Labour governments around the world are struggling to renew labour and social democratic values in the modern era. The South Australian Labor government, led by Mike Rann (2002–11), presents a striking case of a labour government that pursued a renewal of social democracy. By offering a critical examination of the ideological contours of the Rann Government, this paper contributes to wider debates about the flux of social democracy. In Australia, debates about Labor's identity tend to focus on the federal rather than state level, which this article seeks, in part, to redress. The Rann government's economic and social inclusion policies are examined and compared with its South Australian historical forebears, and the Rann government is located within the various labour “traditions”.