Social cohesion research

Moreland Council plays a key role in building religious tolerance in Fawkner.

The latest 2017 results of RMIT University study (PDF 3Mb) into religious tolerance in Fawkner have found that people living in more diverse suburbs are less likely to express or experience Islamophobia.

The first round of the study completed in 2013 investigated the role of housing, employment and local community in generating social cohesion in multicultural neighbourhoods 'in transition'. The study described Fawkner as an enclave of social disadvantage where the potential marginalisation of the Muslim community could potentially lead to future social problems.

Since the 2013 findings, Council has worked with the Fawkner community to address a range of issue from economic disadvantage and access to services.

A team of researchers, including seven bi-lingual interviewers, focused on the neighbourhood experience of people living in Fawkner and Broadmeadows. Respondents with more diverse local social networks expressed significantly lower levels of Islamophobia.

Overall, the neighbourhood experiences of Muslim and non-Muslim residents in both localities were positive. This was especially so for local Muslims, who liked their suburbs, interacted with their diverse neighbours and felt accepted and safe in their local areas.

The study was conducted in collaboration with the Islamic Council of Victoria and Hume City Council and RMIT Universty. 

Download the 2017 report Religious visibility, disadvantage and bridging social capital: a comparative investigation of multicultural localities in Melbourne’s north (PDF 3Mb)

Download the 2013 report Housing, employment and social cohesion in multicultural neighbourhoods 'in transition': a comprehensive case study from the City of Merri-bek (PDF 1Mb).