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.

Australian Census 2016; What you need to know

Monday, August 08, 2016

As demographers and social researchers there are a few calendar events that cause for celebration. Among them include population milestones, special data set releases and, of course, the Census. Rolling around only every 5 years, the Census provides us all with vital information about our nation’s population growth, infrastructure and future-planning needs.

In 2016 the Census will be held tomorrow, Tuesday 9th August. It has been conducted every 5 years since 1911, and is the biggest democratic activity in Australia. While July’s election counted 14 million votes, the 2016 Census will include every household, age group, resident and visitor – all 24 million of us.

So here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming 2016 Census.


This will be the most unique Census Australia has ever seen. In keeping with these technological times, 2 in 3 people will complete their form online, up from just 1 in 3 in 2011 and 1 in 10 back in 2006 (the first time there was an electronic option).


Firstly, the Census will show that our national population is growing, having hit a new record in February of this year and surpassing a population of 24 million people. Additionally, it will also show that Australia’s largest city – Sydney, has broken through the 5 million milestone.

Not only will the Census show that our population is growing, but also that we are ageing. Our population profile will no longer be a “population pyramid”, because for the first time there will be more Australians aged over 55 than under 20.

So the Census will show that our population is growing, ageing and as a result, it will show that we are moving. For the first time this Census will reveal that one in four Australian households live in townhouses or apartments rather than detached houses – the highest figure ever, up from just one in ten in 1966.


This year there will be a change to the religion question with the option of “No religion” now appearing at the top of that question rather than at the bottom, so it might attract some more numbers.

Additionally the question asked of women: “How many babies has she ever given birth to” states “live births only”, but will now include stillbirths and give acknowledgement of that loss And the question: “Is the person male or female” - will allow an alternative blank box for those who identify with neither gender.


Like participating in the election, it is compulsory to complete the Census. But for everyone in the country, not just citizens or residents. The Census and Statistics Act takes sitting the Census very seriously, with fines for non-completion after receiving an order to complete incurring a fine of $180 per day, and false answers can attract a fine of $1800.

But the good news is that the Act takes privacy very seriously as well and answers cannot be divulged by the ABS to anyone – even government agencies. Confidentiality is assured.


If we thought we had to wait a while for the election results, be prepared for a longer wait for the Census findings. It will be analysed at record speed, but that still means a wait of 8 months, April 2017, with the full results not coming out until 2018!

Digital Thumbprint; Social Media Trends Study

Monday, July 04, 2016

We were delighted to have been commissioned by Optus to conduct research into the increased use and implications of online selfies with a focus on the role played by parents in guiding their children’s online behaviour. This national research has been launched in partnership with Optus and their Digital Thumbprint Education Program, and revealed some interesting insights into the attitudes of Australia's next generations towards online safety and selfie regret.

Social media has taken the world by storm, with Facebook reaching 1 billion active users in 6 years. Today, Facebook has already exceeded the population of China at 1.4 billion users, while YouTube boasts 4 billion views per day. The report reveals that young adults (aged 18-25) and parents in Australia share in this statistic, with over 9 in 10 (93% and 92% respectively) of those who have at least one active social media account being active on Facebook.

The research found that one in four parents (25%) own a social media account to monitor their child’s online activities.

It also found that teens say they obsessively compare their life and achievements with others, with one in three admitting they regretted one or more selfies they had shared online. A quarter of 18 to 25-year-olds said they were affected by FOMO – the fear of missing out – and so were hooked on social media. 

"While at first it may seem self-obsessed to put photos up on Instagram of yet another selfie or the lunch we are about to eat, there is actually more to it than that. Individuals are taking photos of themselves to share their experience with others – it’s keeping in touch, trying to connect and communicate.” - Mark McCrindle.

 Find out more about the findings of the study in the below infographic:

Top Baby Names Revealed

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Around 1 in 10 Australian babies last year were given one of the Top 10 baby names; a total of 28,640 out of the total Australian annual births of 298,200. There were 2,283 boys named Oliver and 1,737 girls named Charlotte last year.

Charlotte takes top spot after Olivia’s 3 year reign

Charlotte, with 1,737 occurrences is the top girl baby name in Australia for 2015, taking the top spot from Olivia which is now in 2nd place.

Olivia was the most popular girls’ name in 2014 but has now fallen behind by 67 occurrences.

Charlotte was the most popular baby girls’ name in almost every state while Olivia was top in VIC and WA.

Oliver most popular in the states but Jack more popular in the territories

Keeping the top spot from 2014 is Oliver, the top boy baby name in Australia for 2015 having overtaken Jack and William which were 1st in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Oliver was the top boys’ name in all 6 states (NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA, TAS) while Jack was the top boy baby name in the Northern Territory.

