You can scarcely get out of bed these days without someone trying to persuade you to vote this way or that at the upcoming referendum. This piece won’t do that. But it will try to persuade you that you owe it to yourself, your nation, and future generations to really take the time to consider […]
July 11, 2023
McKinnon Prize
The Hon Simon Crean, who was appointed as an Ambassador of the McKinnon Prize in 2020, had a long and distinguished career in politics. His courage and principled actions throughout his remarkable career earned him respect across the political spectrum, within unions, among parliamentary colleagues, and business leaders. As Australia’s trade minister he excelled and […]
A healthy culture of ‘frank and fearless advice’ in which public servants courageously offer their political masters a way forward for the good of the nation is something the robo-debt royal commission has exposed as sorely lacking in recent weeks. But optimal conditions for this dynamic to exist also depend on politicians who make space […]
Foreign Minister Penny Wong and independent MP Helen Haines have been named as winners of a prestigious prize for political leadership, recognised for improving Australia’s standing at home and abroad. Senator Wong will receive the 2022 McKinnon Prize for political leader of the year, a collaboration between the Susan McKinnon Foundation and the University of Melbourne. The award […]
The 2022 McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership has recognised the power of sustained commitment to collaboration and relationship-building in advancing a political vision, with leaders Senator the Hon Penny Wong and Dr Helen Haines MP named recipients of the Prize. In a year of seismic change in Australia’s politics, the two recipients’ dedication to achieving […]
Fiona Patten entered politics to lobby on behalf of sex workers to decriminalise their profession. After eight years as a Victorian Upper House MP, her reach extended beyond her original mission to deliver the nation’s first voluntary assisted dying scheme, safe access zones around abortion clinics, a safe injecting room in North Richmond, ridesharing legislation, […]
Everyone loves a prize. In Australia, we award prizes to recognise exceptional achievement in fields from science, to writing, to football. So how about political leadership? It’s easy to be sceptical. Criticising politicians is something of a national sport. And some of the brickbats are undoubtedly justified. But it is also true that many politicians […]
22 February 2023 – The shortlist for the 2022 McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership was announced today, featuring a variety of achievements in leadership, but one strong theme. Leaders who responded to the needs of their local communities – and pent-up demand for action on key issues – were recognised by the Shortlisting Committee, validating […]
February 10, 2023
Melissa Coade
Politicians will always sing the praises of expert advisers, but translating that into outcomes is something else entirely. Being an expert adviser to government can be an art and a science. Professor Alan Finkel, former chief scientist and a go-to problem-solver for leaders of all stripes, shared with The Mandarin how he approaches the task […]
“Leadership” is something the community yearns for, and individuals aspire to. Its promise sometimes turns out a mirage; its importance occasionally is clear only in retrospect. The past several years has seen the parameters of our political leadership rearranged; leaders emerge to carry forward issues of major concern, and ordinary people fill vacuums with inspired […]