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Community Strength

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Community Strength


Social inclusion is having the resources, opportunities, and capabilities to learn (e.g., participate in education and training); work (e.g., participate in employment, unpaid or voluntary work including family and carer’ responsibilities); engage (e.g., connect with people, use local services, and participate in local, cultural, civic, and recreational activities); and have a voice (influence decisions that affect them). The ability to participate in society, and to be free from discrimination and disadvantage is not only an ideal, but a basic human right – one that we all share; a right enshrined in the Universal Declaration and other treaties that make up the body of international law, by which Australia is bound.

When a community is inclusive, it also becomes more cohesive (people willing to work and cooperate despite differences in their demeanour, culture, and beliefs). Social cohesion is a very important driver of long-term prosperity and competitiveness. Cohesive societies are politically stable and focus on economic growth and business development. All the principles relate to this element: accessibility, sustainability, connections, flexibility, and equity.

Current Influences and key principles

Aboriginal residents as well as other minority groups can feel isolated and unaccepted. With less diversity within rural and regional areas, difference can be viewed with suspicion or a lack of tolerance, whether it is cultural, religious, sexual, educational, or economic difference. Feeling accepted is critical to successfully attracting and retaining a broad mix of critical skills and population for declining communities within the region.

Policies Affecting Community Strength


Critical Indicators

Tolerance of Diversity: Adult population (%) that felt multiculturalism made life in there are better – Victorian Population Health Survey

Supplemental Indicators

  • Opportunity to Have a Say on Issues important to them – Victorian Population Health Survey
  • Valued by Society – VPHS
  • Adults who could raise $2,000 in 2 days in an emergency (No, Don’t Know, or Refused to Answer) – Victorian Population Health Surveys 2008-2017
  • People Providing Care to a Person with a Disability (2016) (%): Values
  • Community Strength (People aged 15 years and over who participated in voluntary work) (%): Values
  • Proportion of Population who are 75 years or more and living alone (%): Values
  • Volunteering Adult Population that helped a local group “Yes,Definitely” – Victorian Population Health Survey
  • Help with care from a friend or relative not living with you in an emergency “No” or “Don’t Know” – Victorian Population Health Survey
  • Persons who provided unpaid assistance to a person with a disability – ABS Census Data by Region
  • Persons undertaking voluntary work for an organisation or group – ABS Census Data by Region
  • Adult Population (%) that need assistance with core activities - ABS Data by Region

Potential Supporting Agencies and Partners

Current Known Initiatives


Proposed Area(s) of Focus

  • Small Town Immigration – Strengthens Diversity & Economies
  • Leadership for Better Health & Social Service Outcomes
  • Gender Equity Improves Productivity
  • Building Inclusive Safety Nets for Community Connection & Business
  • Aboriginal Priorities and Language

Submission Form

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