There were 421 more instances of Oliver than William, an increase on the margin of 191 from 2014. In 2015, there were 2,283 boys named Oliver, 1,862 named William and 1,802 named Jack which is a decrease for both William and Jack on 2014.

Top 10 Girl's name trends and insights

Most of the top 10 girls’ names from 2014 have held on to a top 10 ranking in 2015 except for Ruby which has slipped out of the top 10 down to 13th place. In Ruby’s place, Grace has reached top 10 status. Charlotte, Amelia, Sophia and Chloe all improved on their 2014 ranking with Olivia, Mia, Emily, Sophie and Ruby being the ones which have dropped. Ava was the only name to retain the same ranking.

Top 10 Boy’s name trends and insights

Oliver remains to be the top boy baby name of 2015, holding this position strongly since 2014. 9 out of the top 10 boys’ names held onto their top 10 ranking with Alexander falling out of the top 10 to 15th place, with Lachlan (rank 10th) taking his spot. While none of top 4 names changed positions, Jackson dropped from 5th to 7th and Thomas, James and Ethan increased their rank within the top 10 names.

7 new boy’s and 9 new girls’ names enter the top 100

The names Spencer, Jesse, Arlo, Harley, Darcy, Jett and Lewis have entered the list for the boys’ at the expense of Bailey, Mitchell, David, Aaron, John, Phoenix and Anthony.

As for the girls; Aurora, Billie, Eve, Daisy, Aisha, Leah, Gabriella, Maryam and Maggie have entered the top 100 with; Lexi, Jade, Indie, Pippa, Amelie, Amber, Elise, Natalie and Lacey dropping out of the list.

George and Charlotte; A royal influence

The original category of celebrities – the royals – have not only captured the loyalty and affections of modern Australians but continue to significantly influence their choice in baby names.

The birth of the Royal Princess in May 2014 (Charlotte Elizabeth Diana) has also contributed to the royal baby name trend. Like George’s rank, which increased from 71st in 2012 to 36th in 2015, in 2015 we saw the name Charlotte gain 1st position, taking the top spot from Olivia in 2014.

Download Baby Names Australia 2016. 

Click here to download the full report.

Exploring the Sentiment of Sydneysiders

Monday, January 18, 2016

In August 2015, McCrindle Research surveyed 1,007 Sydneysiders on their attitudes and sentiments towards the current state and The Future of Sydney.

Future analysis of the sentiments of Sydneysiders has now been conducted, revealing the differences in sentiment within various demographic categories towards how Sydney is now, compared to 5 years ago and to how they perceive Sydney to be in 5 years’ time.

Males more optimistic

1 in 5 (20%) males are expectant optimists who stated that they think Sydney is better now than it was 5 years ago and it will be even better in 5 years’ time compared with only 14% of females.

Overall, 37% of males think that Sydney is better now than it was 5 years ago and 35% think that Sydney will be even better in 5 years’ time compared with 30% and 28% of females respectively.

Generation Y the most positive

1 in 5 (20%) Gen Y’s are expectant optimists with Baby Boomers having the smallest proportion in this category (14%) with 3 in 5 (60%) Gen X’s and Baby Boomers falling into the concerned pessimists category.

Over 2 in 5 (42%) Gen Y’s think that Sydney is better now it was 5 years ago but only 1 in 4 (26%) Baby Boomers feel the same way. Just over 7 in 10 Gen X’s (73%) and Baby Boomers (72%) think that Sydney will be worse in 5 years’ time, compared with just over 3 in 5 (63%) Gen Y’s.

City dwellers have a more buoyant outlook than those in the outer suburbs

The Central region of Sydney is the region with the largest proportion of expectant optimists at 20% with the South West region having the lowest at 15%.

However, the over 1 in 3 respondents from the South West region (35%) stated that they think that Sydney will be better in 5 years’ time, the highest proportion out of all the regions, followed by the Western Suburbs with 33%.

Families with dependents more upbeat

1 in 5 (20%) respondents who live in a household with children are expectant optimists compared with fewer than 1 in 6 (15%) who live in a household without children.

Almost 2 in 5 (39%) respondents living in a household with children stated that they think that Sydney is better now than it was 5 years ago compared with 3 in 10 (31%) of those in households without children.

Middle income earners most optimistic

Surprisingly, the proportion of respondents who are concern pessimists was higher in those in 2nd highest income quintile than those in the other 4 quintiles.

The largest proportion of respondents who stated that they think Sydney is better than it was 5 years ago was of those in the middle income quintile (40%).

The lower the perception of population size, the higher the optimism

Respondents who underestimated Sydney’s population the most (1 or 2 million) were the most likely to have been expectant optimists at 24% with those having the closest estimations being the most likely to be concerned pessimists (4 million = 53%, 5 million = 55%).

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