The Common Good – An Ethical Culture


Download The Common Wealth (word) (pdf)

Other values: Preamble, Community Engagement, Equity, Stewardship, Fairness, Freedom

An ethical culture

Without coercion, those in prominent office promote and support those qualities which draw on the best of the nation's traditions and the noblest of people's instincts and which sustain the nation's long-term health and vitality.


All office, particularly public office, with ethical responsibility for promoting and defending a just and decent society.

Those in public office to recount stories and celebrate those Australian achievements which have helped create a decent society, without degenerating to exceptionalism.
Australian head of state and distinctly Australian set of symbols.

Support for arts and cultural institutions – elite through to community level.

Alternative values

There is no such thing as 'public office'. All positions of authority have limited and defined roles.

Celebration of national identity easily slips into exceptionalism, ugly nationalism and ugly xenophobia.

The duty of those with public influence is to encourage hope and redemption rather than despair and condemnation, hope and confidence rather than fear. It is to nurture and promote the common good – to encourage those who use their talents for the common good. It is to respect truth and learning to withstand against the powers of populism and vested or sectional interests.

In our aspirations and hopes we accept the possibility for all to grow and for those who have fallen on hard times to get back on their feet.


Governments to countervail rather than to contribute to community misapprehensions and phobias.

Governments and political parties to resist retreat to crass populism leading to diminution of longer term interests – to help inform communities of choices and consequences. To this end use of independent commissions and statutory authorities at arm's length from executive government.

Governments to inform and protect where possible in relation to likely risks that may otherwise escape attention.

Alternative values

Fear is a useful and legitimate political instrument; without fear people will suffer complacency.

There is no objective reality; there are no verities.

There is no 'common good' in a pluralist society.

Download The Common Wealth (word) (pdf)

Other values: Preamble, Community Engagement, Equity, Stewardship, Fairness, Freedom

Interested in writing on Policy for the Centre for Policy Development? Click here for Policy Guideline

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>