This article reports on an initial study in Australia of attitudes to geography held by members of the community at large. The study focused on perceptions of the role of geography in contributing to wider social goals relating to lifelong learning and living. Groups of business people, government representatives, professional people, educators and members of the general public were surveyed. The results focus on the perceptions of the importance of geography to Australian society; important knowledge, skills and values that are learned while doing geography; and the importance of geography for work. The generally positive appreciation of geography that is held by the wider community needs to be promoted carefully in the education sectors and in society at large if geography is to live up to the importance that is ascribed to it.