Where Australians Place Their Trust
By: Mark McCrindle
The Australian way sees a value in the local and home-grown.
This is no different to where Australians place their trust when it comes to small businesses. Recent findings highlight a growing trust deficit in governments and large corporations, emphasising a shift in the nation’s collective confidence as they turn their allegiance to their local communities.
Trust in local and small businesses soars
Australians are increasingly placing their trust in local businesses and charities/not-for-profits. An impressive 62% of Australians express trust in these grassroots sectors, reflecting a deep-rooted confidence in the essence of community. This trust is particularly striking when compared to the levels of confidence in governments, with just 42% of Aussies expressing trust in both the Commonwealth and state governments (41%). Trust in large corporations lags behind, with only 31% of the population relying on these entities.
This trust in local businesses and charities is a testament to the Australian way of life. While trust in governments and corporations may ebb and flow, the faith in the strength of communities remains unwavering.
A shift in trust over three years
Notably, trust has shifted significantly over the past three years. This is unsurprising given the tumultuous environment of navigating COVID-19 lockdowns and looking to the nation’s leaders for guidance. This shift is seen in the dwindling trust in the government, with nearly half (47%) stating that they have lost trust in the Australian government during this time period.
A parallel decline in trust is observed in mainstream media (47%) and large corporations (43%). These trends serve as a powerful indicator of Australians’ yearning for transparency, accountability, and a reconnection with values that truly matter to the nation.
Australians however, have displayed a resurgence of trust in religious institutions, with 21% expressing faith in local churches and 19% in the broader church community over the last three years. The resurgence of trust in religious institutions reflects a renewed quest for meaning, values, and community, offering these institutions an opportunity to engage with the evolving beliefs and needs of Australians.
In a world where trust is a precious commodity, Australians are demonstrating a clear preference for community-based entities that resonate with their values and priorities. The call for greater transparency and accountability, alongside a rekindling of trust in vital institutions, signifies a collective desire to strengthen the bonds of trust that underpin Australian society.
Australia Towards 2031
This essential report is full of insights to help businesses and organisations explore the demographic, consumer and behavioural trends shaping the nation.
Article supplied with thanks to McCrindle.
About the Author: McCrindle are a team of researchers and communications specialists who discover insights, and tell the story of Australians – what we do, and who we are.
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