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.

Eliane Miles speaks on NEETs in Australia

Monday, September 19, 2016

Analysis by Eliane Miles on new research released this week from the OECD highlights the challenge for young people entering their working years, particularly considering their transition from education.

While unemployment in Australia at just 5.6% is one of the lowest in the OECD, the number of Australian young people not in education, employment, or training (NEETs) has increased by 100,000 since the time prior to the Global Financial Crisis (2008), rising from 10.5% to 11.8% of all those aged 16 to 24 – comprising a total of 580,000 young people today.

The challenges affecting youth unemployment most often lie in a young person’s transition periods. It is normal for young people to spend some time out of education and work – in fact, 2 in 3 young people aged 16 to 24 will spend up to 3 months out of education and work – but the challenge becomes when this period of time becomes greater and the ‘relevance clock’ begins to tick. When 3 months eventuates into a year, or longer, this can lead to cycles of unemployment. Today, 1 in 5 young people aged 16 to 24 spend 12 months or more out of employment, education, or training, and it is these young people that will face the most significant challenges as they try to enter or re-enter the workforce.

The demographic realities play a significant risk factor in young people falling into a cycle of unemployment. 60% of NEETS are women, and while just 3% of young people are indigenous, this percentage rises to 10% among NEETs. There is also a strong correlation between low educational attainment and struggles in entering the workforce - 37% of students who leave school in Year 10 end up not being in education, employment, or training, compared with just 11% of those with a tertiary qualification.

Watch Eliane Miles on 7 News below:

240,000 young people looking for work

Young people out of work are often stereotyped as “slackers” but in fact 41% of NEETs (238,000) are actively looking for work but unable to find a job. Helping these young people find work needs to become a national priority and a focus needs to be given to their education to employment transition. Studies tell us that the key transition in a young person’s life is from learning to earning – from study to employment. If young people are not job ready, they should be directed to a course or traineeship that will help them get job-ready. Greater collaboration between actors (schools, VET providers, tertiary providers, employment services, childcare providers, and employers) is needed, along with a broader focus on not just higher education but vocational learning.

The remaining 59% who are inactive NEETS

Questions are then most often asked about inactive NEETs – the 40% of NEETs who say they would not like a job, and the 19% who would like a job but aren’t currently looking. What is it that has discouraged them or dissuaded them from entering the workforce?

Educationally, we are seeing a significant push towards tertiary educational attainment. A generation ago in 1986, more than half of all students left school in Year 10 with most going on to start work/vocational training. Today, 9 in 10 young people go on to complete Year 12, and the majority of these enter higher education. Nationally, however, 1 in 5 university students drop out in their first year of university, clearly not being ready for the task at hand or convinced of the choice they have made.

And while we are seeing an increase in university qualifications (our predictions estimate that 1 in 2 Gen Z will have a university qualification compared to 1 in 3 Gen Ys and 1 in 4 Gen Xs), we must keep in mind that everything is not just about higher education or STEM skills. It’s about developing a broad skills base that will continue to sustain Australia’s growing economic and demographic footprint.

Challenges in the skills sector

While the VET sector has seen a 50% increase in students placed in apprenticeships since the early 2000s, the sector is also subject to significant inefficiencies. Traineeship and apprenticeship completion rates are low, qualifications are hard to navigate, some federal funding for programs has been withdrawn, and employment service providers geographically only target 60% of NEETs, leaving 200,000 youth un-serviced by employment services.

The benefits of work are more than just economic

In conversations with young people, it serves us to be reminded that jobs do more good for all of us than just money. They provide a young person with a sense of independence, self-esteem, and social connection, as well as the ability to learn and stay future-proofed. The longer that young people stay out of employment, the more they are to lose connection and become social disenfranchised, leading to greater problems.

The challenge of entry will only accelerate

As we look ahead to the next 10-15 years of Australia’s job market, we estimate that 5.1 million of Australia’s jobs will become digitally disrupted. Today’s savvy school leaver is training themselves for jobs that don’t yet exist. The reality is that new jobs which will be created are more complex than the jobs they replace. If a young person is locked out of the workforce today, it is likely that they will face an even more difficult re-entry in years ahead as the skills required to fulfilk workforce demands increase.

