Results from the Education Future Report 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Australians are more educated today than they have been at any other point in history. The number of students completing undergraduate and postgraduate courses today is on the rise and for the first time in Australian history more than half the population aged 15-64 have a post-secondary qualification (51%). Over 70% of the newest wave of high school graduates, Generation Z, are pursuing further education and training, with almost half of them going on to university. How is today’s education system providing for this Generation of lifelong learners? This Friday we are looking forward to co-hosting the Education Future Forum with SCIL, to provide an overview of the current and future trends impacting the Education Sector. Here is a snapshot of some of the current and future trends in primary and secondary schools across Australia, from our Education Future Report 2016, which will be shared in detail at this Friday’s event.


Australia currently has more students enrolled in full-time education than ever before. In 2015 there were 3,730,694 students enrolled in Australian schools. This is a 1.5% increase from 2014 and a significant 14% increase from 2001.

Since 2001, the growth in the total number of students (14%) has far outweighed the growth of actual schools (2%), the result of which has been growth in larger schools (801+ students for primary and 1200+ for secondary). The nature of these growing schools is changing as well, with more students enrolling in Independent schools than ever before.


Since the 1970s there has been a significant rise in the proportion of students enrolling in non-government schools. Whereas non-government schools educated only 22% of all students in 1970, by 2015 that figure had risen to over a third (35%).

While government schools continue to educate the majority of Australian students (65%), enrolments at Catholic (21%) and Independent (14%) schools are on the rise and show that Australians value choice, and today’s parents are prepared to pay for an education if they feel it will align more closely with their values, expectations, and aspirations.


In 2015, there were 382,687 full-time equivalent teaching staff over primary and secondary schools in Australia, which is a growth of 13% since 2005. Of these, 240,882 (63%) taught in Government schools, 72,812 (19%) taught in Catholic schools and 68,994 (18%) in independent schools.

The total number of male teachers has grown between 2005 and 2015 by 3% compared to 18% growth in female teachers over the same period. Comparatively, Government schools have a lower percentage of male teachers than Catholic and Independent schools.


Bringing together the best of McCrindle's research and analytics with SCIL's hands-on experience and innovation, the Education Future Forum is an opportunity for educational leaders and practitioners to engage in the dialogue around the future needs, trends and directions in education. The day will inform and inspire those who are seeking to understand this generation and simultaneously envision a school where the learning captures the hearts and minds of young people. There will also be the opportunity to tour Northern Beaches Christian School, to see students and teachers in action and view the learning spaces.

View the full program
& purchase your ticket here.

2016 Australian Communities Forum Recap

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Last Thursday, McCrindle Research and R2L&Associates were proud to present the Sydney Australian Communities Forum (ACF) at Customs House in Sydney. The ACF featured 15 brilliant speakers and 4 jam-packed sessions.


We began the day with tea and coffee on arrival before kicking off our first session, which focused on the research results from the Australian Communities Trends Report into Australia's not-for-profit sector. Before we launched into the findings we received a warm welcome from the honourable Catherine Cusack MLC, Parliamentary secretary to the Premier of NSW, and Professor Kerryn Phelps AM, Deputy Lord Mayor on behalf of our principal event sponsor, the City of Sydney.

SESSION 1 - introduction

Mark McCrindle opened Session 1 with an introduction to Australia's generational landscape and gave a snapshot of the key factors influencing Australian communities and some surprising findings from the just-completed Australian Communities Report. Mark provided an overview of giving in Australia, indicating that 4 in 5 Australians give financially to charities / not-for-profits, and that 1 in 4 give at least once a month.

McCrindle Team Leader of Analytics, Annie Phillips continued to share about the quantitative insights from the research, identifying the top 7 causes Australians support (Children's charities, medical research, animal welfare, disaster response in Australia, disability, homelessness and mental health), the 5 charity essentials and the top communication channels. Annie also provided an explanation of the Net Promotor Score (29) and Net Culture Score (21) for the sector, which were both very high.

Sophie Rention, Research Executive at McCrindle then communicated some of the key qualitative findings from the Australian Communities Trends Report. Sophie highlighted the key blockers (e.g. complex giving process) and enablers (e.g. personal connection) to charitable giving for Australians, as well as the next steps for charities including creating multi-tiered levels of engagement, community building, effective communication of results and fun and engaging experiences. 

We then heard from John Rose, principal at R2L&Associates about what this research means for community organisations and how they can best respond to the findings. In his insights and applications John reminded our delegates that in the midst of changes in the marketplace, trust and relevance is essential. John then presented 5 key issues for charities to keep in mind when engaging with the ever-changing supporter which included aligning, defining, communicating, engaging and leading.

Each of our delegates also received a copy of The Australian Communities Trends Infographic which contains the top line findings from the national study into Australian giving and how charities can engage.


