Reviving a Golden Era

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Two decades ago, Australia was beginning a golden era economically, socially and internationally.

In 1998 the top marginal tax rate was 47% which is the same as it is today (currently 45% plus 2% Medicare levy), and there was no GST. The unemployment rate was on its way down, beginning its ten year run of falling unemployment. Average earnings were growing solidly and consumer sentiment was strong.

House prices were rising, but back then you could buy the average house in a capital city for around one-quarter of what you would pay today. Sydney, then as now, had the most expensive homes nationally, but the median house price was just $248,750 – compared to more than one million dollars today. Interest rates were the lowest they had been for 28 years, at 6.7% and there were further falls to come. The federal government budget was brought into surplus for the first time in 9 years and it marked the start of a string of 9 more surplus budgets.

The Australian stock market was at record levels, and almost every month of that year it closed on a new high. It was the start of the tech era, with dot-com companies abounding, digital start-ups blossoming and mobile phones slowly replacing pagers on the belts of many workers.

It was an era of political stability on both sides of politics. By the end of the year, the Howard government was re-elected for a second term and John Howard would remain Prime Minister for the next nine years. The opposition leader, Kim Beasley, had been in the role for two years and would remain there for another three.

There were no international wars or conflicts in which Australia was involved. Sydney had won the rights to host the 2000 Olympics and was amidst an unprecedented construction boom. The national psyche, perhaps with an eye to the global stage that this nation would soon be, was one of optimism, and anticipation.

It was a simpler time- smartphones were a decade away, entertainment usually involved a trip to the video story to pick up a DVD if not a VHS, and Hey Hey It's Saturday was still a hit on TV.

But a look back to this era leaves Australia in 2018 with some big questions. Where did we lose our optimism? What happened to our excitement about what the future would bring? And how do we get our mojo back?

While we could point to the troubled state of politics, the uncertain economy or the complexity of life today as factors, perhaps much of the answer rests with us. Back then, the Baby Boomers were still in the family years, the Gen Xers were twenty-somethings making their way in the world, and Generation Y were just children or young teenagers. If we can lift our sentiment, regardless of the circumstances, and borrow some of the positivity from our younger selves, this will no doubt raise the national mood.

We created those times, and we can influence these times too and so bring new meaning to that iconic phrase of 20 years ago: "let's party like it's 1999".