The challenge of financial independence will also accelerate

Commonwealth funding will increasingly become tighter. The economy has natural limits, and supporting an ageing population base and those with disabilities is naturally a more pressing national priority than supporting those who can work but are choosing not to. It’s just a matter of time before government benefits to NEETs will dry up.

Having said that, it’s also important to remember that 25% of inactive NEETs and 41% of NEETs looking for work in fact have not received any government benefits to support them. For these young people, support has largely fallen back to the informal economy, with support provided by family members and friends.

The earnings challenge for today’s emerging generation

It is in fact more financially difficult to get ahead early in life than it once was. In the 1970s, for example, when many Baby Boomers graduated from university, the average graduate starting salary was equal to the average full time adult wage, while today the average graduate starting salary of $54,000 is $26,000 less than average full time annual earnings. Student debt is also higher than ever, with more than 1 in 3 (34%) registered debt agreements belonging to 25-34 year-olds, and the average university debt estimated to be around $28,000. Today’s young generations are actually beginning their earning years in more debt than we’ve seen before. Not to mention the multi-fold increase in the cost of housing – a generation ago the average Sydney house price was 5 times annual average earnings while today the average house price is 13 times the average annual full time earnings of $80,000.

Keeping it in perspective

If young people can continue to accelerate their learning, they’ll have greater chances of success. Just 11% of bachelor-degree educated young people are still looking for full time work within 4 months of completing their course, and the strength of Australia’s economy is creating positive opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship for young people to place their stamp on Australia's future.


Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a data analyst she understands the power of big data to inform strategic direction. Managing research across multiple sectors and locations, she is well positioned to understand the mega trends transforming the workplace, household and consumer landscapes. Her expertise is in telling the story embedded in the data and communicating the insights in visual and practical ways.

From the key demographic transformations such as population growth and the ageing workforce to social trends such as changing household structures and emerging lifestyle expectations, from generational change to the impact of technology, Eliane delivers research based presentations dealing with the big global and national trends.

With academic qualifications in community engagement and postgraduate studies in international development and global health, Eliane brings robust, research-based content to her engaging presentations and consulting. As a social researcher, she has been interviewed on these topics on prominent television programs such as National Nine News and Today, as well as on radio and in online media.

To have Eliane Miles present to your organisation on Generation Z, the state of today’s education sector, or the future world of work, contact McCrindle at info@mccrindle.com.au or call 02 8824 3422



OECD, Investing in Youth: Australia 2016

Graduate Careers Australia


Dare to Dream Research [Case Study]

Monday, August 22, 2016

McCrindle has been delighted to partner with the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) in conducting new research into Australia’s financial hopes and fears for the future. The research, released in time for Financial Planning Week 2016, shows that one in two of us dream more about our future now than we did five years ago.

Daring to dream again

Australians are a resilient and indefatigable, even when faced with difficult economic times. A buoyant 82% of us are full of self-belief in our ability to achieve our goals, which include full financial independence (59%) and more free time to spend with those we love (43%).

We are also hard-working, creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial. Nearly half of us (45%) daydream about the future every few weeks or more, thinking ahead and planning towards our financial dreams.

Yet many Australians have made few concrete steps to turn financial dreams into reality. 63% of Australians report having made “no plans” or “very loose plans” for how to practically achieve the future they dream about so optimistically, and one in four (25%) never seek advice from others when making financial decisions.

The research also shows most of us have financial regrets – namely that we have not saved (47%) and not invested (27%) as much as we thought we should have. Only 35% of women aged 20-51 are happy with what they’ve achieved in life so far.

Life goals linked strongly to financial goals

Australians are most likely to indicate their biggest life goal is a financial goal (34%). Personal (31%) and relational (25%) goals follow closely behind. There is a seeming disparity, however, between vocational and financial goals with only 10% of Australians suggesting their biggest life goal is a career related goal.

Australia’s Four Dreaming Personalities: Risk versus perspective

Four distinct dreamer personalities types emerged from the research. Some working-age Australians prefer investing in long-term goals, while others spend their money as soon as they earn it.

Risk taking varies, with some willing to take significant financial risks, while others prefer to play it safe, only taking calculated risks, or none at all.

Many dream about the future and consider the steps they can take to make it a reality, while others deal with the reality before them and instead live in the present.

