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Re-examining public trust in Australia

Re-examining public trust in Australia

At a time of significant change for businesses, and a deepening level of distrust how do companies go about the task of earning public trust?


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Trust in Australia across government, media, business and non-government organisations is at five year lows.

A range of factors have contributed to the breakdown of trust globally over the last decade. The global financial crisis, pace of technological change and growing impact of automation on the workforce, the ‘fake news’ phenomenon and the uneven distribution of wealth have all contributed to resentment and populism.

Furthermore, 65 percent1 of Australians believe CEOs should take the lead on change suggesting the business mandate has broadened.

Is public trust and retaining a social license to operate going to continue to be at the forefront on the business agenda in the years to come?

What role does business play in the community?

This topic was debated on Sky News Business – The Next 5 Years with Bernard Salt, Shayne Elliott, CEO, ANZ, Elizabeth Gaines, CEO, Fortescue and Alison Kitchen, Chairman KPMG. The episode explores:

  • what is meant by the term public trust
  • what is the state of public trust in big business today and how are issues surrounding trust likely to evolve over the next 5 years
  • where ‘public trust’ ranks within management’s consideration of key business issues confronting business over the next 5 years
  • what should the responses be from management, from the board, when big business discovers there’s been a breach of public trust
  • what needs to be done, at a business level, in order to restore public trust where it has been breached, or to ensure that trust isn’t breached in the future
  • how Australia compares on the issue of public trust with other developed nations.
  1. Edelman Trust Barometer 2018

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