The Australian Institute is an Australian think tank conducting public policy research, funded by grants from philanthropic trusts, memberships and commissioned research.

The institute began in 1994 in order to build and commission research and policy analysis on public debates and political and social issues and trends. The institute is based in Canberra , Australian Capital Territory . When it was founded the institute used a sprig of golden wattle for its logo with the motto „For a just, sustainable, peaceful future.“

The current Executive Director is Ben Oquist . The former Executive Director was Richard Denniss who is currently the chief economist. Denniss‘ immediate predecessor was Clive Hamilton .


The institute Describes Itself as „the country’s Most influential progressive think tank“, [1] as well as Saying That:

The Institute is determined to push the public debate over the question of whether or not it is necessary to intervene in the market? When should it stand back? And when regulation is needed, what should it take? [1]


The institute’s researchers are prominent commentators on public policy issues, including paid work parental leave and unemployment. The institute is also known for its work on the environment, taxation, health, consumer affairs and trade practices. quote needed ]

Climate change

The institute is active in global warming mitigation measures, and has been critical of the Australian federal government’s perceived lack of action on climate change. The institute was critical of the Howard Government’s decision to deny Kyoto Protocol . It claims to be the prime minister and some senior ministers of the science of global warming . Leaked minutes of a meeting between the Energy Minister, the Prime Minister and the fossil fuel lobbyists provide evidence for these claims. [2] [3]

The Australia Institute has-been active in Promoting renewable energy development , and other Mitigation Measures, and It has campaigned Strongly contre Developing a nuclear industry in Australia. [4]

The institute HAS Provided is critical of the Proposed Australian emissions trading scheme (gold Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme ) is based Concerns que la Proposed scheme failed to adequately take into account voluntary action. [5]

More recently, the institute initiative lancé the No New Coal Mines [6] calling for a moratorium on the building of new coal mines and the expansion of current coal mines. President Anote Tong , who was further elected by the Pacific Island nations in the Suva Declaration. [7]

Tax reform debate

The Australia Institute employs several economists [8] who have published articles arguing for tax reform, particularly in the areas of superannuation tax concessions, negative gearing, capital gains tax and goods and services tax. [9] During the Australian Federal Election, 2016 , the Institute published a series of reviews of the Coalition’s proposed policy. [10]

Media regulation

The Australia Institute Was sued by retail department store David Jones for Allegedly Engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct: David Jones Ltd v The Australia Institute Ltd [2007] FCA 962. [11]David Jones objected to a media release by the Australia Institute entitled „Corporate paedophilia – Sexualising children by advertising and marketing“. David Jones and Myer have jumped on the bandwagon. the situation is very unhealthy. “ David Jones claims that this statement contains a number of misleading and deceptive representations – including that of „David Jones“. The matter was later settled. quote needed ]

Mandatory Internet filter

In 2003, Electronic Frontiers Australia criticized the Australia Institute for its proposal for mandatory Internet services provider: „The proposed implementation of [this] system … would be an innocent and educational information and infringe Internet users‘ privacy.“ [12] [13]

Center for Future Work

In 2016 the Australia Institute set up the Center for Future of Work to „conduct and publish progressive economic research on work, employment, and labor markets“. [14] Its founding director is Canadian economist Jim Stanford .


The Australia Institute is funded by donations from philanthropic trusts and individuals, and commissioned research. It has no formal political or commercial ties. The Institute states that it is „a position to maintain its independence while advancing a vision for a fair and progressive Australia.“ [1]

The institute has been funded by the Poola Foundation and the Treepot Foundation-philanthropic organizations run by the Kantors, an offshoot of Rupert Murdoch’s family. [15]


  • John McKinnon, NGO director, and philanthropist, formerly working in funds management and international development (Chair)
  • Barbara Pocock, Director, Center for Work and Life, University of South Australia (Deputy Chair
  • Elizabeth Cham, train CEO of Philanthropy Australia (96-06) National Umbrella Body Grantmaking Trusts and Foundations
  • Samantha Hardy, Philanthropy Advisor, Callum Hardy Consulting
  • David Morawetz, Clinical / Counseling Psychologist, Founder / Director of the Social Justice Fund
  • Spencer Zifcak, Allan Myers Professor of Law, Supreme Court of Victoria, ACU and Barrister and Solicitor
  • Lee Thomas, Federal Secretary, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation
  • Andrew Dettmer, National President of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union

Former board members include:

  • Lin Hatfield Dodds , National Director, UnitingCare Australia
  • Sarah Maddison (Chair), Senior Associate Dean, School of Politics and International Relations, University of New South Wales
  • Tony McMichael, Professor, National Center for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University
  • Meredith Edwards, Emeritus Professor, University of Canberra
  • Sharan Burrow , President, Australian Council of Trade Unions
  • Mark Wootton, Principal and Manager of Jigsaw Farms and Director of the Poola Charitable Foundation
  • Hugh Saddler , Managing Director, Energy Strategies Limited
  • Geraldine (Ged) Kearney, President, Australian Council of Trade Unions
  • Ben Oquist , Executive Director, The Australia Institute
  • Richard Denniss , Chief Economist, The Australia Institute


  1. ^ Jump up to:c The Australia Institute
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  5. Jump up^ Denniss, Richard (November 2008). “ Fixing the Floor in the ETS “ . Australia Institute Policy Brief . Retrieved 2008-11-12 .
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  11. Jump up^ „DJs go to court over erotic ads claim“ . The Age . February 5, 2007.
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  13. Jump up^ Internet censorship in Australia
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  15. Jump up^ Brad Norington, „Think Tank Secrets“, The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 August 2003