Inequality and Australian Political Discourse
Free Public Lecture
Wayne Swan, National President of the Australian Labor Party and former Federal Treasurer, has argued that the era of ‘trickle-down’ economics is over. He will be in conversation with Glyn Davis, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne. They will discuss the changing political discourse on inequality and what this change means for Australian politics today.
We pride ourselves on living in a society with high levels of equality and low levels of social heirarchy. For at least two decades both major parties have associated ‘progress’ with a stronger economy and the opportunity for a ‘fair go’. Inequality and social disadvantage, where it persisted, was to be addressed through welfare or other social assistance measures. But is this received wisdom changing?
There is increasing talk of economic inequality, of the perils of unconstrained greed, and that economic policies themselves may be driving inequality. Some have spoken of the need to ‘rein in’ the excesses of the rich. Others have pushed back against what they see as ‘the politics of envy’ and the resurgence of ‘class talk’.
This lecture is part of the 'Talking About Economic Inequality' Lecture Series.
Professor Glyn Davis, Professor of Political Science
Professor Glyn Davis
Professor of Political Science
University of Melbourne
Glyn Davis was the 19th ViceChancellor of the University of Melbourne and is a professor of political science in the University’s Faculty of Arts. Beginning his term in January 2005, Professor Davis championed the Growing Esteem strategy for the University of Melbourne, centred on the ‘triple helix’ – an aspiration to offer outstanding research, education, and engagement, with each strand reinforcing the others. This strategy has encouraged major investments for the University in new research infrastructure, and an emphasis on engagement through cultural activities, archives and museums. Professor Davis has also encouraged a new focus on advancement, with the Believe campaign launched in May 2013 – the largest fundraising drive in the University’s history. With Growing Esteem the University of Melbourne became the first Australian institution to align with international degree structures, adopting the Melbourne Model from 2008. The Melbourne Model saw all professional degree programs taught at graduate level, and undergraduate students pursuing multidisciplinary learning in one of six broad bachelors degrees offered by the University. Professor Davis is a public policy scholar, who writes on policymaking and coordination of central government agencies. He graduated with first class honours in political science from the University of New South Wales, with a thesis supervised by Donald Horne on the origins of the radio station 2JJ. His doctorate from the Australian National University examined the political independence of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He undertook postgraduate appointments studying public broadcasting as a Harkness Fellow at the University of California Berkeley, the Brookings Institution in Washington and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Mr Wayne Swan, MP for Lilley, former Federal Treasurer
Mr Wayne Swan
MP for Lilley, former Federal Treasurer
Wayne Swan is MP for Lilley, former Federal Treasurer, and National President of Australian Labor Party.