About the essays

The Scanlon Foundation Research Institute undertakes research to help Australia advance as a welcoming, prosperous and cohesive nation.

The Institute’s essay series focuses on current issues impacting social cohesion in Australia. Bringing together theoretical insights and stories from within the community, they shed light on the dynamics of social cohesion within certain segments of the Australian community and pose questions for further reflection, discussion and research.


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    Members of a synagogue listen to Rabi

    We're all in the same boat: stories of adaption and resilience from Australia’s religious communities in the time of COVID-19

    June 2020

    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.

How has COVID-19 and the closing of your place of worship impacted your religious community?

The Scanlon Foundation Research Institute is building a picture of how religious communities have adapted to having their places of worship closed and the new regulations that will govern their activities once they reopen.

We know every community is unique and we need your stories to help complete the picture.

Fill the form below or email tprentice@scanlonfoundation.org.au to share your religious community’s story.

You might include:

  • The name of your place of worship
  • What your group is like, such as how many people participate in services or activities, their age groups and ethnicity
  • The kind of activities you do together, such as services, community outreach programs, study groups or something else

You might include:

  • Anything you’ve had to stop doing
  • Activities you’ve had to move online
  • Ways restrictions have changed your religious practice

You might include: 

  • How people are coping and feeling
  • The biggest challenge you are facing
  • What you are planning around the easing of restrictions and reopening of your place of worship
  • Looking to the future, whether there will be permanent changes to how you do things