In contrast to the government’s instrumental view of education, with its focus on producing “job-ready graduates”, the public now takes a wider view of education as a public good. Drawing on nationally representative surveys from Sept 2018 – Sept 2020, we statistically modelled how nine different factors have influenced public perceptions of leadership in education institutions.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic worsened in Australia in March, public perceptions of the federal and state governments were consistently poor. Political leaders were seen to be serving themselves and other vested interests, rather than the public interest. However, since the start of the pandemic and the establishment of the National Cabinet in March, this has begun to change.
Accountability is a buzzword of modern leadership and governance. In the context of public concern about political and business ethics and low trust in government and business, improving accountability is one way in which leaders can restore public trust in their institutions.
Most Australians have had enough of the opportunistic point-scoring that characterises politics today and want leaders who put the public interest first. With the election a month away, many Australians have little faith the winners will be able to provide the type of leadership that can change the country in a meaningful way.