In October 2019 the ABC launched Australia Talks, a research-based initiative designed to better understand life from different perspectives in modern Australia. The project encouraged Australians to participate in open discussions about the issues that mattered to them most.
Working in conjunction with Vox Pop Labs and an academic panel, the ABC conducted the Australia Talks National Survey, which collected the views of more than 54,000 Australians from every part of the country. The survey consisted of approximately 490 questions, and gathered information about Australians’ experiences, opinions and feelings on a range of topics and issues.
From the data, an online tool was developed, which could be accessed by all audiences. After answering a selection of survey questions, each respondent received a personalised snapshot of how they fit in modern Australia: abc.net.au/australiatalks. The tool was made available in four languages – English, Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese and Arabic.
Across six weeks, the ABC brought the survey data to life in its content, with major findings and themes driving the national conversation across ABC TV, radio and online. The project included innovative content initiatives, including reporting embeds in suburban corridors, and held in-person events to discuss the key issues uncovered by the survey in dozens of locations across the country.
The initiative received record-breaking audience engagement:
438,000 people completed the online tool.
15 million page views were recorded across digital articles.
898,000 people tuned into the live TV event program.
More than 30% of Australians indicated they had engaged with Australia Talks in some way (via an independent audience survey).
The National Survey dataset is a valuable and significant contribution to Australian social science research, the first of its kind in Australia.