The Sydney Institute

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The Sydney Institute
TypePublic affairs forum
Headquarters41 Phillip Street, Sydney,
New South Wales, Australia
Executive Director
Gerard Henderson

The Sydney Institute is a privately funded[1] Australian policy forum founded in 1989.[2] The institute took over the resources of the Sydney Institute of Public Affairs which ceased activity in the late 1980s.[3]

The institute was opened on 23 August 1989 by then New South Wales Premier Nick Greiner with supporting remarks from Bob Carr (then NSW Opposition Leader).[citation needed]

Columnist and writer Gerard Henderson is the executive director of the institute. His wife, Anne Henderson, who is also an author, is the deputy director.[citation needed]

The Sydney Institute has been described as a "right-aligned policy think tank",[4] comparable to organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Manhattan Institute.[5]

Gerard and Anne Henderson had previously run the South Australian branch of the Institute of Public Affairs, and run foul of the state Minister for Health who banned cigarette advertising. He branded South Australia as the "nanny state".[6]

The couple then shifted to Sydney where they set up the IPA's New South Wales branch. [7][8]

However the Centre for International Studies had shared publishing resources and a territorial agreement with the Melbourne-based Institute of Public Affairs not to infringe on each other's sources of corporate donations, so the Hendersons created their own institute, and Philip Morris was happy to contribute to both. All these organisations are part of the Atlas Network. [9] [10]


The institute holds weekly forums and an annual dinner at which a lecture is given by a person who has been deemed to have made an important contribution in a particular field at either an international or national level. From time to time the institute organises and hosts international conferences; addresses to the institute are published in The Sydney Papers. The institute also publishes The Sydney Institute Quarterly.[citation needed]

Gerard Henderson writes a regular weekly column for The Sydney Morning Herald and The West Australian. Henderson also comments on public radio and appears occasionally on the ABC TV Insiders programs.[citation needed]

Speakers at the Sydney Institute have included Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey, former prime ministers Kevin Rudd, John Howard, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, former Opposition Leader Kim Beazley, Nobel Prize recipient Peter C. Doherty, General Peter Cosgrove, former Reserve Bank Governor Ian Macfarlane, former Chief Justice Murray Gleeson and writer David Malouf.[citation needed]

International figures such as Dick Cheney, Jung Chang, William Shawcross, James A. Kelly, Alexander Dubček, John Ralston Saul and Tariq Ali have also given lectures.[citation needed]

Key figures[edit]

The institute has cited the following key figures in the organization:[11]

  • Jacquelynne Willcox - Chair
  • Amy Menere - Deputy Chair
  • Simon Edwards - Treasurer
  • Louise Clegg - Board Member
  • Joe Gersh AM - Board Member
  • George Karagiannakis - Board Member
  • Nicholas Johnson - Board Member
  • Carmel Mulhearn - Board Member
  • Katherine O'Regan - Board Member
  • Tony Warren - Board Member
  • Mike Zorbas - Board Member


  1. ^ Norington, Brad (12 August 2003). "Think Tank Secrets". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  2. ^ Hannan, Ewin; Carney, Shaun (10 December 2005). "Thinkers of influence". The Age. While not a think tank, it operates as a forum for debate. It does not commission research or have policies." "The institute is privately funded, with all papers delivered to it published in The Sydney Papers.
  3. ^ Hyde, John (2002). "Dry, In Defence of Economic Freedom" (PDF). Institute of Public Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 September 2007.
  4. ^ Wright, Shane (31 December 2020). "RBA paying $20,000 a year to Sydney Institute, Centre for Independent Studies". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  5. ^ Radio National (2001). "Gerard Henderson". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 28 August 2001.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Staff, T. S. I. "About Us". The Sydney Institute. Retrieved 3 May 2020.

External links[edit]