How QandA is boosting Australia’s global reputation

It’s been accused of not inviting enough conservative guests, but the ABC talk show where the public confronts the nation’s elite — along with compulsory voting and community campaigns on gender equity and social justice — have helped boost Australia into the top 10 nations on a BCG measure of improved sustainable wellbeing.

Australia has been noted as a global leader for growth in civil society wellbeing due to public safety, gender equality, intergroup cohesion and strong public engagement on policy due to compulsory voting and platforms like ABC’s QandA.

The latest snapshot and recent progress report of the Boston Consulting Group’s Sustainable Economic Development Assessment, released this week, put Australia in a rarefied group of top nations that are going forward in civil society wellbeing. SEDA measures a snapshot of current wellbeing and separately ranks progress since 2006. It’s difficult to differentiate developed countries in the former, but what’s surprising is that Australia makes an appearance the progress ranking.

It’s not that the world is watching what we broadcast, rather, it’s that Australians not only watch and read policy debates, they participate. Campaigns to close the gap for disadvantaged groups and end inequality get wide attention in Australia.

The SEDA was however quite harsh on Australia on a number of indicators, such as environment policy — where Australia ranks close to the very bottom out of 149 countries — and failing to invest in roads and rail despite ongoing economic growth.

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