As the senior researcher for the Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion project, Andrew Markus is tracking indicators of social cohesion and shifts in Australian attitudes towards immigrants and asylum seekers through a series of national and local surveys. Focused on the present day, these surveys provide, for the first time in Australian social research, a series of detailed reports on social cohesion, immigration and population issues. A prime objective of the surveys is to further understanding of the social impact and successes of Australia’s increasingly diverse immigration program. By probing below the rhetorical surface, the results provide “nuanced” analyses, rather than a one-dimensional response to immigration. They are also providing the basis for evidence-based discussion of an issue that has emerged as a major political concern. Markus produced eight national reports between 2007 and 2015 and four reports on local area surveys, as well as surveys which focused on third generation Australians and on recent arrivals. The 2015 research program included an online survey available in 20 languages completed by over 10,000 respondents and 50 focus groups conducted in four states.
The report on this survey is due for release in August 2016. Details of the project may be found at http://www.monash.edu/mapping-population