The language of leadership

Jurisdiction: Australia

In times of crisis words can inspire and unite us, but they can also provoke division and conflict. How has the language of Australia’s leaders changed over time? How can we represent these changes in public discourse within a historical timeline?

In these extraordinary times we’ve seen widely differing language and approaches across and within different countries, some aiming to bring people together, others potentially aiming to leverage the disturbance to reach other goals. Through many available datasets and collections in Australia we have a rich record of how our public leaders have spoken, the words, the sentiment, and the subjects. Use existing datasets to derive an understanding how changes in tone and language over time reflect desired outcomes and affect our responses, which is increasingly important in a world where information streams from myriad sources at ultra-high speed.

You might look at how the use of particular words or phrases has changed over time; focus on the context in which particular names, places, or events are discussed; or look at ways in which political language has shaped or reflected public discussion by comparing official sources with other media such as newspapers. Have words such as 'community' or 'economy' always meant the same thing? How have changes in the global political landscape affected the way we talk and feel about our place in the world? What does the flow of ideas between the public and political spheres suggest about the nature of our democracy?

To gain maximum benefits from data assets, data needs to be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR principles). The FAIR principles are designed to support knowledge discovery and innovation by both humans and machines and support data and knowledge integration. Please identify which principles of FAIR were more important or were missing in your experience accessing different datasets.

• Are data Findable on the internet through discovery portals (like Trove, Research Data Australia or
• Are data Accessible, either for download or by using a standardised protocol (API)?
• Are data Interoperable, using standard data formats, language and vocabularies?
• Are data Reusable in their initial richness and contain clear user rights and licenses?

Additional Information:

ARDC guide on FAIR data
Research Data Australia - ARDC provides an online portal for finding research data and associated projects, researchers, and data services
Research Vocabularies Australia (RVA) - ARDC provides an easily accessible portal to controlled vocabularies used in research
ARDC guides on working with data
• Trove newspapers
• OCRd text from Trove books and journals
Australian Web Archive

Video Presentation: Presentation of the Challenge

Entry: Challenge entry is available to all teams in Australia.

Dataset Highlight

Parliamentary press releases relating to immigrants and refugees

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Federal Election speeches

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PM Transcripts repository

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Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), 1901-1980

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Australian parliament - Record of Proceedings -Hansard API

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