Inequality and Australian Political Discourse

Free Public Lecture

Inequality and Australian Political Discourse

Medley Theatre
Redmond Barry Building


More information

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 Glyn Davis, Professor of Political Science
  • Mr Wayne Swan
    Mr Wayne Swan, MP for Lilley, former Federal Treasurer