Click here to download the infographic, and visit fpa.com.au/dreamerprofiles to take a free online quiz to determine your own financial dreamer personality.

About McCrindle

At McCrindle we are engaged by some of the leading brands and most effective organisations across Australia and internationally to help them understand the ever-changing external environment in which they operate and to assist them in identifying and responding to the key trends.

Our expertise is analysing findings and effectively communicating insights and strategies. Our skills are in designing and deploying world class social and market research. Our purpose is advising organisations to respond strategically to the trends and so remain ever-relevant in changing times. As social researchers we help organisations, brands and communities know the times.

Contact us to find out more about our research services.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


Mark McCrindle the great screenage apartments insight society trends market research paying to work Channel 7 population population growth trades Sydney population average Australian professional presenters social analyst rising house prices divorce hello fresh proactive greatness Christmas season work Australian Trends local community google for education impact narcissism mccrindle research marrickville brand experience perth student not for profit event Financial Planning Association social researchers nfp renter of the future domestic Jura Australia ACF2017 1968 charities rental stress personalities casual donate World Water Day aged care hills shire Wagga Wagga work from home belief christmas trend state anzac meals study faux-cilising TED talk generation alpha national crime rates Gen X forecasting wealth education research organisations social research dessert motivate mentor Caregiver cars define Hunter Valley Sydney vegemite tv panel trends analyst communications conference kate middleton Cobbitty-Leppington JOMO royal influence Australians demography baby boom teaching Queensland communicate year 7 home Scouts authenticity monarchy learner What is food insecurity? James Ward capital city generation Z speajer future of work gen alpha baby boomers financial future australians staying home more baby names school satisfaction sentiments social enquiry entrepreneurial small business micro apartments social lives VET sector digital communities financial fears sydneysider office space bureau Macquarie University Assistant Store Manager stay home forum Northern beaches Event resource energy youth futurist Financial Planning Association of Australia environmental scanning infographics Geoff Brailey typical australian new york times seasons urban living index non profit names ageing Territory royal baby survey care support capital cities choice workers public holiday spirituality australian innovation urban living schools students victoria university degree work-life donation conference presentation demographic transformations sydney hills live the dream who is generation z darwin environment housing weather debate easy rider overcast future of education wolloomooloo economy repayments offenders professional mover and shaker water poor Lower Hunter Region ashley mckenzie Christchurch gen z financial fears home owner census teachers wealth and income celebration 10 years coffee lovers Research Director Population Clock sydney metro new office winter land of the middle class social analysis poker master Hills Shire Council GPO data visualisation professional development cica optus research Word Up Western Australia survey design ultimo REIV National Conference stats the hills shire pharmacy sector resilience optus my business awards workplace culture unaffordable entrepreneur younger generations speakers research report family huffington post year 12 church australian communities forum bus media activity New Zealand changing face of sydney the hills commuting follow divorce rate Christmas lunch mateship HSC ACT Report keynote speaker local generations city household balance slideshare youth unemployment future proof ACT baby the average aussie jobs Myth Willowdale grandparents suburbs internet 40 million healthy future TDE Channel Seven megatrends chairty dare to dream training suburb politics tertiary education summer Australian demographics education future System's Architect daily telegraph public speaking English in the media litter society Australian schools community engagement 1980 communication NSW middle class trend tuesday high density generation McCrindle Speakers emerging trends twentyseventeen McCridle families cancelling plans challenge australia eliane focus group social impact trends of 2017 Kiwi careers NEETs etiquette intern faux-ciliser going out royal family tips marketing TED pharmacies food insecurity media commentary parents NFP event suburban living investment neutral bay Australia Day 2017 award winner census fail Australian Communities Trends employmer socialites internships women gig economy cancelling event daily commute mythbusters Real Estate Mount Annan-Currant Hill geomapping optimistic coffee volunteering data long weekend high density apartments global financial crisis experience woolworths employmee visualisation ACF17 global ABS alpha shbc Duchess of Cambridge christianity community money wages Research Executive urban goals population map government eliane miles "know the times" sustainable Adelaide property market breakfast consumerism workplace low density FPA Love online plans entrepreneurs of today consumer Engineering Manager townhouses internship