Rose Herceg: Australians ‘yearning for a more positive narrative’ from leaders

By Shannon Jenkins

April 22, 2021

Australia is a nation of centrists, says Rose Herceg. (Image: Adobe/adimas)

The majority of Australians are feeling underrepresented by their political leaders and need those leaders to focus on the things that they actually care about rather than the ‘fringe’ issues, according to WPP chief strategy officer Rose Herceg.

Speaking at a conference hosted by The Mandarin and WPP on Thursday, Herceg reflected on a recent study conducted by WPP that looked at the gap between what Australians say and what they really think.

WPP held off-the-record interviews with 5000 Australians, and discovered that what people will say in confidence is very different to what they will say out in the open, and what is reported.

Herceg, a futurist and social forecaster, noted that the study found 66% of people agree that political debate has been “hijacked by the fringes”. Many also feel that they are not represented by their politicians, and they are “yearning for a more positive narrative”.

“We are a pretty great country. Now, we could be an extraordinary country — I’m sure we could be with everything we’ve got going for us. But ultimately, we need a more positive narrative from the very people that we elected,” she said.

READ MORE: Calls for government to drop the ‘spin’ to boost messaging

She argued that Australia is more ready for progressive ideas than governments and politicians perceive. They can cope with such ideas because they are living through an era of great change, and because Australia is a nation of centrists, Herceg said.

“The lie always perpetrated by the media or contingencies is that this country is on the fringes, but we are a nation that is not divided,” she said.

“We are a nation that is mostly united because this is a nation of centrists. Most of Australia agrees with most of the issues, most of the time. Most of us get on, most of us are tolerant, most of us like the fact that we live in a multicultural nation.”

In a recent interview with The Mandarin, Herceg said Australians need governments, agencies, and politicians from both sides to recognise that Australia is more united than divided.

“And yet for some reason we’re stuck on the edges of these kinds of debates that frankly, most Australians reject as irrelevant,” she said.

“Why are we wasting our time talking about this fringe issue when we are a nation that by and large wants to get on, wants a future that is better for our children so they have better lives, wants a job that can sustain us, wants a superannuation plan that actually will sustain us in our old age, wants to live out our twilight years in relative comfort.”

READ MORE: Australians’ relationship with their country – secrets and lies


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