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This report explores the breadth and variety of people’s experiences through the COVID-19 pandemic and asks: what has the pandemic revealed about the state of Australia’s social capital, the connectedness of our communities, and our own sense of trust and belonging?

Loneliness, social isolation and disconnection are known to impose health and economic costs, but which sections of our society are at greatest risk of loneliness or isolation? What drivers can mitigate loneliness, and build our sense of inclusion? Has technology and social media improved our sense of connectedness, or has it left some with greater feelings of separation or isolation?

The findings from this report are intended to increase public understanding around key issues of loneliness and belonging, social inclusion and connectedness, and identifies actionable policies and strategies that can help strengthen Australia’s social fabric, enhance the personal development of children and young adults, improve personal and community wellbeing, and support people to achieving their goals, and reach their full potential.

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Focus on the States Series No. 8/21