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 study is designed for members-only, allowing you to take part in quarterly surveys to represent first and second generation Australians and have your voice heard.

    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).

    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?

    As a member of Voices of Australia, you will be invited to participate in Voices of Australia surveys about once every three months. Each survey will take about 15 minutes to complete and the questions will cover a range of important social issues.

    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.

    Will I receive anything if I take part?

    As a token of thanks for taking part, you will receive a small Coles e-voucher after you finish each survey.

    We will also share key findings from the study with you to show how Voices of Australia is used and why your voice is so important.

    Do I have to complete every survey?

    No. All Voices of Australia surveys are completely voluntary. However, to make our surveys as accurate as possible, we ask all Voices of Australia members to complete each survey if they can.

    By completing all surveys, you are helping us ensure that the survey results reflect the views of the first and second generation Australian population. We will make every effort to keep the surveys brief.

    Each survey will be open for two weeks, so we hope that you will find time to take part before the close date. If we have not received a completed survey from you before the survey close date, we will usually send you reminders by email or text message.

    You can choose not to answer any question as you go through a survey and you can stop at any time.

    How long do I have to be involved?

    Once you join, you can remain in the study for as long as you like. Participation is completely voluntary and you can opt out of Voices of Australia at any time.

    However, the longer you are involved, the more opportunity you have to share your views and to represent first and second generation Australians in important research.

    If you know you will be unavailable at the time of a survey or you would prefer not to take part on any occasion, you do not have to withdraw from the study entirely. You can stay in the study and start taking part in surveys again when you are ready.

    If you do choose to withdraw from the research, please let us know by calling 1800 023 040 or emailing voices@srcentre.com.au.

    How do I change my contact information?

    You can update your contact details at any time. Just call or email us.

    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 through these.

    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 2021 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 ensuring it is not accessible to anyone other than Voices of Australia researchers.

    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.

    If you have any questions about the study, or to opt out, please call 1800 023 040 or email: voices@srcentre.com.au.

    If you have any concerns or complaints, please contact:

    Anna Lethborg
    Research Director
    Social Research Centre

    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: