Prof. Frank Bongiorno: Trust and Politics in Australia

Trust and Politics in Australia: What Can History Tell Us? by Professor Frank Bongiorno.

The survey results are in: Australians have declining trust in their politicians. But is this simply a by-product of the times in which we live, an era in which trust in politics seems to be on the wane across the world? Or are there aspects of Australia’s longer political history that can help us to place the decline of trust of recent years in a wider perspective? After all, Australians might distrust their politicians, but they still seem to have considerable faith in government, and they continue to look to the state for the solution to a wide range of their problems.

This talk will explore the ways in which trust and distrust have worked in Australian political history, suggesting that if we have indeed become a distrustful people, we might have a peculiarly Australian form of distrust rooted in a distinctive political history.

Frank Bongiorno is Professor and Head in the School of History, Research School of Social Sciences, and the author of several books on Australian history, most recently: The Eighties: The Decade That Transformed Australia (2015). He is also co-editor, with Benjamin Jones and John Uhr, of Elections Matter: Ten Federal Elections That Helped Shape Australia (2018)