Implications for policy

The social exclusion monitor provides benchmark data on the prevalence, depth and persistence of social exclusion in Australia.

We found that almost one in four Australians experiences social exclusion (using the latest 2014 data). For most people this experience is short.

However, importantly for social policy, more than one million Australians experience multiple barriers to full participation in society, or deep social exclusion. For many this situation will persist for three years or more.


How should policy change?

The Brotherhood of St Laurence believes that a strong economy and inclusive society should go hand in hand. Social exclusion is best addressed through economic growth policies that focus on employment together with social services, including health, housing, youth and aged-care services, that build people’s capacities to fully participate in society.

Our social exclusion monitor shows how deep social exclusion involves overlapping factors, including genderagecountry of birthIndigenous backgroundhealthhousehold typehousing and education. Good policies will concentrate on these interrelated factors to improve opportunities and quality of life among disadvantaged Australians.

Reducing social exclusion can also mean extra investment for some people and in some localities. Support services that are better integrated and personalised are sometimes necessary to prevent crises, such as  homelessness, and to build resilience and social connections among Australians. This approach benefits the whole community while also ensuring that those in greater need get more.

What the Brotherhood is doing

The Brotherhood of St Laurence uses the findings of the social exclusion monitor to advocate for social policy reform.

The Brotherhood has many other research projects that seek to address social exclusion. See the research themes of the Research and Policy Centre for further projects and publications.

The Brotherhood also puts its ideas into practice and runs innovative programs that aim to reduce social exclusion, including:


The social exclusion monitor is the work of the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (MIAESR). This page was updated using analysis of Wave 14 of the HILDA Survey in October 2016.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse. Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
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The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.