Australians Don't Believe in their National Leaders



The Swinburne Leadership Survey: Index of Leadership for the Greater Good
Swinburne University of Technology


The Swinburne Leadership Survey examines the trustworthiness and competence of leaders (political leaders and others), whether they are delivering on major challenges, and the roles ordinary citizens can play.

The data was gathered via two surveys: a telephone survey of 800 randomly-selected Australians and an online study examining the relationships between beliefs about complex problems and how they should be dealt with.

The authors look at the low levels of trust Australians have had in their leaders, particularly over the past few years – partly due to political leadership instability. The report discusses the quality of leadership in government, business, trade unions and religion around the world and what it argues is a troubling disconnect between authorities and the public. The authors discuss what some of the parameters would be of governing for the 'greater good'.

Major findings:

  • Australians have a nuanced and sophisticated appreciation of the art and challenges of leadership
  • Australians do not believe national political leaders have a strong degree of commitment to the 'greater good'


Thumbnail image: Parliament House, Canberra. By Matt Stewart/Flickr

Samuel Wilson

Swinburne University of Technology

John Fien

Swinburne University of Technology

Published Date
April 13, 2015