In the late 1980's, Australians were indeed Living Decently although this was not the general world-wide perception. Material affluence was at an all-time high and Australia was considered a world leader in social mobility. Unpersuaded by the gloom and doom accounts of ever-increasing poverty and the poor quality of life in Australia, the authors set out to examine the measures used in these accounts and concluded that they make it difficult to reach any conclusion other than a gloomy one. Here, the authors have designed better quantitative measures of material well-being and poverty, and then have used them to gain a more accurate and more encouraging picture of how Australians were living in the late 1980s. From this accurate analysis the authors make recommendations on how Australians can live as well in the future as they have in the past.