About The Middle Ground

About The Middle Ground

The Middle Ground is an online portal and project which seeks to help Australians in different parts of the community understand each other better in light of their respective contexts and challenges. The aim is to assist Australians articulate their thoughts productively without fear of ostracisation, in order to elevate the public discussion on key social and political issues.

Launching in early 2019, the project will explore several key themes through a range of items delivered over an online portal: from videos to essays, information sheets to infographics. Through these, the project hopes to highlight key issues, deal with key myths, and shed light on key facts, thus moving the conversation on several contentious topics to a “middle ground” – one characterised by empathy and understanding.


The post 9-11 world has seen the rise of mutual mistrust between some communities towards each other in Western societies, and Australia is no different.

Events in more recent years have contributed to this two-way scepticism. These events have spawned global political developments that have led to some of the following phenomena:

  • An increased solidarity between migrant diaspora communities in the west and their religious or ethnic communities overseas;
  • A climate of media attention around outliers resulting from this general solidarity, such as young people travelling overseas to join political and armed movements in the Arab Spring revolutions;
  • A political climate driven to increasing surveillance, policing and legislation aimed at curbing the above;
  • A feeling of disenchantment and being targeted on the part of some migrant communities as a result of the political and media attention described above;
  • A domestic backlash from home populations resulting from the overall climate created by the points described above. Responses to this have included heightened nationalist sentiment, the rise of right wing movements, and a general increasing distrust of politicians and, especially, migrants;
  • A feeling on the part of some Australians that they have been left behind in their own country, and a resonance of hard conservative voices for such individuals.

In essence, there is a polarisation and a lack of conversation resulting from these developments.

The aim of The Middle Ground project aim is to change this for the better.

Primary Research: Logic and Methodology

The initial phase of the project saw research undertaken under the guidance of several academics whose research is primarily in the area of sociology. The research saw focus groups constructed comprising of individuals from various parts of the Australian community. These focus groups were used to develop the themes that have resulted in this particular portal. The research was intended to uncover key insights from those individuals in society at the cull phase of key social issues.

The Middle Ground Project’s primary operation was the conduct of first-hand research with several streams of participants.

Survey and interview questions were developed by a team of adept academics.

Focus groups were interviewed across two rounds with an additional survey to delve deeper into the themes identified from the initial two interview rounds.

Behind This Project

This is a project of the Muslim Women Association, a leading voice in the community.
Find out more by visiting their website:

Learn More