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.

“Today a whole generation of Australians know that the world does not owe us a living. We are the first generation of Australians to really understand what it means.

I think I began to understand towards the end of the 70s – it was then I began to form what was for me at least a new idea about Australia.

The thought took hold of me that we could be a creative country, as well as a so-called lucky country.”

Paul Keating

Australian Labor Party

Delivered at Bankstown, NSW, February 24th, 1993

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“Tax reform is fundamentally important to what we’ve got to do in Australia. It’s fundamentally important to developing the productive culture that we need in Australia, it’s fundamentally important, not only to get people to work harder, to work overtime, to save, to build a business. Tax reform is absolutely fundamental.”

John Hewson

Liberal/National coalition

Delivered at Sydney, NSW, March 1st, 1993

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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.