Things you helped us achieve: 2012 wrap-up

The Australia Institute in numbers

applauseA year ago there was no carbon price, Richard had just finished debating Lord Monckton at the National Press Club and The Australia Institute had never produced an infographic. Things move fast in modern politics and think tanks have to work hard and fast to keep up.

This year has been another extremely productive year for the Institute. Here is The Australia Institute in numbers for 2012:

25 research papers – on topics ranging from pokies reform, coal seam gas, forestry, the power of the ‘big four’ banks, Australia’s co-operative sector, the proposed James Price Point gas hub, loneliness, superannuation tax concessions and the inadequacy of the Newstart Allowance. That’s a research paper nearly every two weeks!

12,052 e-bulletin subscribers – thanks for your support!

65 op-eds – all available on our website

9 infographics – check them all out on our Tumblr page

5,900+ newspaper and online articles – that’s more than 100 a week

4,851 Facebook friends of the Institute and 4,211 who get to enjoy Richard’s typos – hopefully you’re a part of our Facebook conversations

1,394 Twitter followers – that’s six times as many as last year 

10 staff – who have enjoyed bringing you ‘research that matters’

167,480 downloads – from the Institute’s website  

17 Institute events – including Politics in the Pub and ‘Economics for non-economists’

$48,000 – which you helped us raise during October. Thank you!

$1.3 million – worth of media coverage for national Go Home On Time Day helping to raise awareness of the link between workplace stress and depression

1 nationally televised address – this year between ACTU President Ged Kearney and beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell discussing ‘improving productivity through healthier workplaces’.

Thank you again for all your support this year; we literally couldn’t do what we do or have as much impact without you.

Can we help your organisation have more impact in 2013?


The Australia Institute works with a wide range of NGOs, community organisations and social enterprises on collaborative research projects, infographics and events. The Institute can help your organisation with:

  • Polling – to help you better understand the extent of the policy problem you’re trying to fix
  • Infographics – to help you explain the extent of the policy problem you’re trying to fix
  • Research papers and costings – to develop solutions to the policy problem you’re trying to fix
  • Attracting media – to highlight the policy problem you’re trying to fix
  • Training your staff in economics and policy development – so that they can talk persuasively about the policy problem you’re trying to fix.

The combination of all these elements was the foundation of the Institute’s success in 2012. With a federal election due next year it is not too early to give some thought over the summer to your needs before giving us a call in the new year to discuss how we can help your organisation have even more impact in 2013.

You can reach us at or on 02 6206 8700 (our office re-opens Monday 7 January 2013).

Some of our plans for 2013


Next year is an election year and we are currently finalising our plans to ensure that progressive ideas are as prominent as possible in a campaign that may otherwise focus on scare campaigns about boats and debt. In addition to our new capacity to quickly generate and distribute factual infographics we also hope to enter the new world of ‘fact checking’ through a ‘Facts Fight Back’ stream of research

One of the most common questions Richard is asked is “how do you choose your research topics?” Richard’s answer:

“It is the hardest, but most interesting, part of my job. It’s what I think about morning, noon and night, and it’s what most of the conversations I have with staff and the Board of the Institute are about. 

“The worst part of my job is deciding that we don’t have the resources to undertake what we think would be important and useful research. To that end we will be launching a new fundraising campaign next year based around our ‘Wellbeing Manifesto’. 

The manifesto, which was launched in 2005, now has more than 10,000 signatories. Next year we want to develop a ‘Wellbeing Agenda’ which will be a suite of policy initiatives designed to pursue the ideals of the manifesto and make Australia a more progressive country. Once the agenda is developed we will then be seeking financial support, from big and small donors alike, to advance the agenda. The more support we can find for each element of the agenda, the more impact we will be able to have. 

If you would like to chip in some money towards our plans for 2013 please DONATE HERE.

All donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible.

Some other new initiatives next year will be a ‘national tour’ of our highly successful ‘economics for non-economists’ workshop and the launch of Politics in the Pub for Melbourne early in the new year. 

Finally, the Institute runs a very lean administrative machine and we want to thank you all for understanding some of the difficulties you have experienced with the website. Next year we will commence construction of a new website which will, fingers crossed, free up even more of our time to focus on research.

The new site will also be much better able to display our infographics, video and audio. This year more than 167,000 copies of our publications were downloaded via the website so it’s important that we get it right. I’d like to thank you for the patience you have shown over the years and in the year to come as we try to make the website more user-friendly.

Recent publications


The case against cutting the corporate tax rate, D Richardson, December 2012

Tasmanian Forest Agreement 2012: Who is the winner?, A Macintosh, December 2012

The rise and rise of the big banks, D Richardson, December 2012

Carbon credits from Western Australia’s multiple use public native forests: A first pass assessment, A Macintosh, December 2012

An unhealthy obsession: The impact of work hours and workplace culture on Australia’s health, R Denniss and D Baker, November 2012

Beating around the bush: The impact of the mining boom on rural exports, M Grudnoff, November 2012

Who knew Australians were so co-operative? The size and scope of mutually owned co-ops in Australia, R Denniss and D Baker, October 2012

Cash-in-hand means less cash for states, D Richardson, October 2012

Recent media

news The high price of stress, Australian Financial Review, 15 November

Go Home On Time Day, Radio Australia, 21 November

Dig a little deeper for full mining story, Newcastle Herald, 28 November

Where the buck stops in politics, Australian Financial Review, 27 November

How not to make policy: Tasmanian forest deal, Crikey, 29 November

Rethinking nation’s needs, The Canberra Times, 8 December

The waste in Tasmania’s forests: most timber left to rot, Crikey, 14 December

Execs put their salaries ahead of shareholders, The Canberra Times, 17 December


The Australia Institute team.

General Enquiries

Tanya Martin Office Manager

02 6130 0530

Media Enquiries

Jake Wishart Senior Media Adviser

0413 208 134

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