Australian Centre on Quality of Life

ACQOL Collaborators

Australian Unity

Australian Unity is a mutual organisation that has been helping Australians thrive for more than 175 years in the areas of health, wealthy and living. We support almost one million customers, including nearly 300,000 members nationwide, to meet their health and financial needs.

Australian Unity is proud of its 17-year partnership with Deakin University to make the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index available to academics, researchers and the general public. Australian Unity believes it makes a significant contribution to the nation's understanding of wellbeing.

For further information, you can visit the Australian Unity website at: http://www.australianunity.com.au/about-us/wellbeing.


Researcher Collaborations

ACQOL also collaborates with other researchers through two consortiums; ACQOL Members and the International Wellbeing Group.



Our Projects





  • Investigators: Dr Delyse Hutchinson, Prof Bob Cummins, Prof Craig Olsson, Prof Ben Richardson, Assoc Prof Matthew Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Dr Linda Hartley-Clark, Tanja Capic, Samantha Teague, Sarah Khor, Keri Little, Prof Greg Tooley and Prof Brendan Crotty

    The following ACQOL research studies are supported by the Australian Unity and Deakin Univeraity Industry Partnership Project:

  • Australian Unity Cross-sectional Wellbeing Survey (AUWBI)



    Part of the Australian Unity and Deakin University Industry Partnership

    In 2001, Australian Unity and ACQOL partnered together to create AUWBI with the aim of creating an index of perceived wellbeing for the Australian population. General population surveys are conducted from one to four times each year. Each survey comprises 2,000 new respondents, selected randomly on a demographically proportional basis. Data are collected by telephone using a call centre.

  • Australian Unity Longitudinal Wellbeing Survey (AULWS)



    Part of the Australian Unity and Deakin University Industry Partnership

    The AULWS supplements the AUWBI; at the end of the cross-sectional surveys, participants are asked whether they would like to participate in future surveys of a similar nature. As the cross-sectional surveys continued with a new sample of 2000 participants each time, surveys of the AULWS were distributed approximately biannually to a dynamic subgroup of these participants. AULWS surveys allow for a more comprehensive set of questionnaire items to be included, on the basis that participants have indicated their readiness to be included in a study of this kind.

  • StressLess Mobile App Study for Carers' Wellbeing



    Part of the Australian Unity and Deakin University Industry Partnership

    There are 2.7 million Australians currently providing unpaid care or support to loved ones living with disability (including frail age), chronic illness, mental health issues or substance misuse. Whilst carers themselves place a high degree of value in their caregiving role, such active investment can come at a psychological cost when high levels of stress and low levels of subjective wellbeing are experienced as a result of long-term and often hidden caregiving. The StressLess Mobile App Study aims to explore the effect of tailored intervention delivered via a smartphone app to reduce stress and improve wellbeing in adults who support a close friend or family member with a physical or mental condition.



  • Chief Investigator: Dr Linday Tunbridge

    An individual's personal wellbeing level is maintained by a psychological system that evolved to keep levels within a narrow range. When the system is working well, the individual consistently experiences a stable positive mood that produces motivation for life. Whilst the system is robust, it is not impervious to threats such as those posed by leprosy. How the system responds to this particular threat may contribute to our understanding of factors that ultimately protect our mental health from psychopathology such as depression.



  • Chief Investigator: Dr Antonina Mikocka-Walus

    This large-scale systematic review and a meta-analysis systhematises current evidence on quality of life levels in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as compared to various types of controls.

  • The western world-view is dominated by notions of progress. Progress is about making life better. That is, improving quality of life and wellbeing. Indicators are crucial to such progress because we cannot know, as a society, whether quality of life is improving unless we can monitor and measure how it is changing. Policies, for example, are judged on how they affect relevant indicators. Quality of life is subjective as well as objective, a matter of how people feel about life as well as the material conditions in which they live. Interestingly, however, these two kinds of measurement are normally poorly related. So we need both. There are a plethora of objective measures that relate to quality of life and wellbeing. There is, however, a lack of subjective measures that are rigorous, comprehensive and systematic. The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index is designed to fill this niche. It has the aim of promoting greater public and political awareness of the social factors underpinning wellbeing, as well as enhancing scientific understanding of subjective wellbeing.

  • The origin of this project occurred early in 2001 when a contract was signed between Australian Unity, a financial services and healthcare company based in Melbourne, and the Australian Centre on Quality of Life at Deakin University. This contract established a partnership with the aim of creating an index of perceived wellbeing for the Australian population. Under the terms of this agreement, general population surveys are conducted from one to four times each year. Each survey comprises 2,000 new respondents, selected randomly on a demographically proportional basis. Data are collected by telephone using a call centre. Under the terms of the contract, both parties own all data and there is no restriction on their use for scientific purposes. In addition, Australian Unity supports the Index being used and developed as a scientific tool. In this spirit they encourage investigations into the usefulness of the Index in other countries. The generic name for the index outside Australia is the International Wellbeing Index which involves two scales. A seven item Personal Wellbeing Index, which measures Subjective Wellbeing, and a six item National Wellbeing Index, which measures perceptions of national wellbeing. All items utilize an end-defined response scale of satisfaction, rated 0 to 10. Further methodological details are presented in each report.