Uncovering what makes Australians tick
I like breaking conventional wisdom. I like questioning things like when people say young people don't care.
Questioning conventional wisdom drives social researcher Dr Jill Sheppard to find out more about Australians and the way they vote.
As Research Officer at the Australian Centre for Applied Social Research Methods (AusCen), Sheppard works closely with her former PhD supervisor Professor Ian McAllister to look into the mindset of Australians.
"I love politics, I come from a very partisan background but, over time, the more I've learned, the more I've appreciated everyone's view is valid," she said.
"I like breaking conventional wisdom. I like questioning things like when people say young people don't care."
Sheppard and McAllister look after the ANUpoll, a quarterly survey of Australian public opinion. The topic of each survey is an issue of national importance.
The recent ANUpoll into national identity among Australians threw up some interesting attitudes to being Australian.
"With the centenary of the Gallipoli landings, we thought it would be an interesting time to look at what the Australian national identity is today," Sheppard said.
"Australians are more outward-looking than ever before; they don't particularly care where you come from as long as you try to be Australian and follow the laws.
"Australians are more accepting of immigration and support for a republic has fallen.
"On the whole, Australians are balancing their colonial heritage with their modern multicultural landscape and they are doing this very happily."