VicHealth Community Attitudes Survey

Client: VicHealth

The VicHealth Community Attitudes Survey (VCAS) is conducted by the Social Research Centre on behalf of VicHealth. It is an important study measuring the health attitudes and behaviours and the needs of the Victorian community.

VicHealth have been conducting these surveys of the population since 2009 and the information is used by local and state governments to inform decisions about public health and wellbeing.

(Please click on the headings below to reveal further information.)

In the past, the survey has been conducted via a telephone survey. However, in 2019 we are trialling a different approach where we ask people to complete the survey online. The purpose of the study is to assess how this new approach works before we conduct the full-scale study.

Your address was randomly selected from the Geocoded National Address File (G-NAF). The G-NAF is a database of all the physical addresses in Australia. The database is publicly available from contributors including the land agencies in each state and territory of Australia.

We have randomly selected only a few thousand addresses from Geelong and surrounding areas and invite one person aged 18 years and over from each household to participate.

The collected data will be used by VicHealth along with state and local government decision makers to inform future public health policy and tailor the approach to subsequent surveys.

Selected de-identified findings from the survey will be published online, though the results of the research will not be disseminated directly to participants.

The research is being funded by VicHealth, a statutory authority of the Victorian Government.

Participation in the project is entirely voluntary and you may decline to take part or withdraw from the survey at any time without explanation until the work is published. If you do withdraw prior to the results being published, your data record will be retrieved and permanently destroyed.

If you do choose to participate, you can still refuse to answer any question throughout the survey – just select ‘Next’ to continue without providing a response.

The online questionnaire will take just 15 minutes to complete. The questionnaire can be completed on any device, in more than one sitting. To start the survey, go to www.srcentre.com.au/vcas and enter your unique login code in the letter.

You will be asked questions about your attitudes and behaviours related to your general health and wellbeing along with some questions related to your life satisfaction, alcohol and tobacco use.

You can complete the survey at any time, on any device, over the coming weeks. If we do not hear from you, we will recontact you while the survey remains open to remind you of your login details. If you would prefer not to receive further contact, please contact us to opt out of the study.

All information given by participants will be treated confidentially and anonymity will be preserved in reports or published articles. Any personal or sensitive data collected will be used for the purpose of the study only and no other. Survey responses will be de-identified as soon as practical following completion of the survey. All publications relating to this research will report on aggregated data, so no individual responses will be presented.

This research is carried out in compliance with the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles, and the information you provide will only be used for research purposes. Our privacy policy is available via our website, www.srcentre.com.au/research-participants#privacy and contains further information on the ethical approval for this study and how you can access or seek a correction to your personal information, or complain about a breach of an Australian Privacy Principle.

You will receive a small token of appreciation, a $10 electronic gift card, after you complete the survey. If you do not have an email address to which we can send the voucher, we can send it via mail.

In any collection of personal information, there is some risk that third parties could access confidential data. The researchers have a range of sophisticated systems in place to minimise this risk.

We do not anticipate participation in this research will expose you to any hazard or danger. Some questions ask you to reveal personal or sensitive information about yourself or your family, but you may refuse to answer any question you do not wish to answer without any negative consequence.

If participating in the research causes distress, we encourage you to seek support by contacting one of the specialist services:

It is unlikely that you will personally benefit from this research, but by participating in this survey, you are helping to improve our understanding of how the Victorian community lives, and what people need to support their ongoing health and welfare.

Where: The data will be collected, de-identified and securely stored by the Social Research Centre (a subsidiary of the Australian National University). The de-identified data will be provided to VicHealth for comparison with previous results and secure storage.

How long: The data will be stored for at least five years following any publication arising from the research prior to being securely destroyed.

If you have any questions about your participation, or you would like to opt out of the study, please call the Social Research Centre on 1800 023 040 or email: vcas@srcentre.com.au.

If you have any concerns or complaints about the research, please contact the primary researcher:

  • Dr Paul Myers
    Executive Director, The Social Research Centre
    Centre Visitor, ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods
    Telephone: +61 3 9236 8500
    Email: info@srcentre.com.au

If participation in the research has caused distress, or you require support, please contact one of the following services:

The ethical aspects of this research have been approved by the ANU Human Research Ethics Committee (Protocol 2019/555).

If you have any serious concerns or complaints about how this research has been conducted, please contact: