Voices of Australia

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What is Voices of Australia?

Voices of Australia is an ongoing national study about important social issues. The purpose of the study is to improve our understanding of the diverse opinions of first and second generation Australians (that is, Australians who were born overseas or with one or more parents who were born overseas).

Members of Voices of Australia will be invited to participate in short paid surveys every three months or so on important social issues.

It is a great opportunity to represent first and second generation Australians and have your voice heard!

Who is doing the study?

Voices of Australia is an initiative of the Scanlon Foundation Research Institute, an independent organisation dedicated to social inclusion (www.scanloninstitute.org.au).

Since 2007, they have conducted the Mapping Social Cohesion Survey in partnership with Monash University. This influential research has been published and you can view the 2020 Report on their website here as an example of their work.

Voices of Australia is being run by the Social Research Centre (www.srcentre.com.au), part of the Australian National University.

Why is Voices of Australia important?

Traditional research is not always as inclusive as we would like. This study aims to give a voice to first and second generation Australians who are not well represented in surveys.

Results from Voices of Australia will be published in reports that aim to tell us more about Australian society and to influence key decision makers and policy in Australia.

What does it involve?

The first step is completing the short enrolment survey so we know a little more about you and we can stay in touch. The survey will also ask about current social issues relevant to your life.

For most questions, you will be asked to choose your response from a list of options that will be shown to you. Occasionally you might be asked to type a short response. For as long as you are a member, we will save your responses to a small number of profile questions so we do not need to ask these in every survey.

You will then be invited to participate in two further short surveys in 2021, roughly three months apart. There may also be other opportunities to take part in similar surveys in future.

How do I join Voices of Australia?

To join, just complete the 15 minute online survey available at: www.srcentre.com.au/myvoiceinaus.

Why should I take part?

Voices of Australia is an invitation-only study and it is a great opportunity to share your personal views and influence the future for first and second generation Australians!

The more people who join, the better the results will reflect the views and diverse opinions of all first and second generation Australians.

In return, we will share the results with you to show how Voices of Australia is used and why your voice is so important.

Who should join Voices of Australia?

We need to hear your voice if you are:

  • An Australian resident (this includes Australian citizens and citizens of other countries on non-tourist visas)
  • 18 years of age or older
  • A first or second generation Australian. For the purpose of this research, this includes a person, or the child of a person, born in a country other than Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States or Europe.

Do I have to join Voices of Australia?

No. Participation is entirely voluntary. You do not have to provide a reason if you do not want to join. You can also opt out of Voices of Australia at any time.

If you choose to join, you do not have to complete every survey. You can choose not to answer any question as you go through a survey and you can stop at any time.

If you do inform us that you would like to withdraw from the research, your survey responses will be removed from the data file.

Are there any risks?

We do not expect participation in this study will expose you to any hazard or danger.

Some questions ask for personal or sensitive information about yourself or your household, but you can refuse to answer any question without negative consequences.

The Social Research Centre is dedicated to protecting your privacy and has a range of systems in place to protect you from any possible risk (see below for ‘How is my privacy protected?).

Are my answers confidential?

Yes, your survey responses will remain completely confidential.

Your responses will be securely held by the Social Research Centre. Your personal information (such as any details used to contact you) will not be linked with your answers so you can not be identified in any way through your responses.

The researchers will receive a data file that includes numerical and text-based responses from all participants. Any publications relating to this research will report on combined data, so no individual responses will be presented.

The de-identified data will be stored for a period of at least five years from the date of any publication arising from the research.

How is my privacy protected?

Your privacy is protected by Australian law. The study is carried out in compliance with Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), the Privacy (Market and Social Research) Code 2014 and the Australian Privacy Principles.

As managers of Voices of Australia, only the Social Research Centre has access to your contact details. These are stored separately from the survey data and securely destroyed when no longer needed. Any other potentially identifying information is removed from the data before it is sent to the Scanlon Foundation Research Institute and Monash University.

If another firm is appointed to manage Voices of Australia while you are a member, your information will be securely transferred to the new panel manager and deleted from the Social Research Centre’s systems. You would be advised of any change prior to this happening.

The Social Research Centre’s Privacy Policy is available (in English only) here.

Is the research ethical?

The ethical aspects of this research have been approved by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (ID: 13467). If you have any ethical concerns or complaints about how this research has been conducted, please contact:

Human Ethics Team
Monash Research Office
Building 3E, Room 111
Monash University
Clayton VIC 3800

Phone: 03 9905 2052
Email: muhrec@monash.edu

Further information and contact details

The research is being conducted by Anthea Hancocks, CEO of the Scanlon Foundation Research Institute, Emeritus Professor Andrew Markus of Monash University, and Dr Benjamin Phillips and Anna Lethborg of the Social Research Centre.

In return, we will share the results with you to show how Voices of Australia is used and why your voice is so important.

If you have any questions or concerns about the study, please call the Social Research Centre on 1800 023 040 or email voices@srcentre.com.au.

If you would like to talk about any issues raised in this study or seek advice or support, please contact one of the following services:

Beyond Blue (24/7): 1300 22 4636

Lifeline (24/7): 13 11 14