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How social inclusion is faring in Australia

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“This report sets the baseline for measuring progress on reducing disadvantage in Australia and provides a platform for the Board to address the topic of breaking the cycle of disadvantage over the coming year,” said Patricia Faulkner, Chair of the Australian Social Inclusion Board.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Approximately five per cent of Australians aged 15 years and over experience three or more types of disadvantage
  • While most Australians are employed, 15 per cent of all Australian children live in jobless families. Most Australians have high life expectancies but some groups, such as Indigenous people, have much lower expectancies of up to twelve years
  • For some Australians, disadvantage in one area is often shown to be associated with disadvantage in other respects
  • People living in areas of low socioeconomic status tend to have lower levels of involvement in many aspects of community life.

“Social inclusion is about addressing multiple disadvantages and ensuring that everyone is able to participate fully in Australian society. It is about people having the necessary opportunities, capabilities and resources to enable them both to contribute to and share in the benefits of Australia’s success as a nation,” said Faulkner.

“The Board notes that the nation needs to address social exclusion because it is the fair thing to do.”

Faulkner said that fairness has the potential to improve the well-being of everyone by:

  • Eliminating the threats to security and harmony that arise from excluding groups in our society
  • Improving economic performance by allowing everyone to make a contribution
  • Enhancing pride in being a society that not only values fair treatment and opportunity, but actually works hard to achieve it.

Also in January, the Board released the related statement, A Stronger, Fairer Australia.

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