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.

“By 1990 no Australian child will be living in poverty.

And to this end, my Government will establish a new program of family help – a program designed to lift more than 1 million Australian children into security and to help the more than half a million Australian families in greatest need, the hardest pushed, the most disadvantaged.”

Bob Hawke

Australian Labor Party

Delivered at Sydney, NSW, June 23rd, 1987

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“The program I put down and talked about tonight does offer a different way of doing many things. It's built on giving people incentive is built on less government and lower taxation. But above all, it is built upon my unshakeable belief that if you give Australians the right encouragement and the right incentive, they can lick anything.”

John Howard

Liberal/National coalition

Delivered on June 25th, 1987

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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.