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Support the Regional Wellbeing Survey

The Regional Wellbeing Survey, run by the University of Canberra, is one of the largest surveys examining wellbeing and quality of life in different regions of Australia. The first survey was launched in 2013 and we survey up to 13,000 people each year.

Our mission is to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of people living across Australia. You can help us achieve this, and ensure your community or the people you represent are well represented in the survey, by supporting the survey.

Our survey supporters include community organisations, local governments, regional development organisations, farmer networks and groups, university researchers, and government agencies (State and Federal), to name a few. Data from the survey are used by these groups to track quality of life in their region or for their groups (for example, for dairy farmers, irrigators, or younger rural residents), and to analyse how people’s lives are affected by different types of change occurring in their communities. The reports and data available on our website give an idea of the range of uses being made of data from the survey.

How to support the survey

We understand that organisations have different priorities and budgets.  You can support the survey in ways that range from sending emails to your networks to funding delivery of flyers and survey packs in your community, or providing funding to commission specific questions to be included in the survey.

1. Promote the survey through your networks

You can support the survey by sending emails to your networks encouraging participation in the survey, posting about the survey on social media and your website, or by including articles in newsletters or local media. This is effective: around 30% of our survey participants have heard of the survey through email or social media.

We can provide you with suggested wording and materials for promoting the survey through your networks – just get in touch with us at regionalwellbeing@canberra.edu.au. If you do promote the survey, please let us know so we can include you in our list of survey supporters!

2. Fund distribution of flyers and survey packs in your community, or to members of the group you represent

Receiving a flyer or a survey sent in the mail is the most effective way of encouraging someone to complete the survey. Survey supporters who fund the costs of printing and posting flyers and surveys can ensure the survey will capture enough responses to enable analysis of responses from their community (for example, a local government area) or group (for example, dairy farmers).

If you are interested in doing this, email us at regionalwellbeing@canberra.edu.au and we will discuss with you the number and type of materials to be printed and posted, and obtain a quote from our mailing house for you. To ensure privacy of survey participants, you are able to send mailing lists directly to the mail house rather than to our research team if needed. The costs of doing this will depend on how many people are to be contacted, but generally cost around 50c to 60c for each posted flyer, and around $4 for each posted survey pack (including return postage). You have the option of sending customised materials that highlight your organisation’s support for the survey, or our standard promotional materials.

3. Commission specific questions to be included in the survey

You can commission specific questions to be included in the survey that gather information you need for your community or group. For example, in past years the survey has included questions about recreation in lakes and rivers, the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, resilience of farmers, access to telecommunications, and the needs of carers living in rural and regional areas. These questions have all been used to develop special reports examining these issues.  We can provide you with a cost effective solution by developing questions that are backed by rigorous academic research, and ensure these questions reach the right groups. Our only restrictions on commissioning questions are that (i) all content needs to be relevant to understanding and improving quality of life and wellbeing in regional Australia, and (ii) we only accept funding if the funder agrees that data from questions they have commissioned can be made publicly available. Costs can range from $5,000 to include 2-3 short items targeted to a particular group, to $50,000 to include a full page of questions in the survey that all 13,000 respondents are asked to answer.

4. Commission customised analysis and reports

In addition to publishing data tables of key survey results on our website each year, you can also commission customised analysis and reports that use Regional Wellbeing Survey data, or combine survey data with other data such as data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population and Housing. To do this, get in touch with us at regionalwellbeing@canberra.edu.au and we’ll organise a time to discuss your needs. Our team includes specialists in analysing quality of life in rural communities, resilience of people and communities, social determinants of health and wellbeing, socio-economic impacts of challenging times (for example, drought and industry downturns), natural resource management, and the socio-economic impacts of specific industries in regional areas. Other areas of expertise in our team include understanding social dimensions of water and water management, community engagement and conflict resolution, and social acceptability of natural resource management practices such as bushfire hazard reduction and implementation of pest control strategies.

5. Commission specific surveys and projects

In addition to running the Regional Wellbeing Survey, we regularly conduct smaller surveys of specific groups of people, examining particular issues. We often combine surveys with focus groups and interviews to get an in-depth understanding of particular issues in rural and regional communities. If you’re interested in this, contact us at regionalwellbeing@canberra.edu.au and we’ll organise a time to discuss your needs.

Thank you to our current and past survey supporters We would like to thank our current and past survey supporters, whose support has ensured the Regional Wellbeing Survey has grown over time to be able to provide real insight into quality of life across Australia:

Adelaide Hills CouncilLatrobe City
Armidale Dumaresq CouncilLockyer Valley Regional Council
Australian Livestock & Property Agents Association LtdLongreach Regional Council
Australian National UniversityMaranoa Regional Council 
Balranald Shire CouncilMid Murray Council
Baw Baw Shire CouncilMilang & District Community Association Inc.
Bega Valley Shire CouncilMitchell Shire Council
Bland Shire CouncilMount Gambier Council
Blue Mountains City CouncilMount Gambier Police 
Bombala CouncilMurray Local Land Services
Broome CouncilMurray Shire Council
Buloke Shire CouncilMurray-Darling Basin Authority
Byron Shire CouncilMurraylands and Riverland Regional Development Authority
Carrathool Shire CouncilNational Farmers’ Federation
Centacare CairnsNational Rural Health Alliance
Central Coast CouncilNatural Resources Adelaide & Mt Lofty Ranges
Central Highlands Regional CouncilNSW Office of Environment and Heritage
Cessnock City CouncilParkes Shire Council
Charters Towers Regional CouncilPort Augusta City Council
Circular Head CouncilRDA Far North Qld & Torres Strait Inc.
City of BallaratRDA Limestone Coast
City of Greater Bendigo RDA South West
City of Greater GeraldtonRegional Arts Victoria
City of Victor HarborRegional Australia Institute
City of Wagga WaggaRDA Darling Downs and South West 
Clarence City CouncilRegional Development Victoria
Common Purpose GroupRural City of Murray Bridge
Coonamble CouncilShellharbour City Council
Coorong District CouncilShire of Campaspe
Department of Agriculture and Water ResourcesShire of Perenjori
Department of Environment, Land, Water & PlanningShire of Plantagenet 
Derwent Valley CouncilShire of Wiluna
District Council of Lower Eyre PeninsulaSomerset Regional Council
District Council of the Copper CoastSouth East Natural Resource Management Board
Goulburn Broken Catchment Management AuthorityTemora Shire Council
Great Lakes CouncilTenterfield Shire Council
Great Southern Development CommissionThe Barossa Council
Greater Hume Shire CouncilThe District Council of Mount Barker
Gundagai CouncilToodyay Shire Council
Guyra Shire CouncilToowoomba Regional Council
GV Community EnergyTownsville Private Clinic
Gwydir Shire CouncilVictorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources
Gympie Regional CouncilWagait Shire Council
Horsham Rural City CouncilWattle Range Council
Irrigation Australia LtdWellington Shire Council
Lachlan Shire CouncilWheatbelt Natural Resource Management.
Landcare NSW