About Us
The Scanlon Foundation

The Scanlon Foundation is the only philanthropic organisation in Australia focusing on enhancing, supporting and measuring Australia’s social cohesion.

Our Story

The Scanlon Foundation was established in 2001.

It recognised that, with the exception of Australia’s First Peoples, Australia is a migrant nation. Migration plays an important role in Australia’s growth and productivity and its migrant history (and future) will continue to shape it as a nation.

Unlike many countries around the world, Australia’s social fabric is strong. It is a cohesive country, that draws upon the strengths and experiences of its people. Looking forward, social cohesion is vital to Australia’s success as a prosperous and welcoming nation.

The Foundation’s programs aim to strengthen cohesion at different levels – from the institutions and systems that facilitate participation in various spheres, to the grassroots programs that bring people together, highlight community strengths or address the obstacles or challenges that individuals face while transitioning into Australian society.

Underpinning this work is the Foundation’s commitment to research. Early in its establishment, the Foundation decided to develop a research program to monitor the health of Australia’s social cohesion. Since 2007, the Mapping Social Cohesion surveys have added to Australia’s understanding of social cohesion and given us a benchmark to monitor the cohesiveness of our nation.

The Foundation takes great pride in Australia’s cultural diversity and the richness and dynamism this brings to it as a nation.

The peaceful settlement of millions of people ranks among our greatest achievements as a nation. New Australians strive to find belonging and acceptance, to forge new bonds of kinship, friendship, community and home. It is in our interest both economically and socially to provide support along the way.

– Peter Scanlon

Our Mission

Our mission is to work with communities, systems and institutions to support those who come to make Australia home. We celebrate our collective strengths and address those barriers that stand in the way of allowing everyone to contribute and participate fully in Australian life.

Our Vision

To support Australia to continue to build upon its strong foundation of diversity.

Guiding Principles

The Scanlon Foundation:


Understands that it is important to work with both new arrivals and their receiving communities.


Recognises the importance of employment and economic wellbeing to people’s sense of belonging and their ability to participate in Australian society.


Supports the acquisition of English, as well as the value of multilingualism.


Believes a sense of belonging is foundational to an individual’s capability to participate in broader society

What We Support

The Scanlon Foundation is dedicated to understanding and strengthening Australia’s social cohesion. It works with systems and institutions to ensure that all individuals have equal opportunity to contribute to and participate in Australian society and find a place where they can belong and thrive. At the same time, it supports communities to identify and address barriers to participation, ensuring that the process of transition for migrants into Australian society is as smooth as possible.





Areas of Focus

Our Team

Anthea Hancocks

Anthea Hancocks

Chief Executive Officer

Talei Richards

Talei Richards

Director of Community Development

Rachael Scotland

Rachael Scotland

Programs Manager

Need more info? Contact us.