New plans for The Australia Institute

Australia Institute Chair John McKinnon has announced that Ben Oquist is stepping down as Executive Director. Ben is to take up an opportunity in the private sector to work on business, union and NGO engagement in politics and government relations.

The board is delighted to announce the Australia Institute’s Chief Economist Richard Denniss will begin his second term as Executive Director. Richard is well known as Australia’s leading progressive public intellectual. He is one of the nation’s leading economists and brightest minds. He brings a wealth of research experience as well as decades of involvement in politics and policy, making him the ideal choice to lead the Australia Institute.

Quotes attributable to Australia Institute Chair, John McKinnon:

“The board thanks Ben for an incredible 8 years at the Institute with 7 years as Executive Director.

“However, Ben is not leaving the Australia Institute family. The board and management are keen to continue a close working relationship with Ben.

“Under Ben’s leadership, the Australia Institute has become the nation’s most consequential think tank. With over 40 staff and a range of projects and initiatives, the Institute is one of the country’s most known, astute, and high-impact organisations. The outstanding success of the Institute is in no small part due to Ben’s leadership, entrepreneurialism, and extraordinary strategic & political skills.

“The Australia Institute has big plans for the future. We are looking forward to the next chapter in the organisations development and its growing role in helping shape the future of the nation.”

Quotes attributable to Australia Institute Executive Director Ben Oquist:

“I have been honoured to work for the Australia Institute for the last eight years. It is the best job in the country. I owe the Australia Institute board an enormous debt of gratitude for giving me that opportunity for so long. The team of researchers, strategists and communicators at the Institute are the best in the country. I am incredibly proud of them all.

“It is time for me to take up a new challenge where I plan to continue to help make politics work for good. The world is on a massive decarbonisation trajectory but it is not fast enough. Working with business and government to speed up the transition is an enormous opportunity for Australia. Working to help businesses, non-governments, and philanthropy to have a reasoned, strategic, and integrity-based engagement in politics and government is something I hope I can do in my new role.”

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