Check out the latest insights on the Centre for Optimism Blog - Learn More

A Sense of Long-Term Optimism: Kate Chaney

"The source of my optimism? Community, compassion and a long-term perspective."

In an article entitled "Kate Chaney: Approaching Australia’s upcoming challenges with a new sense of optimism", an independent member of the Australian Parliament, Kate Chaney wrote "From the new inside, it has felt like an uncynical rebirth of democracy. I never expected I could feel so hopeful about our future. The source of my optimism? Community, compassion and a long-term perspective."

Kate talks about the Liberal Party, "The Liberals have been the most successful party of the post-war era. When Robert Menzies brought together the broad church of conservatives and liberals in the 1940s, he tapped into the majority values and demographics of the time. Service to community was assumed, with two generations having risked their lives for their country and lived through a depression with minimal state welfare. Membership of associations was high, whether churches, political parties or sporting clubs. These were the organisations that formed the backbone of community, providing a sense of belonging, purpose and safety. In the context of deeply connected communities, individual freedoms were prioritised by the emerging Liberal Party. But it was a long way from the neoliberal world we see today, which has taken individualism to its logical conclusion. We talk a lot about our rights, but rarely about our obligations."

Back to optimism, "Part of optimism is a long-term view, and this was something else that my community was seeking. Here in WA, we have a history of making far-reaching bold decisions, from C.Y. O’Connor’s pipeline to Kalgoorlie, which enabled the gold rush, to the infrastructure investments of the North West Shelf, unlocking decades of prosperity."

Kate concludes, "So I, and others, are now approaching our parliamentary roles with a sense of long-term optimism. Notwithstanding the immense challenges facing Australia, I believe we are part of a deep shift to a more hopeful era. If our communities can decide how they want to be represented, if we can unlock our compassion, and if we can adopt a long-term mindset, what might be possible?"

Read more on Infectiously Optimistic Leadership


Keep up to date with the latest from Centre for Optimism

We appreciate any contribution you can make to help us spread optimism with the world
Give Today

Connect With Us

We love to connect with everyone who is ready to open up and share their optimisim.