personal growth Gen Y social researcher demographic trends medicine cartodb dreams real finance affordable #censusfail waverton moderators guide Tuesday Trends demographics Wellington infographic February 16 spend apartment tattoos social shifts qualitative research retirement 2016 census ageing population norwest investing mortgage happiness WA parenting wealth and income distribution university states product transport quote dream NT wage EFF CPI graphs census results Royals Christmas presents urban taskforce Real Estate Institute of Victoria Aussies Australian Families Deaths 23 million renting meetings affordability Generation X shopper's pick Vocational education australian social research logan debt rent leadership food wedding earnings Valentine’s Day social demographic events Crime Rates sydney event education future report language newspaper social life 2020 Melbourne menai house price rise REIV Conference social trends economic marriage Wodonga change sun earn australian community trends report leader hills australian real estate child care teleworking national wealth VET SMART baby names report media release public speaker australian communities trends report couple acf15 research data high density living January 26th Do It Yourself life prince george population milestone aussie culture deloitte Lower Hunter researcher shifts tuesday Kirsten Brewer buildings Australian Census future-proof cost 2013 financial independence charity shopping centre speakers pack young people easter future research visualisation Australia Day NBRS Architecture fresh report Northern Beaches millionth sunny days TAS presentations publication Canberra commute budget Australian Home DESTEL rise of local innovative engage 2016 census results global generations princess charlotte office opening CBD winter blues thrive area trends sunburnt country career volunteering property price Work place royal priorities faux-cilise moreton bay engagement entertainment contiki cash employers equip omnibus criminal Northern Territory wealth distribution google sydneycity growth of sydney local communities story clothing crows nest mccrindle analysis residents wellbeing group holiday 2015 Andrew Duffin recap FOMO learning selfie mining boom housing market mccrindle in the media trends of 2016 christian leadership workshop technology insights results speaker Tasmania cultural diveristy educated Generation Y networking millennials gender 2017 data list DIY South Australia housing affordability marriages New South Wales click office sports collaborative cultural diversity group session increasing densification the lucky country commuters Aussie collaboration Australian communities cancel plans ethnography gig infographic wall Queensland: QLD public transport Sydney keynote speaker Australian Dream potts point emerging generations not for profit research Northern Beaches Christian School friendship business index cost of living responsive curiosity future proofing Australian community trends dreaming culture house prices teach TEDx world home ownership customer SRE 24 million forecast investor manly mother's day lalor park visual culturally diverse brisbane average aussie owning a home sydney speaker focus groups blaxland school hopes men purpose Financial Planning Week rich average sydneysider educhat Skilling ACF jobs of the future generational trends 1975 facts program 24,000,000 presentation annual income VIC tableau teacher father's day religion staying in salary brand volunteers video baby name trends outsourcing storytelling employment baby name predictions wealth inequality staff tea food bank lifestyle travel media 2012 ACF 2016 living financial dreams The Daily Edition Bathburst Jura Coffee baby names australia report post rationalism the australian dream IT Specialists organisational culture gold coast grave decision participants screenage Charlotte mccrindle tea cold conferences giving award travelling cloudy days hornsby workshop statistics research pack in depth interviews Australia street sector wide toys showreel demographer micro builders not-for-profit crime social commentator hunger future of shopping SA education sector rain PSI housing growth conference speaker income news New Zeland friends skills census data Mark McCrindle in the media housing trends train learn mythbusting 2016 The ABC of XYZ brands aged care puzzle young australians Tuesday Trend socialising work mates shopping community event world youth day households rule keeper volunteer 2014 ipswich weekly earnings business baby name business performance know the times census 2016 professional services case study safe relational Elderslie-Harrington park growing population property children schools sector wide study research on coffee earning thought leadership Australian Population village Sydney Hills Business Chamber hobart Res Vis goal social media social change faith Education Future Forum Performance Sentiment Index learning styles Sydney’s south west ashley fell vegetarian car house price unemployment screenagers research services sydneysiders house keynote education ideas emerging technologies millenials supply and demand ferry pyrmont Merry Christmas bondi online shopping high school interactive Births national private wealth the changing face of snapshot social issues relevant SMSF students holidays mccrinlde Business analysis growth social commentary cooking workforce data analyst mobile NBRS Social Trend Australian Bureau of Statistics school students ease of travel Maxim Accounting financial planning professional speaker Hornsby Shire Council Netflix identity 1994