She’ll be right mate!

Despite the grand promises and ambitious speeches from both sides of the political spectrum, the overall outlook for the average Australian appears rather bleak, regardless of their demographic affiliation, with the younger generations being particularly affected. The diminishing economic opportunities, combined with the rapidly deteriorating global and regional power dynamics and the escalating politicisation of every facet of contemporary life, only serve to worsen the prevailing sense of disconnection, apathy, and helplessness felt by many Australians.

This negative sentiment is not only intensifying but also contributing to a growing belief that we are heading towards a predetermined outcome. This perception further disempowers the Australian people and, to a lesser extent, policymakers, as they grapple with seemingly insurmountable challenges with little to no tangible benefits.

Considering the associated costs and implications, it becomes clear why a significant number of Australians, both in the general public and among decision-makers, have disengaged and are content to let the nation meander along in mediocrity. The easier path prevails over lofty ambitions.

Unless both Australian policymakers and the public break free from the complacency embedded in the belief of “She’ll be right mate,” the nation will continue hurtling towards an uncomfortable and increasingly perilous new reality, relinquishing control of its destiny.

This scenario presents a disconcerting outcome for long-term national security, demanding immediate remedial action if Australia is to position itself to capitalize on the epoch-defining shifts in industry, economics, politics, and strategy occurring globally.

The pressing question arises: how can we expect Australians, especially the youth, to prioritise the national interest when the nation itself seems to neglect their interests? When taken to its logical extension, the national interest fundamentally aligns with the individual’s interest.

Australia and its citizens are confronted with two simultaneous yet intertwined challenges, arguably the greatest of our time. The choice is clear: do we aspire to be competitive, consequential, and thriving, or do we settle for a “steady and sturdy” descent into managed decline?


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