Health, Safety & Cost of Living Top First GWS Wellbeing Survey

Belinda Wallis •
June 17, 2024

Access to healthcare, personal safety and financial security have topped the first wellbeing survey of Greater Western Sydney residents by leading think-tank, the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue.

The GWS Community Wellbeing Survey has been released ahead of the upcoming State Budget which, for the first time, also includes the measurement of wellbeing indicators. 

The Dialogue’s survey was modelled on the Federal Government’s Australian Wellbeing Framework and collated data from Western Sydney residents aged 18 to 80-plus who were asked to rank their priorities.

It also asked respondents to rate personal satisfaction levels. The independent research found those aged 18 to 29 had the lowest rates of satisfaction with life, while those aged 60-plus scored highest on the satisfaction scale.

Dialogue CEO, Adam Leto, said the wellbeing “temperature check” comes at a critical period for Western Sydney residents.

“At a time of significant growth across the region, we need to understand what matters most to our communities, in order to inform future plans, policies and projects,” Mr Leto said.

“The Dialogue’s survey reveals that access to healthcare services and feeling safe both at home and in public ranked highest overall, followed closely by financial security, stable housing, and access to quality natural environments.

“The State Government has centred many of its key policy pillars in the areas of health and wellbeing, education, housing and addressing cost-of-living pressures, so it’s certainly in-tune with the priorities of those in the west.

“This is an important temperature check for Western Sydney and provides a platform for conversations across GWS that will help all layers of government better understand the relationship between people and place. This data can help inform future planning in the region by better understanding what residents truly value.”

Co-developed with the social advisory and research group RPS and conducted by Taverners Research Group, the GWS Community Wellbeing Survey spoke with 609 residents of Western Sydney to explore and rank their wellbeing priorities.

The survey adapted the Australian Government’s Wellbeing Framework to develop the wellbeing statements that were then rated as critical, very important or not important.

The five priorities considered the most important to wellbeing across all demographics were:

  • Access to quality healthcare and support services
  • Feeling safe when at home, at school, work and in public spaces
  • Feeling financially secure
  • Access to stable housing
  • Access to good-quality natural environments


Survey respondents were also asked to rate personal satisfaction levels with their life, the future and whether they identified as being from Western Sydney. The survey findings included:

  • The 18 to 29-year-old group had the lowest rates of satisfaction with life compared to other age groups.
  • Almost all of those over 80 and 60% of those aged 60 to 69 were completely or mostly satisfied with their lives.
  • Overall, GWS residents are happy with the areas that they live in. 70% of surveyed residents indicated they were completely or mostly satisfied with their local area.
  • Men in Western Sydney are more satisfied with their lives (70%) than women (60%)
  • Residents living in Outer Western and South West Sydney reported significantly higher rates of feeling they are “from” Western Sydney compared to those living in North-West Sydney.


Read the full report on our website