The Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion 2017 report shows an alarming ambivalence to democracy and our government. The percentage of Australians who ‘almost always’ or ‘most of the time’ trust our government in Canberra is only 29%. Quality of government and politicians was ranked as the second highest concern for respondents to the survey.
The survey also found that 30% of Australians believe that our system of government needs major change, 42% think that we need minor change and 11% believe that the system needs to be replaced. Only 14% believe that the system works fine as it is. Those with less education and from regional areas were more likely to believe the system needs to be changed.
Declining knowledge, engagement and interest in most areas of democracy highlights it is a national imperative to deliver Constitutional Education (CCE) into every classroom in Australia. Our Australian way of life is threatened if our youth are not encouraged to be active and engaged citizens and members of our community.
CEFA’s mission is to deliver measurable improvements in Australians’knowledge, understanding of attitudes towards, and engagement with the history and operation of our Australian Constitution and the system of government that operates under it and our civic heritage more generally. The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is collaborating with CEFA to provide evidence-based measurement reports for the expected individual student improvements. As CEFA projects are implemented there is no doubt we will see improvements in attitudes towards the Australian democracy.