La Trobe Historian Dr Clare Wright on why your vote counts

“Politicians are all the same.”

“What’s the point?”

“I don’t really care about politics.”

You may have heard these lines spoken by apathetic or disinterested friends and family. You may have spoken them yourself.

As the federal election looms, MyLaTrobe caught up with La Trobe University Historian Dr Clare Wright to discuss why young people and students should exercise their right to vote, a hard-fought victory by those who came before us.

“It’s really easy to take for granted the rights and freedoms that we have today and the fact that we even can vote, but what my work has done is look at how hard people have struggled to get those democratic rights, to have the franchise, to be able to have a say in our national government,” says Dr Wright.

“When you know how much it meant to people to get those rights, it can be really dispiriting to see people so apathetic or disinterested in exercising those rights today.”

[Voting] is not only a kind of honouring the past, and the people who have given us the opportunities that we have today, but also it is your chance to make a difference in the future, to set the goals and the values of our nation. That’s what that one little thing that you do when you rock up on the Saturday before you have your democracy sausage, that’s what it is all about.”

Associate Professor Dr Clare Wright
Associate Professor Dr Clare Wright on why students should exercise the hard-fought right to vote.

About Dr Clare Wright

Dr Clare Wright is an Associate Professor of History at La Trobe and an ARC Future Fellow. Dr Wright is also the host and creator of history podcast Shooting the Past, an author, broadcaster and public commentator.

You may have seen Dr Wright’s books in the library – she has published four of them and has a fifth on the way. Dr Wright’s most recent book, You Daughters of Freedom, follows the path of Australia’s trailblazing women who won the vote for the country’s white women just after the turn of the Twentieth Century.

Dr Wright’s two ABC documentaries Utopia Girls and The War That Changed Us may have played on your TV, too.

Dr Wright’s acclaimed book The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka is currently being transformed into a ten-part television drama series with Hollywood screenwriter/producer of Outlander fame, Anne Kenney.

MyLaTrobe caught up with Dr Wright for a previous story, where she revealed three Australian women who made history you should know about.

Enrol to vote

You have until this Thursday 18 April to enrol to vote, or update your enrolment details including change of address or name.