will only report the information you provide in an aggregate form that will not personally identify you
  • disclose any personal information or personally identifiable research information to a third party for a purpose other than conducting our research unless we have your express prior consent or are required to do so by an Australian law or court/tribunal order. 

In the course of conducting social research, we may rely on third party service providers to host or store the data we collect. We take all reasonable steps to ensure that third party service providers comply with our Research Information Privacy Principles, the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles.

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How do I contact the SRC?

By email      

By telephone         1800 023 040 between 9:00am to 8:00pm AEST Monday to Friday
                             and 11:00am to 4:30pm AEST on Weekends

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