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Belonging and Culture – (The Personal Connection)

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Belonging & Culture


There is also a personal connection to a place that needs to be acknowledged. People live in communities where their families have made connections through the years, or it has meaning for them. As this is significant in the research, it was considered important to include as a unique element that has different meaning for different people. Regardless of the source, a sense of belonging is important for people to remain in a place, feel that they can contribute and have value.

For Aboriginal people, it is their connection to country that holds them to a place and community. For others, it is the culture of a ‘country way of doing things’.   Despite being hard to define, it can be a powerful element in determining ‘liveability’ for an individual or family group and cannot be ignored.

Current Influences and key principles

The need to have an income is impacting on families being able to maintain traditional links to the land. The impact of globalisation on primary production e.g., the downturn in the dairy industry; droughts; bushfires, the aging demographic of the region; and climate change are all influences that are affecting this element. The rapid change in culture and expectations are also influencing people’s continued links to geographic locations.

Policies Affecting Belonging and Culture

Although there has been renewed support for Aboriginal identity and respecting their culture, until recently there has been minimal recognition of the importance to individuals pertaining to identity and geographic location.  With Gunditjmara Country so rich in Aboriginal cultural heritage and language, this is a strength and asset to the region which enhances our collective liveability.

The Australian Loneliness Report and the VicHealth Loneliness Survey among Victorians

Opportunities for Social Cohesion by VicHealth

Mapping Social Cohesion by the Scanlon Institutue


Critical Indicators

Proportion of Households with Internet Access at the Dwelling
People who believe multiculturalism made life better in their area (%)

Supplemental Indicators

  • Opportunity to Have a Say on Issues Important to them – VPHS
  • Lone Person Households (2016) (%): Values
  • Indigenous Population 2016 (%): Values
  • Religious Affiliation – ABS Census Data by Region
  • Number of Overseas born residents who don't speak English well or at all (2016) (%): Values
  • Youth Population
  • Social Cohesion and Inclusion

Potential Supporting Agencies and Partners

  • Aboriginal Victoria
  • Local Aboriginal Controlled Organisations
  • Culture Victoria
  • NFP sector including neighbourhood houses, multicultural centres, men’s sheds, etc.
  • Local government
  • Ministers’ Fraternal

Current Known Initiatives

Proposed Area(s) of Focus

  • Aboriginal Priorities and Language
  • Talking About It – Saves Lives
  • Creating Digital Connectivity for All
  • Celebrating Culture & Environment – Destinations, Business & Belonging

Submission Form

If you have any information to add to this element, please submit it via the following form: