How can we empower individuals and organisations outside government to act to build the society they want?
What’s the problem?
Accountability isn’t just an issue for politicians and business leaders.
It is also important that individuals are accountable and responsible for their own actions and their contribution to the future of Australia.
Unfortunately, not everyone feels empowered to contribute. If a person lacks of confidence in their ability to achieve a particular outcome (self-efficacy), this can have a direct influence on their participation levels in social and civic activities.
People who lack this confidence will participate less in building the society they want.
Seven things you need to know
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2014, people were less likely than they were in 2010 to feel able to have a say within their community all or most of the time. (25% compared with 29%)
In 2014, people with lower levels of education were less likely to engage in forms of community support, to feel they could have a say, and to participate in social activities.
People aged 18 years and over with a qualification below year 12 were less likely than people with a bachelor degree or higher to have done voluntary work in the last 12 months (22% compared with 41%) and less likely to provide help to others living outside their household in the last four weeks (38% compared with 52%)
People with a qualification below year 12 were also less likely than those with a bachelor degree or higher to feel they could have a say within the community on important issues (22% compared with 26%), to have participated in sport or recreational physical activity (52% compared with 83%) and to have attended selected cultural venues and events in the last 12 months (71% compared with 96%)
ABS data also shows that volunteering rates in Australia are declining for the first time in almost 20 years. Lack of time was seen as a big factor, with 75% of people surveyed saying they feel rushed or pressed for time .
Participation in civic and political groups generally increases with age until the age group 55-64 years where participation peaks.
Sport and recreation groups are the most common form of community participation for younger age groups, with participation in clubs and religious groups increasing in relative significance for older age groups.