Disposable Leaders: Media and Leadership from Menzies to Abbott

10 March, 2017

Co-hosted by School of Social and Political Sciences and the Department of Media and Communications

Leadership coups have become a frequent, if unwelcome, part of Australian politics in recent years. In his latest book, Disposable Leaders, Emeritus Professor Rodney Tiffen investigates the history and significance of this type of leadership merry-go-round for our democracy.

His research finds the drama, backbiting and intrigue of the Rudd–Gillard, Abbott–Turnbull, and Hawke–Keating federal leadership struggles are not unique. On the contrary, since 1970, there has been a total of 73 successful leadership challenges in the Labor Party and the Liberal National Party at either federal or state level. Tiffen argues these highly personal political conflicts, occurring under intense media scrutiny, and at ever-increasing rates, inevitably affect not only political decision-making and relationships, but also policy directions and outcomes.


About the author

Rodney Tiffen is Emeritus Professor in Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. His earlier books include Rupert Murdoch. A Reassessment; How Australia Compares (co-authored with Ross Gittins); Diplomatic Deceits. Government, Media and East Timor; Scandals. Media, Politics and Corruption in Contemporary Australia; and News and Power. He worked with the independent Finkelstein inquiry into the media (2011-12).


About the speaker:

Mark Scott AO is the Secretary of the NSW Department of Education, the largest education system in Australia, and former Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (2006-2016). Mark was named an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2011 for distinguished service to media and communications, and to the community through advisory and governance roles with a range of social justice and educational bodies. He has also been awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Sydney and UNSW.


Spaces are limited, please rsvp via Eventbrite.


Location: MECO Seminar Room S226, Level 2, John Woolley Building A20

Contact:Dr Penny O'Donnell
Phone:+61 2 9351 3896