Research asks how WA is really feeling

February 5, 2013

An ongoing study at Murdoch University is attempting to get a clear picture of how Western Australians really feel about their current lifestyles and society.

PhD candidate Jane Genovese of the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences said that while similar studies on social wellbeing had been done in the Eastern States, her research was the first to look at WA.

“There’s no doubt that Western Australia has seen a social shift over the past six or seven years, with changes to population, types of work, rising prices, congestion and ultimately lifestyle,” Ms Genovese said.

“Anecdotally and in the media, we’re hearing stories about these changes impacting people’s lives, both in good and bad ways.

“We have higher wages, more ‘small bars’ and more entertainment options, but we’re also hearing people say they feel money-rich and time-poor, stretched by FIFO, mortgage stressed and stuck in traffic.

“What we want to do is pull together all of these feelings and get baseline data on how people in Western Australia are feeling right now. This involves people answering roughly 150 questions in our on-line survey.”

Ms Genovese said the information could be useful in a number of ways, including informing government social planning and community support programs.

She said it would also prompt debate on what we value.

“There’s evidence that focussing on material wealth impacts everything from health to psychological wellbeing to our ecological footprint. We have to ask ourselves what we value both as a society and individuals so we can decide what will benefit us in the future,” Ms Genovese said.

Anyone over the age of 18 living in WA is encouraged to take part in the study by doing an anonymous on-line survey at The survey takes approximately 30 minutes.

Results are expected in mid to late 2013.

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