A major driving force in human activity is the desire for optimal health, better living conditions and improved quality of life. Individuals seek to achieve these for themselves, for their family, and for the communities they are part of. A fundamental objective of government is to create better conditions of living for the population, and many community groups and private organisations also work towards this objective.
In this commentary, social progress involves increases in the wellbeing of the population; a reduction of threats to, and increases in, social cohesion; and protection and enhancement of democratic rights.
The headline dimensions that help Australians assess whether our society has progressed include:
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