Our highlights of the past six months!

It’s that time of year again when we appeal to your generous nature, your love of progressive ideas and your support for ‘research that matters’ …. and your ability to claim it back as a tax-deduction!For us, it’s an opportunity to show you what can be achieved and why we think Australia needs The Australia Institute.Read on for some highlights of the past six months and if at the end you’re in a position to LOVE YOUR THINK TANK just a little bit more, all donations of $2 and above to our Research Fund are tax-deductible.

The Institute’s 2012 so far in numbers

2012 hands up

  • 12 – research papers, compared to eight in the first six months of 2011 (on issues ranging from the impact of the mining boom, to the inadequacy of unemployment benefits, access to legal aid, pokies reform and the use and abuse of economic modelling)
  • 18 – the number of years since The Australia Institute was founded
  • 100 – copies of Mining the truth we’ve sent to community groups to help them challenge the rhetoric versus reality of the mining boom
  • 2 – the number of times we have sat at the government’s superannuation roundtable
  • 2,000+ – print and online media articles, up 21% from this time last year
  • 8 – staff members
  • 70 – the per cent by which we’ve increased our  TV and radio appearances
  • 3, 870 – Facebook friends
  • 750 – Twitter followers
  • 27 – talks on topics such as the carbon price, government regulation, the case for slowing down the mining boom and job (in)security
  • 6 – Institute events
  • 23 – op-eds
  • 29,000 – the number of people who viewed our tax infographic on Facebook
  • 1 – the (surprising) number of times Alan Jones has read one of our press releases verbatim on air!

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Media highlights

thumbs upWe don’t want our research to sit on a shelf collecting dust – our aim is to influence the debate, whether that’s via Lateline, Today Tonight, Crikey, The Global Mail, Sky, The Project, Triple J or Radio National Breakfast.

And sometimes we’re lucky enough to land two spots on the ABC in one night, like on 6 June when David Richardson was interviewed for The Business on the failure of the big banks to pass on interest rate cuts, and Matt Grudnoff gave his take on the latest GDP figures and the impact of the mining boom on other sectors of the economy for 7.30 with Chris Uhlmann.

Here is some of our favourite media coverage this year:

Alan Jones, 2GB – the latest in the fight against coal seam gas

Ross Gittins, SMH – The case to slow down the mining boom

Weekend Sunrise – on the budget surplus

ABC ‘PM’ with Mark Colvin – PM says she doesn’t have the numbers on pokies reform

The Global Mail – An unproductive obsession

The Business – Mining tax “makes good sense”

Today Tonight – Australia’s price rip-off

Counterpoint with Michael Duffy – Economic models: uses and abuses

Richard is now writing a fortnightly column for the Australian Financial Review, in addition to his fortnightly column in The Canberra Times, and monthly spot on Sky Lunchtime Agenda. If you’re in the Riverina area, you can also hear him with the ABC’s Anne Delaney every second Monday morning.

And remember, not only can you keep up to date by following us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, but you can help us to promote our research by sharing links, forwarding or retweeting. We can generate a lot of content but we need you to help us distribute it!

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What’s coming up in the next six months?

What's next?In the coming weeks we will be publishing new research on the rise and rise of the big banks, the economics of coal seam gas and fugitive emissions, and mapping loneliness in Australia.

Further down the pipeline is work on the availability, affordability and quality of childcare, the importance of the co-operatives sector, and as we’ve previously mentioned we’re hoping to fund research on women and equity, public school funding and the case for broadening our tax base.

Following the success of our first two infographics on how Australia compares with other OECD countries in relation to tax and government debt, we hope infographics will play a key role in disseminating our research further through social media.

And in exciting news Richard has finished the first draft of a new book which promises to be thought-provoking for those of us on the progressive side of politics. 

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loveOn Valentine’s Day in February we launched our LOVE YOUR THINK TANK fundraising drive with the goal of reaching 100 people who each month can help us work towards a more progressive Australia.

 We’re delighted to say that we are just over half way towards reaching our target, with 54 people now signed up as monthly donors.

 As we like to say, independent ideas can only come from independent funding and for a small organisation like ours these donations make a big difference!

Help us conduct more ‘research that matters’ by becoming a monthly donor or making an end of financial year donation here.

And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. You can help us to promote our research by sharing, liking, forwarding or retweeting. We can generate a lot of content, but we need you to help us distribute it.

Donate here


calendarPolitics in the Pub – Father Frank Brennan AO

Australia’s 20 year search for a coherent, workable and moral asylum policy

2012 marks 20 years since the policy of mandatory detention of asylum seekers was introduced by the Keating Government. Today, more than 4000 asylum seekers are being held in immigration detention, 460 of those are children. A recent parliamentary inquiry report into immigration detention has called for sweeping changes, including recommendations on detention time limits, staff training, and the provision of health services.

Father Frank Brennan SJ AO, is a Jesuit priest, lawyer and human rights advocate. He has written extensively on the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and has been a harsh critic of the policy of mandatory detention in Australia. Father Brennan is also an Adjunct Fellow at the Australian National University (ANU) and Professor of Law at the Australian Catholic University.

Wednesday 27 June6 – 7pm (doors open at 5.30pm)The Lounge Bar, Level 3, The Uni Pub17 London Circuit, Canberra

Politics in the Pub is FREE – no need to RSVP

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