UNSW is a foremost advocate of strong public leadership.
The Public Leadership Research Group (PLRG) located at Old Parliament House embodies UNSW's commitment to the principles and practice of public leadership through teaching, research and global engagement. The PLRG hosts the 'Howard Library', an apolitical and non-partisan research initiative created to support the study of national affairs.
UNSW Canberra is committed to defining and exploring a vision of public leadership that promotes the common good and pursues the public interest. This mode of leadership does not seek to preference or prejudice the needs or desires of any group or to advance personal or private aspirations and objectives to the detriment of the collective wellbeing of the entire citizenry. It is critical to the development and delivery of public policy and vital to the effective and efficient exercise of public administration – and much in demand in contemporary Australia.
As several major military operations were initiated or sustained by his government, the former prime minister believed these documents were more likely to be consulted at UNSW Canberra with its close Defence connections. The transfer of the 'John Howard Collection' to the University is the first time the official papers of an Australian prime minister have been held by an educational institution. The 'Howard Government Collection' includes the papers of leading Coalition ministers while the 'Ruddock Archive' contains every government report produced during 1996—2007.
Access to official documents and private papers can be arranged with University staff.
The Howard Library galleries provide an overview of public events and profile political leaders from 1996—2007. The major themes include national security and economic management, immigration and labour relations, in addition to the conduct of election campaigns. The depiction of the Howard years in these galleries is not intended to be comprehensive. As the Library collection grows the exhibition will be expanded and new themes will be explored.