SESSION 2 - keynotes

After a networking break over morning tea Eliane Miles, Research Director at McCrindle shared an engaging keynote presentation on Leading teams and managing change in transformative times. In the post linear, post literate and post logical workforce, Eliane reminded us that to engage and inspire our workplaces we need to ensure a culture of contribution, challenge and celebration within our teams. To attract and retain, to lead and inspire, we need to cultivate authenticity. 

Our next keynote, Josh Hawkins emphasised the importance of creativity in social media and marketing campaigns. Josh showed us that creative and fun campaigns are the ones that get cut through. Josh also inspired us to be authentic with our marketing and leadership to under 30's. Through humour, engaging videos and key takeaways, Josh's presentation reminded us that when you "Give someone a task you'll get what you ask for". But when you "Give them a vision you'll get more than you could ever ask for". 

Our final keynote speaker before lunch was Ivan Motley, found of .id The Population Experts. Specialising in using data to inform decisions and shape the future, Ivan and his team talked us through how analytics can shape the quality of education, housing, health, the environment and education. Using some practical case studies, the id. team showed us why we should be using local data to understand our communities, and how information and data can help transform communities.

SESSION 3 - streams

Stream 1: Understanding Australian Communities

In this stream Geoff Brailey, Research Executive at McCrindle began by giving an overview of the next generation of volunteers and donors, and tips on how to engage and motivate them. This was followed by Nic Bolto who encouraged us to do the hard work as leaders and how to effectively implement insights in organisations. Our last stream speaker for this session was James Ward, a Director at NBRS Architecture who showed us, through a case study, how understanding spaces and building communities can help to improve people's lives.

Stream 2: Engaging Australian Communities

In Stream 2, McCrindle Team Leader of Communications Ashley McKenzie began this session by giving practical tips and insights on how to communicate complex data in message saturated times. Following on was Salvation Army officer Bryce Davies who shared how The Salvation Army build community in areas of social challenge by creating communities focused on respect, encouragement and belonging. Our final stream 2 speaker Greg Low, co-founder of R2L&Associates gave us five essentials to make your next marketing or fundraising campaign thrive.


Following afternoon tea and some great networking, we gathered back together to hear from our last two speakers, Caitlin Barrett from Love Mercy and Andy Gourley from Red Frogs. 

Caitlin Barrett, CEO of the Love Mercy Foundation kicked off our afternoon session by telling us the engaging story of how Love Mercy was founded after Australian Olympian met Ugandan Olympian and former child soldier Julius Achon. After sharing the vision and mission of Love Mercy, Caitlin shared how they engage the community through telling personal stories, the importance of finding the right audience for the right story and telling the right details to provide an experience.  

Our last speaker for the day was Andy Gourley, founder and director of Red Frogs Australia. After having founded Red Frogs in 1997, Red Frogs is now the largest support network in Australia for Schoolies, festivals and universities. Through the use of engaging stories and hard-hitting realities, Andy effectively communicated how Red Frogs was founded and the crucial role they play in safeguarding vulnerable young people at events like Schoolies and festivals.  

We would like to thank all of our speakers and delegates for making the 2016 Australian Communities Forum a fantastic event. A big thank you to our sponsors, The City of Sydney, Pro Bono Australia, Hope 103.2 and ConnectingUp as well for your support in making this event happen.

The 2016 Australian Communities Trends Infographic

Thursday, October 06, 2016

The results of our annual longitudinal study, which analyses the effectiveness, engagement and awareness of the Not for Profit sector, will be presented at the one-day Australian Communities Forum in Sydney on October 13.

The Australian Community Trends Report delivers a clear analysis of the social context in which the Not for Profit sector is operating, and shows that Australians are a generous bunch, with four in five Australian givers (80%) giving financially to charitable organisations.

Some of the findings which are presented in the infographic below from the 2016 research, will be shared by Mark McCrindle and John Rose (R2L & Associates) at the Australian Communities Forum.

Motivation for giving

When it comes to motivation to give money to or volunteer with a charitable organisation, children and health are the top causes. Australian charitable givers are most likely to be highly motivated to give money to or volunteer for children’s charities (47%) followed by medical and cancer research organisations (46%) and animal welfare and wildlife support groups (44%). Compared to our 2015 research findings, children’s charities have overtaken health and disaster relief as the highest giving priorities in 2016.

The key decision drivers

The key decision drivers for Australian charitable givers are knowledge and trust of the organisation, which is the most significant influence on Australian givers getting involved with a charitable organisation. Almost seven in 10 Australian givers (68%) indicated that this is extremely or very significant as a motivation for getting involved. Australians are also highly motivated by organisations that make the world a better place for the less fortunate (54%) and also by their own knowledge of a need (52%).

