Australians have called marriage equality the most significant historical event to have shaped our nation, in a report released by the Social Research Centre.

The first of its kind in the country, The Life In Australia historic events survey asked Australians aged between 18 – 93 to nominate events in their lifetime they felt had the greatest impact on the country.

Participants in the survey were drawn from the country’s most methodologically rigorous panel, and are reflective of the broader Australian population.

Same-sex marriage topped the list of times or events when Australians felt most proud of their country, followed by the Sydney Olympics.

The country’s treatment of asylum seekers is what has left Australians feeling the most disappointed in their country.

Chief Executive of The Social Research Centre, Darren Pennay said the results show common threads of shared history that bind generations of Australians together.

“We are undoubtedly living through turbulent times both domestically and internationally, and the results show a keen interest in matters both here and abroad,” he said.

“Human rights issues, terrorism, Australian politics, and war were the most recurrent themes in participant responses across all age groups. These similar responses paint a picture of Australian values that transcend generational gaps.

“As we approach Australia Day, it is also striking that Indigenous issues such as the Apology, the Mabo decision, and the 1967 Aboriginal referendum continue to resonate in our collective memory.”

Responses varied depending on the gender of participants as well, with males ranking 9/11 as the most significant event, and females more likely to mention same-sex marriage.

See the full results and insights from the study at srcentre.com.au/historic-events.

According to the survey, the top ten most significant historic moments that have had the greatest impact on Australia are:

1. Same sex marriage, 2017 – named by 30% of survey participants
2. 9/11, 2001 – 27%
3. Apology to Indigenous Australians, 2008 – 13%
4. Port Arthur Massacre, 1996 – 13%
5. 2000 Sydney Olympics, 2000 – 12%
6. Sacking of the Whitlam Government, 1975 – 12%
7. Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam war, 1962-1973 – 11%
8. Moon landing, July 1969 – 9%
9. The Internet / Worldwide Web, 1989 – 9%.
10. Three equal responses:

  • America’sCupwin,1983–8%
  • Global Financial Crisis,2008–8%
  • First female prime minister, 2010-2013 – 8%

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