Each election, Prime Ministerial candidates lay out their parties’ platforms in campaign speeches. These speeches are more than just historical records; they tell us about national concerns and political obsessions, wars and drought, industry and society. They speak to – and in some cases, exploit – our aspirations and our fears. We’ve collected speeches by successful and unsuccessful candidates from every election from 1901 right up to the present day.

“National security is therefore about a proper response to terrorism. It’s also about having a far sighted, strong, well thought out defence policy. It is also about having an uncompromising view about the fundamental right of this country to protect its borders. It’s about this nation saying to the world we are a generous open hearted people taking more refugees on a per capita basis than any nation except Canada, we have a proud record of welcoming people from 140 different nations.

But we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come.”

John Howard

Liberal/National coalition

Delivered at Sydney, NSW, October 28th, 2001

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“Never be in any doubt: I will never tolerate a situation in which my fellow Australians live in the economic shadowlands, drifting in and out of unemployment and low wage jobs without a helping hand. That is not the Australian way! Our thinkers, our creators, our inventors, our scientists and technologists—these are just some of the people crucial to Australia's future.”

Kim Beazley

Australian Labor Party

Delivered at Sydney, NSW, October 1st, 2001

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Here is a sample of the data visualisations available on our explore page.

This graph highlights the frequency of the usage of the word over time.