The Scanlon Foundation Research Institute is an initiative of the Scanlon Foundation and furthers its belief that Australia’s future prosperity, underpinned by continued population growth, will depend on our ability to maintain, foster and support social cohesion in our communities amidst ever-growing cultural diversity.
Research on immigration, population and related matters comes from academic institutions, independent think tanks and commentators. This is vital, important work, and it deserves an influential place in the public consciousness. To ensure that happens, it must be consolidated and interpreted in a way so as to be digestible and practically usable by the people and organisations working directly in communities. That’s what the Institute does. It links thought to action to ensure debate drives the agenda and empowers the critical thinking that will drive our country’s interests.
Six months ago, no one had heard of the coronavirus. Now, several months into the pandemic, much of our daily lives have been transformed by its spread. In Australia, religious communities were one part of society expressly impacted by the ‘lockdown’ directives introduced to stem the spread of the virus. This essay describes the ramifications of the closure for some of Australia’s religious communities and considers what might be the long-term impact of the lockdown and our new social reality on the way these communities contribute to social cohesion in Australia.