Informing Moreland's social cohesion plan


Case Studies

The Client

City of Moreland

The Challenge

Moreland City Council required a way to monitor a series of indicators linked to their social cohesion policy and communicate findings in a format suitable for council policy officers.


Our analysis created a picture of how social cohesion measures differ across suburbs, where the most change has happened over time and how trends in suburbs compare to the municipality as a whole and to Greater Melbourne.


Our report has given Moreland City Council a way to monitor the performance of social indicators and communicate these to relevant stakeholders.

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If you need help understanding social cohesion in your area, contact our demographic consulting team here to discuss your project.

Social cohesion is the act of fighting exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination by actively supporting enablers (employment, population stability, housing, sports, music, good living environment, chances for social mobility) and discouraging disablers (racial tensions, deprivation and disadvantage, language barriers, stereotyping and emphasis on cultural differences, population turnover, fear of crime and racial harassment) of social cohesion (Moreland Social Cohesion Plan 2018-2020).

Prioritising effort to enhance social cohesion is an imperative of the vision of the Council Plan 2017-2021 for Moreland City Council. They have developed a series of social indicators linked to their social cohesion policy. These will be used to measure outcomes of Moreland’s Social Cohesion Plan and related components of Moreland’s Human Rights Policy implementation. There is an intention to monitor these indicators moving forward.

The population experts at .id focused on interrogating relevant ABS datasets – the Census and Survey of Disability, Ageing and Caring (SDAC) and compiled them into communicable statistics and trends, as well as providing a brief interpretation of this in a communicable format, suitable for council policy offers.


Social cohesion, in this context, was defined as being a shared community vision and a process viewed not simply as an outcome but as a continuous process of achieving social harmony within Moreland. With years of experience of working with ABS data, we identified which available datasets could adequately and accurately describe “social cohesion” across the municipality and how this information could help us ascertain whether social cohesion was performing well or not. If you would like more information about measures we included, or you need a similar piece of analysis for your council, please contact us here.

Spatial analysis of data allowed us to illustrate different levels of social cohesion across the City of Moreland. Key analysis techniques which we often employ to describe trends and change were used here too – analysis of change over time, spatial patterns and benchmarking to other areas.

We also employed our own technique for modelling propensity for disability from the ABS Survey of Disability, Aging and Caring (SDAC) and other sources to build identify populations with an increased level of disability down to small geographic areas. For more on how we’ve used this modelling technique, see this case study, see this case study.

Our in-depth analysis looked at socioeconomic and demographic information such as:

  • Unemployment (spatial analysis, change over time and a look into unemployment of priority groups)
  • Low income households
  • Population migration and recent arrivals from overseas
  • Population diversity (need for assistance, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, overseas born, English language proficiency, religion)


Our report consisted of dataset interpretation, spatial illustrations of diversity and change, and narrative summary. It tells the story of social cohesion in different communities within Moreland, specifically linking each to the Council’s social indicators. Council decision makers were able to utilise the findings to support and improve their approach to encouraging and monitoring enhancing social cohesion.

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