Bernard Salt, KPMG partner and social researcher
There is one feature that has galvanised Australians across every generation since WWII and possibly longer and that is the irrepressible pursuit of lifestyle.
To most Australians the idea of lifestyle involves having the personal and economic freedom to live comfortably and to pursue interests, family/relationships and work. In the post-war era the Australian lifestyle was embodied in the suburban home and the traditional nuclear family; today the idea of lifestyle is more sophisticated, more international perhaps, but at its core it still involves having personal and economic freedoms.
From the time of the three-bedroom brick veneer and the barbeque area of the 1950s and the 1960s through to the sea-change shift of the late 1990s, and into the new century with the rise of the inner-city hipster, it’s always been about and probably always will be about, lifestyle. That’s what Australia is famous for and when you look at the way we Aussies live, the reason for our lifestyle fixation is really quite simple. Australia is a resource rich continent that naturally affords its inhabitants a good quality of life and a high standard of living.
If my central proposition is correct, Australians are now, and in the past have been, fixated with lifestyle then this trend will continue to be at the core of our values. New technologies in communication, new housing styles, new forms of transportation, the arrival of new cultural influences, even changes to the way we work, have all been leveraged in one way or another by the Australian people to enhance their quality of life and their lifestyle.
This report looks at the themes and the technologies that have been central to the making of the modern Australia lifestyle, from the time of Federation right through to today and beyond. It also investigates how the introduction of fast broadband could be the catalyst for a new generation, Australia’s most connected generation, ‘GenNBN’.
KPMG Partner Bernard Salt founded and heads KPMG Demographics a specialist advisory group that looks at social, cultural and demographic trends over time. Bernard has worked as an advisor to business and government for more than 25 years drawing on census and other datasets. He is a twice weekly columnist with The Australian newspaper and he is one of the most in-demand speakers on the Australian corporate speaking circuit. Bernard holds a Master of Arts degree from Monash University and since 2011 has been an adjunct professor at Curtin University Business School. Bernard also holds a number of board positions in education and the arts