1370.0.00.002 - Measures of Australia's Progress - Aspirations for our Nation: A Conversation with Australians about Progress , 2011-12  
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Note: The material in this appendix reflects the views expressed at the first round of TAP meetings. It is included in the interests of transparency and does not necessarily represent the views of the ABS.


Australians aspire to a society that values, cares for, and provides opportunity for all its members, optimising their wellbeing.

1. Health
Australians aspire to a society that optimises population health – emotional, mental and physical – and both the length and quality of lives

and (for all the above)
Health systems and services (including carers)
Prevention (of poor health) and education (empowerment)
Healthy lifestyles (responsibility)
Health outcomes

2. Equity and opportunity
Australians aspire to a society where all members are enabled, and not disadvantaged, in realising and expanding their potential and aspirations

Education and training (skills and knowledge)
Economic resources (income, housing)
Access to and engagement with all the above (removal of barriers to)
Social inclusion
Assistance for disadvantaged
Acknowledgement/measurement of disadvantage

3. Close relationships
Australians aspire to a society that nurtures the close relationships between people that provide support for individuals, especially at crucial times.

Quality of support from families/other support networks
Support for families
Time spent on close relationships
Relationship education
Relationship support services

4. Safety and security
Australians aspire to a society where people feel, and are, safe and secure

Crime rates
Perceptions of safety
Criminal justice system (quality, people involved in) National security

5. Social connection and community resilience
Australians aspire to a resilient society with healthy communities and social connections

Social capital including:

  • Volunteering, community, civil society (participation and support for)
  • Social/community connections, social support mechanisms
Services and infrastructure (quality and access)
(health, employment, education, legal, government and non-government)
Creativity and innovation
Preparation for future change (population, climate, economic, etc)

6. Cohesion and diversity
Australians aspire to a cohesive society that celebrates diversity

Attitudes to difference
Cultural activity/participation
Reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples
Endangered cultural practices (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages)

7. Non-material aspects of life
Australians aspire to a society that values non-material aspects of life – such as family, caring, culture, connection to the environment, and feelings about life – as much as material aspects of life

Subjective wellbeing (e.g. feelings of contentment, satisfaction, happiness, wellbeing, autonomy)
Unpaid work, carers and the caring professions
Leisure time (work/non-work balance)
Culture and the arts
Environment (connection to, impact on wellbeing)


Australians aspire to an economy that provides individuals with opportunities and economic resources, and develops their capabilities, so they can maintain or increase their wellbeing.

Relationship between society and economyIn the context of this MAP consultation, the economy is positioned as a system arising out of society and enabling societal progress.
Key ideasAmartya Sen’s notion that the economy ideally provides individuals with the opportunities and capabilities to choose the life they have reason to value
Broad structurei) What the economy provides
ii) How it might do this
iii) Within what contexts

1. Opportunities, resources and capabilities
Australians aspire to an economy that provides individuals with opportunities and economic resources, and develops their capabilities, so they can maintain or increase their wellbeing

Employment (availability, quality)
Education (including financial literacy)
Housing (e.g. accessibility)
Disposable income (adequacy)
Availability of goods and services
Capital markets (effectiveness, efficiency)
Imports/exports (a globally open economy)
Social wellbeing (as per Social progress aspirations)

2. Employment
Australians aspire to an economy that provides high quality jobs

Workplace amenity
Satisfaction/fulfilment (meaningful work)
Match of capability and interest to job
Workloads and hours (manageable)
Workplace flexibility (family friendly)
Safety (e.g. physical, freedom from harassment/bullying/discrimination)
Development opportunities
Economic gain vs. cost of attending work (e.g. commute times, quality)
Quality of skill supply to workforce
Labour force participation
Labour market flexibility

3. Resilience
Australians aspire to an economy that is resilient and helps to mitigate risk and shocks: both personal and societal

Elements – societal
Macroeconomic stability
Security of markets (job, housing)
Infrastructure (efficiency, adequacy)
Insurance (effectiveness, adequacy,
Macroeconomic debt (manageability)
World trade (international context)
Resource management (climate change, population ageing, sustainability)
Diversity of industry

