A new centre for progressive organisations is opening in Canberra later this year.
A joint initiative between The Australia Institute and Ethical Property Australia, the centre will provide work and meeting space for organisations working for a more socially just and environmentally responsible Australia.
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“Canberra is the home of our democracy, and this centre will give progressive groups the opportunity to make a home in the capital,” Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist said.
“For a range of historic and economic reasons, business and organisational hubs are largely based in Melbourne and Sydney. The Australia Institute is the only major think-tank based in Canberra, and we’re proud of our place in the home of Australian democracy.
“When it comes to engaging in national debates and national policy, there are real benefits of having a full-time base in Canberra, rather than just being a visitor for Budgets or other major events.
“The Level will also assist in bringing diverse organisations together to share ideas, research and experience. The new centre will facilitate and encourage that collaborative effort,” Oquist said.
Based at Endeavour House in Manuka, The Level will be only a few minutes from Parliament house and will provide a mixture of permanent offices and flexible co-working space.
It is being set up by Ethical Property Australia, a joint venture between Melbourne-based charity Donkey Wheel Trust and The Ethical Property Company, a UK-based social enterprise which has been setting up and running similar centres since 1998.
Peter Allen, CEO of Ethical Property Australia, said: “We are very excited to be working on this important project, bringing together the Australia Institute’s vision for the project with impact investors to purchase Endeavour House, which is a landmark property in Manuka.”
“Ethical Property works with organisations focused on progressive social and environmental change, to create spaces than enable them to make more of a difference than they could located on their own in an anonymous building.
“Organisations coming to Canberra will now be able to become part of a community of like-minded thinkers, get help accessing politicians, staffers and journalists, and have a larger presence than they could get on their own.
“We expect to see more progressive policies and legislation coming out of Canberra as a result of the raised awareness that this new centre will bring,” Allen said.
Ethical Property Australia has established a property fund to purchase Endeavour House, and also Donkey Wheel House – the home for social enterprise in Melbourne. They expect to be raising additional capital later in the year to enable them to set up more properties for social impact.