Korus Connect recently made a submission to the Australian Government’s Measuring What Matters community consultation, considering wellbeing within broader budget considerations.
Our submission commended the Australian Government’s ambition to improve the lives of all Australians through establishing a national framework for measuring Wellbeing and Progress and presented our own practical experiences, supported by a wealth of Australian and international evidence, advocating that spirituality be included as a vital aspect of “Measuring What Matters”.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) Charter for Human Rights state that spirituality must be considered a factor of health and wellbeing.
More than half (55%) of Australians believe spirituality is connected to mental wellbeing, with 43% connecting it with relational wellbeing and 41% linking spirituality with physical wellbeing (The Future of Spiritual Care in Australia, 2022).
Australians also say spirituality offers them: peace (50%); values (49%); purpose (34%), morality (34%) and love (34%) (ibid).
People who identify more strongly with spirituality are more engaged in civic life and are also more likely to feel connected to humanity, to improve both individual wellbeing and broader social capital.
If social capital contributes to individual and community wellbeing, it necessitates attention and measurement by the proposed Wellbeing Budget, noting that social capital also affects economic growth, in part through the web of trusting relationships, ‘Across nations, trust is associated with faster rates of economic growth and higher levels of wellbeing.’ (Leigh and Terrell, 2021, p7).
Indicators of the strength of social capital will help inform priorities for a Wellbeing Budget. For example, the World Bank recommends a number of tools for measuring social capital.
Korus Connect strongly supports The Treasury’s commitment to improve the lives of all Australians through establishing a national framework for measuring Wellbeing and Progress.
We acknowledge the need for Government to continually develop and strengthen key analytical and policy frameworks and the specific challenge measurement presents in areas of conceptual realms such as wellbeing.
To that end, we reaffirm that ‘spirituality’ be included as a vital aspect of “Measuring What Matters”.