As Program Director of Catalyst, I have had the pleasure of setting up this program and working from behind the scenes to ensure that the program runs smoothly and provides program Partners and Supporters with insights that are useful within their organisations. After a few months of data collection, we can now take a look at some macro-level trends in the most pressing issues and recap some of the deep dive issues we have published with the help of our program Guest Analysts*.
The program has been collecting data about the most important social and environmental issues as viewed by Australians. When viewing these issues across time, we can see that some interesting changes have taken place.
Between August and November, Covid-19 has been slowly decreasing in prominence, giving way to long-standing issues of climate change and cost of living to emerge as the issues viewed by Australians to require the most immediate attention. In October we included a set of questions about climate change that measured Australians’ appetite for climate action.
Mental health continues to be a major concern for Australians and there is a huge opportunity for businesses and the government to help address this major issue. Everything from employee wellbeing programs to empowering employees to be of assistance and equipped to assist their friends and colleagues would be positive steps. Catalyst included a few questions about our sense of community, posed and analysed by Stu Spiers, one of the program’s Guest Analysts.
Affordability of housing is another major issue and given the steep rise in house prices observed over the past year, we expect that housing affordability will continue to be an important issue during 2022, and why in November we included a few questions proposed by Guest Analyst Sophie Renton to delve deeper into the issue of housing affordability.
I hope that you are enjoying being a member of this community. I hope we are making this program feel as inclusive as possible and invite you to take full ownership of this data-for-good initiative and encourage your colleagues and peers to join our community by subscribing as program Supporters and receiving our monthly newsletter.
The November report is the final report this year so I’d like to extend all the best wishes to you and your family and I look forward to our continued work in the New Year when we will be continuing to evolve the content and geographic coverage of the program.
Catalyst Program Director
* Guest Analysts are researchers or subject matter experts who contribute to the program by asking questions, analysing results and helping to promote the findings.