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


debate criminal greatness forecast charities overcast care support New Zealand education sector poker master Australian Bureau of Statistics Black Friday contiki news logan sector staff the average aussie gender future of education DESTEL insight perth research on coffee sydney metro Merry Christmas hills shire wellbeing Res Vis the great screenage rule keeper royal family responsive middle class leadership 2015 blaxland future mobile the changing face of repayments Melbourne Aussie church visual aged care generation volunteer rental stress public transport infographics eliane miles FPA politics housing workforce teach shopping trend schools crows nest Hunter Valley snapshot aussie culture society aged care puzzle jobs of the future ACF 2016 sunburnt country choice workers online shopping social analyst child care census results maiden names conference speaker moreton bay nativity scene research services weekly earnings anzac education research wages Myth 24 million average sydneysider PSI typical australian Christmas day weather Gen X land of the middle class narcissism shopper's pick Education Future Forum challenge Christmas presents online futurist hopes renting christmas Northern Beaches optimistic Christchurch 2016 census results mateship australian community trends report communications pyrmont millionth not for profit financial independence investment careers high density growth presentations survey design work mates change facts high density living royal influence employment NBRS Architecture CBD city social media Australia Day 2017 train quote Social Trend australia dream ethnography charity census data population growth workplace the lucky country divorce TEDx Australians skills townhouses school tableau social shifts litter car social researcher Territory population map seasons greetings society trends TDE sector wide study volunteers capital cities daily commute Research Director volunteering earnings event Northern Beaches Christian School donation global retail New South Wales data tuesday balance apartment offenders unemployment states cold optus trend tuesday clothing personal growth investing trends food insecurity mover and shaker post rationalism entrepreneurial 2017 interactive Hornsby Shire Council Christmas season maiden australians staying home more volunteering data research report spend statistics relational VIC define EFF unaffordable Crime Rates priorities mother's day Mount Annan-Currant Hill buildings video 2020 motivate language suburban living faux-cilising business index budget list events holidays cooking participants shifts area learn urban living housing affordability going out work deloitte Christmas day SA meetings who is generation z year 12 Do It Yourself ipswich educhat panel newspaper suburbs residents Retail home social commentator Vocational education crime mccrinlde giving US urban development emerging generations story micro award winner focus group not for profit research friendship names faux-cilise personalities staying in global generaion seasons wolloomooloo Channel 7 forecasting mortgage megatrends Christmas research cancelling plans young people South Australia goal commuting world conferences millenials hunger faux-ciliser know the times Skilling spirituality Elderslie-Harrington park learner Sydney keynote speaker housing growth school satisfaction cultural diversity group session urban living index Real Estate house youth darwin annual income The Daily Edition speakers pack Queensland entrepreneurs of today winter national crime rates sydney hills Kirsten Brewer Australian Families Kiwi australian real estate Jura Australia curiosity safe ferry purpose cars VET sector woolworths Australian community trends impact Willowdale real average aussie demographic transformations future-proof mccrindle tea brands future proofing culturally diverse nfp life brand Northern beaches Event teleworking meals gold coast jobs capital city casual paying to work social lives work-life Financial Planning Association house prices generations world youth day Tuesday Trend alpha property price Wagga Wagga urban community social analysis happiness property development 2016 parents TED talk gig cancel plans stats social change Australia street environmental scanning poor demography wealth and income Macquarie University SRE summer investor micro apartments survey technology office opening data analyst family Sydney dessert McCrindle Keynote Speakers shbc infographic sun digital communities research visualisation finance communicate hello fresh ease of travel generation alpha donate Black Friday in Australia REIV Conference ideas environment friends public speaking forum pharmacy System's Architect group equip Mark McCrindle in the media conference communication population milestone FOMO Financial Planning Week future of work eliane DIY new office surname keynote financial planning Australian demographics population sentiments 2012 results daily telegraph urban taskforce consumerism engage prince george long weekend educated cartodb victoria 40 million teachers qualitative research visualisation etiquette #censusfail rich acf15 Bathburst click sydneycity media release insights norwest father's day bus average Australian social professional workshop collaborative Duchess of Cambridge kate middleton 2013 learning styles NSW Sydney population Australian Population sydney event media "know the times" Canberra rise of local storytelling Australian schools Wodonga authenticity dreaming McCridle Tasmania faith Assistant Store Manager ashley fell trades national private wealth food HR owning a home generation Z stay home year 7 increasing densification Gen Z Expert Royals New Zeland cultural diveristy World Water Day What is food insecurity? brand experience ACF McCrindle Speakers the australian dream innovative moderators guide new york times employers Love sunny days Performance Sentiment Index IT Specialists professional development Maxim Accounting publication TED cost of living property market bureau Black Friday Sales commute national wealth grave decision social trends education future report rising house prices surnames James Ward google innovation outsourcing English women sydneysider wealth mythbusters earn leadership workshop changing face of sydney 1975 men slideshare Sydney Lifestyle Study employmee household global generation youth unemployment Netflix Births the hills shire marriages 1994 renter of the future rent Western Australia Aussies princess charlotte Sydney’s south west demographic trends high school thought leadership Mark McCrindle Australian communities ageing population small business public speaker Deaths ACF17 leadersip housing trends training wealth distribution celebration households gen alpha baby names australia report CPI happy holidays manly REIV National Conference brisbane lifestyle potts point Adelaide demographer education gen z economic property NT dare to dream Queensland: QLD money Caregiver financial fears shopping centre Real Estate Institute of Victoria commuters speajer vegetarian tattoos Valentine’s Day monarchy Australian Dream baby name trends fresh report cancelling event business performance 2014 McCrindle Speaker program teaching home owner Australian Communities Trends trends of 2016 earning breakfast 10 years water 1968 baby names school students house price HSC cica study Australian Census mining boom infographic wall Work place home ownership children social issues economy career conference presentation australian communities trends report royal young australians schools students social researchers Generation X christian optus my business awards generational trends builders experience Christmas Stats non profit not-for-profit christianity hills mccrindle research customer tv tips Australian Home Lower Hunter village coffee leader mccrindle in the media Research Executive research data families Australian Trends chairty australian 2016 census TEDx Speaker parenting work from home marketing Sydney Hills Business Chamber GPO students Geoff Brailey financial future professional services Word Up rain emerging trends January 26th education future bondi living social enquiry selfie dreams global generations cost ACT February 16 salary cash wealth and income distribution WA emerging technologies speakers do people still change their surname after marriage? ACF2017 JOMO workplace culture Lower Hunter Region social life gig economy entertainment marrickville intern researcher market research demographics media activity sydney property market census 2016 community engagement food bank baby domestic data visualisation suburb wage proactive sydneysiders belief local pharmacies travelling twentyseventeen trends of 2017 apartments income relevant recap university degree Financial Planning Association of Australia office space product learning NEETs Cobbitty-Leppington sports social impact university Scouts huffington post sector wide baby name SMSF focus groups office winter blues baby names report socialites ABS Andrew Duffin Australia Day Channel Seven demographic waverton transport trends analyst follow lalor park professional presenters culture in depth interviews retirement royal baby Christmas lunch speaker grandparents thrive Hills Shire Council Northern Territory google for education SMART VET employmer in the media house price rise tea entrepreneur marriage showreel omnibus socialising consumer screenage easter organisations coffee lovers wedding 24,000,000 resilience global tertiary education Tuesday Trends live the dream holiday screenagers plans teacher ultimo baby name predictions medicine couple internet 1980 christmas trees affordable australian communities forum debt graphs religion identity professional speaker local communities business NFP event housing market resource digital economy hornsby goals easy rider case study Population Clock Generation Y financial dreams high density apartments Business analysis research cloudy days student toys analysis public holiday sydney speaker Wellington menai fears internship financial TAS mythbusting geomapping hobart vegemite award The ABC of XYZ millennials australian social research ACT Report wealth inequality mentor 23 million healthy future census fail younger generations supply and demand ageing Christmas in Australia presentation weather growing population global financial crisis baby boomers future proof affordability Charlotte energy growth of sydney media commentary organisational culture social research Jura Coffee christmas 2017 divorce rate future of shopping neutral bay NBRS research pack networking low density internships Engineering Manager local community Gen Y the hills census government engagement collaboration Christmas data social commentary sydney market mccrindle keynote speaker travel ashley mckenzie baby boom state sustainable community event