Elements – personal
Job security
Home ownership
Savings (adequate)
Personal insurance (income, home, health, affordability)
Personal debt (manageable)

4. Sustainably
Australians aspire to an economy that is sustainable – maintaining or increasing its ability to provide for future generations

Elements – sustainability of:
Societal wellbeing (future generations)
Natural environment
Import/export markets
Disposable income and wealth
Real value of wages/salaries
Availability of goods
Valuing/accounting for environmental resources (products valued across life cycle)

5. Productively and efficiently
Australians aspire to an economy that is productive and efficient, minimising complexity

Elements – efficiency of:
Capital markets
Workforce participation
Import/export markets
Disposable income (maintenance of)
Real value of wages/salaries

Elements – reduce complexity of:
Financial services or systems
Telecommunications services or systems
Transport services or systems
Other govt or private services or systems
Welfare services or systems
Aged care services or systems
Legislation and regulations
Tax system

6. Ethically and equitably
Australians aspire to an economy that is ethical and equitable – distributing opportunity and resources to minimise disadvantage or exclusion

Elements – Equitable
Basic human needs met (food, shelter, health)
Poverty and disadvantage (minimise)
Employment opportunity/recompense (enhance)
Educational opportunity (including financial literacy) (enhance)
Distribution of opportunity, income, wealth (avoid socially corrosive distribution(e.g. regions, population groups, rich/poor)
Safety net (effectiveness)
Contribution of sectors (community, private, public) (appropriateness)
Inter-generational equity (inter-generational disadvantage, social inclusion)
Overall societal wellbeing (impact of disparity)
Elements – Ethical
Regulation and governance
Standards (quality, safety)
Influence of economic/financial pressure(individuals not pressured to behave counter to individual or societal wellbeing)

7. Through diversity and innovation
Australians aspire to an economy that encourages diversity and innovation

Elements – affective leverage of:
Industry diversity
Research and development
Capital support

Elements – affective leverage of:
Capital support

8. International engagement
Australians aspire to an economy that engages with and leads the rest of the world, balancing foreign and national investment, and contributing to global wellbeing

Balance of trade (exports/imports)
Foreign aid (effectiveness, generosity)
Migration (socially and economically sustainable)
Global stability
Economic reform (encouraged)
Building of knowledge of other cultures (e.g. travel, language attainment)
Foreign ownership (socially and economically beneficial)
Building of competitiveness
Leadership (promoting sustainable economic growth/development)


Australians aspire to healthy natural and built environments, which they connect to, effectively care for, and sustain for future generations.

Scope of the area of ‘Environment’ includes:

Inland waters
Oceans and estuaries
Built environments

Kinds of environments covered:

Natural, including:
  • the many diverse local environments/regions/conditions in Australia
  • sentinel areas
  • unique areas or areas of cultural/historical/heritage significance
  • national – Australia as a land mass and associated territories
  • international – Australia as part of a global environmental
Built, including:
  • urban and rural built environments
  • urban planning
  • heritage buildings and built environments
Broad structure:
  1. How we think about and behave towards the environment
  2. The way we want the environment to be
  3. Other aspects of the environment

1. Connection
Australians aspire to greater awareness and valuing of, and connection to, the environment

2. Collaboration
Australians aspire to greater collaboration on environmental issues and actions

3. Care and protection
Australians aspire to protect and minimise damage to the environment

4. Health and restoration
Australians aspire to a healthy environment, through restoration where needed

5. Sustainability
Australians aspire to use environmental resources sustainably and provide for future generations

6. Global interaction
Australians aspire to be responsible and leading global environmental citizens


Australians aspire to a society where everyone is enabled to participate in decision making which affects their lives, and governance processes are trusted

Working definitions:

1. Participation in decision-making
Australians aspire to a society where everyone is enabled to participate in decision making which affects their lives

2. Equity and accountability
Australians aspire to governance processes that are equitable, and institutions and entities that are accountable

3. Effectiveness
Australians aspire to governance institutions and processes that are effective

4. Media
Australians aspire to a media that is both free and accountable

5. Human rights
Australians aspire to a society where human rights are understood and upheld

6. Resilience
Australians aspire to governance institutions and processes that are stable but also adaptive and provide for future generations