What is meant by The Good Life? Does it mean the same thing to all Australians?

Some of the country’s leading thinkers will discuss these questions and more at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University on Thursday, February 12.

Conference Convenor and Deputy Director of the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance, Professor Ross Homel AO, says while Australia has become much wealthier and healthier since World War II, crime and violence are much higher.

“And young people continue to take their own lives in numbers that were unheard of decades ago,” he said.

“So, just what is the ‘good life’? Why is economic prosperity not enough, and what happens to children, young people and families when the economy goes bust as it would appear to be heading? Are material possessions more or less important to people’s well-being in such times?”

Associate Professor Geoff Woolcock from Griffith University’s Urban Research Program said addressing measures of progress beyond economic performance was vitally important for healthy communities.

His paper – Is it all sunshine in the Sunshine State? Reflections on the formative stages of Community Indicators Queensland – will look at various local community well-being initiatives over the past five years, as part of a panel looking at similar developments interstate and overseas.

“An effective community indicators system that monitors the sense of community and belonging, quality of collective life, and human rights and equity is more likely to produce policies that reflect what matters to most people,” he said.

The Griffith Institute for Social and Behavioural Research will be launched by Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor at the conference. The institute will bring together 150 researchers throughout Australia to focus on contemporary global challenges to society and community wellbeing.

For a full list of speakers and program visit the conference website at: www.griffith.edu.au/social-change

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Rashid 07 3735 4288, 0434 171 646.