The most important communication channels

The most important communication channels in helping Australian charitable givers to engage with causes, Not for Profit organisations and charitable organisations is through word of mouth by way of friends or family members. This was listed as the most influential channel through which Australian givers hear about and engage with charitable organisations, with 39% of Australian givers considering this to be extremely or very important. This validates the ingrained Aussie “scepticism” and our need to hear information from someone we trust in order to fully trust the information we are receiving. Websites are increasingly seen as reliable sources of information with a third (33%) of Australian givers considering these as extremely or very important to them engaging with a charitable organisation.

The Growing Need for 'Lazy Time' Amongst Aussie Men

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

We know our nation prides itself on our ‘mateship’ culture, however our recent research shows that over three-quarters of modern Aussie men are struggling to find time for their mates.

We were delighted to survey over 500 Australian males (aged 20 to 40 years) to find out how they spend their down time, for this study commissioned by Bundaberg Rum. Our research revealed that whilst nearly all men (97%) agree making time for their mates is essential, the majority (85%) of Aussie males are struggling to find enough time for much needed ‘man time’ with their friends.

Social demographer Mark McCrindle said: "Career driven, family focused and health conscious Aussie men are crowding their lives with commitments. As a result of these pressures and competing priorities, the time available for men to kick back and relax with their mates has begun to erode"

“Trends over the last three to five years highlight that men are losing the battle for the simple pleasures that bring Aussie men together. The study found that one in three (35%) are spending less quality time with their mates than three to five years ago, and revealed Aussie mates are sharing 30% less barbecues and watching 29% less sport.” - Mark McCrindle.

Men aren’t prioritising friendships

According to the report, men aren’t prioritising friendships as much as they should. Mates are pipped by family (77%), work (67%) and health and fitness (64%), with friendship (52%) coming in fourth place on their list of priorities.

Mark McCrindle said that for men, getting the balance right and making time for down time with mates is essential for their ‘social well-being’.

Lazy Time with mates might just be the best thing for Aussie men’s social WELL-BEING

“It’s a truth and permission that hard-working Aussie men might be delighted to hear, but watching sport and enjoying some lazy time with their mates might just be the best thing for their social well-being”

“Importantly, the research shows that men who have regular casual get-togethers with their friends are happier than those who don’t (83% compared to 70%), more productive (79% compared to 73%), and had lower stress levels (66% compared to 73%)." - Mark McCrindle

20 to 25 year-old men are chucking sickies to watch Netflix

In addition, almost one in five men (17%) have pulled a sickie and stayed at home instead of hanging out with their friends. 20 to 25 year-old males are the worst offenders with three in ten males (30%) admitting to it in the last six months.

One in five (19%) admitted to turning down a night with close friends to stay at home and watch Netflix or TV, and one in ten (11%) have turned down a night with their mates to spend time at home on social media instead.

Mark McCrindle said modern Aussie men needed to share more down time together to avoid the risk of becoming disconnected from their friends.

“It’s important that everyone makes time for their friends, but in this era of increased busyness – it means our social lives are becoming increasingly disconnected. Lazy time and casual get-togethers spent with mates are now more important than ever,”- Mark McCrindle.

View the full infographic here

Making Sense of the Census

Friday, August 05, 2016

It comes around once every five years and next Tuesday night, the census will count 10 million dwellings, making it the biggest in history. While the information helps to piece together where we live and what we do, changes to this year’s survey have sparked concerns over privacy. But that isn’t the only change. Faith is now in the spotlight with experts predicting Australia could be losing it’s religion.

How is this year’s census different?

The big change is the number of people expected to fill out the census form online or on a device. Such as this era five years ago, it was available as an e-census but less than one third filled it in that way. This year it is expected that more than two thirds will go for the online version.

How have the questions changed?

The religion question has changed, it used to list all the different religions and denominations and at the very bottom it said ‘no religion’. ‘No religion’ is now going to be the first option because a lot of people are going to select that. Nonetheless, as last time (where 61% chose Christianity in one form or another) it will probably be in the majority, but may fall a little bit.

For the first time the ABS is keeping some personal data, what about privacy?

People do worry about privacy and those names and details being kept for four years, but it’s for further ongoing analysis of where people live or how they move, age or people born in a certain year and further analysis of the data. The ABS or the Census have a pretty good track record of data security and I’ve even looked up the Census Act and there are serious penalties for people who in any way reveal data, so I think we can relax that it will be kept secure.

Are There are going to be new jobs included that weren’t there before?

If we even think of the five years since the last census, jobs like App Developer, Cyber Security Professional or Drone Pilot are new jobs that have emerged. I’m sure we will find a lot more jobs rather than just teacher and nurse in the Census under your occupation this year.

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