SHA’s submission to the Australian Government’s ‘Measuring What Matters’ statement

The Australian Government plan to release a new stand-alone Measuring What Matters Statement tailored to its people in 2023. This will help facilitate a more informed and inclusive policy dialogue on how to improve the quality of life of all Australians. As a result, the Treasury invited experts to advise the Government on what the Statement should measure, and how the Statement should link to other frameworks and goals.

Together with researchers in the sociology and anthropology of religion at Deakin University and The University of Melbourne, and scholars from the Contemplative Studies Centre within the School of Psychological Sciences at The University of Melbourne, Spiritual Health Association have made the submission on Measuring what Matters. The central argument of this submission is that a robust measure of Australia’s economic, social, and environmental progress and wellbeing should include a Spiritual Wellbeing dimension. The importance of Spiritual Wellbeing is well-supported by decades of research as well as frameworks for social development and social determinants of health.

We recommended that an Australian-specific scale or set of indicators, which are sensitive to our history, cultural diversity, and Indigenous knowledges, should be developed to capture the vital dimension of Australian progress and wellbeing. And we offered to assist in the implementation of such a recommendation, and in the development of Spiritual Wellbeing indicators for the Australian context.

Dr. Cuong La, Spiritual Health Association’s Research and Policy Leader

February 2023