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Welcome to Australia21

“One of the best ways to demonstrate concern about our country and our community is to contribute to shaping their future”

Paul Barratt 2013



            Paul Barratt AO
Chairman Australia21

Latest publications | View all

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    Who speaks for and protects the public interest in Australia?
    Posted: February 26, 2015

    This collection of short sharp essays by 39 leading Australian thinkers and agents of change addresses the question “Who speaks for and protects the public interest in Australia?” Ranging across the political system and touching on a variety of issues including how we measure the public interest, climate and the environment, Indigenous futures, refugees and asylum seekers, inequality, education and early childcare, it concludes with discussion on how to fund the public interest and explores new forms of democratic engagement.

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  • Beyond the boats: building an asylum and refugee policy for the long term
    Beyond the boats: building an asylum and refugee policy for the long term
    Posted: November 5, 2014

    The acute phase of maritime arrivals appears over. The major parties have indicated their objective is to maintain this state of affairs. We now have an opportunity to develop an overarching national asylum and refugee policy for the long term. This report by Australia21, the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the University of NSW and the Centre for Policy Development draws on input from an expert roundtable and shows a clear way forward.

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    Beyond Operation Sovereign Borders: A long-term asylum policy for Australia
    Posted: July 21, 2014

    In an objective and non-partisan way this paper considers the lessons Australia has learnt in the past 15 years from the various approaches to dealing with the maritime asylum seeker phenomenon and explores what future policies could best be applied in the short, medium and long term. It is written from a policy-making perspective by Peter Hughes, Visiting Fellow at the Regulatory Institutions Network, ANU and Arja Keski-Nummi, Fellow at the Centre for Policy Development, and was commissioned as background for a roundtable on Refugee and Asylum Seeker Policy roundtable held at Parliament House in Canberra in July 2014

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    Considering the environment in national strategic thinking
    Posted: June 22, 2014

    This publication is the report of a forum – Considering the environment in national strategic thinking – sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, Australia21 and the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University held in November 2013. The report was prepared for the Department of Agriculture on behalf of Australia21 by Steven Cork, drawing on notes from Michele Barson, Nicky Grigg, Clare Kerr, and Adrienne Ryan.

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    Advance Australia Fair? What to do about growing inequality in Australia
    Posted: June 11, 2014

    Australia has a long and proud tradition of equality, but in recent decades the benefits of strong economic growth have flowed disproportionately to the rich. The growing gulf between those in the top range and those in the lower ranges of wealth and income distribution has profound effects on population health and wellbeing, on educational outcomes and there is increasing evidence that increasing inequality impedes economic productivity and growth. Read this report to discover 10 ways we can reduce inequality in Australia and preserve the land of the fair go.

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    Unfair economic arrangements make us sick
    Posted: December 29, 2013

    Financial inequity is a major cause of poor physical health and mental wellbeing – with related impacts on productivity and economic stability.This paper begins by describing the harm created by financial inequality, then looks at how these inequities are created before discussing a range of actions that can be taken to address financial inequities and the related social and health inequities.

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    Refugees and asylum seekers: Finding a better way
    Posted: December 16, 2013

    This is a collection of essays by an unprecedented range of Australian leaders in the law, military, human rights, religion and politics as well as refugees themselves, all seeking new ways of framing the public conversation about refugees and asylum seekers.

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    Placing global change on the Australian political agenda
    Posted: June 18, 2013

    The sixteen essays in this anthology have forthrightly identified a range of plausible and serious threats to the future, not only for Australia, but for human civilisation.

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  • Repairing and preparing the Australian landscape for global change
    Repairing and preparing Australia’s landscapes for global change
    Posted: June 10, 2013

    Repairing and preparing Australia’s landscapes for global change: Why we must do much more A report on an expert roundtable, held at the University of Melbourne on 21 February 2013, to consider the question: What are the benefits of large-scale reforestation and revegetation, and how can they best be achieved?

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    The right to choose an assisted death:Time for legislation?
    Posted: November 2, 2012

    This is the report of a roundtable on the topic of voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide which involved a diverse group of doctors, lawyers, former politicians, ethicists, big picture thinkers and activists, including people supporting and opposed to law reform.

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    Alternatives to prohibition: Illicit drugs: How we can stop killing and criminalising young Australians
    Posted: September 8, 2012

    Australia’s illicit drug markets continue to thrive. Young people are being encouraged to experiment because huge profits are made from drug markets controlled by powerful criminal networks. Australia’s reported rates of cannabis and ecstasy (MDMA) use are among the highest in the world.

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    How resilient is Australia?
    Posted: October 8, 2008

    Leaders of all kinds around the globe are expressing concern that the world, or their part of it, is becoming less stable and predictable. The rate of change is increasing, rapidly, almost everywhere, and the world is undergoing more big shocks—physical (climate change, tsunamis, earthquakes), biological (pandemics, pest outbreaks, collapse of food supplies), economic (market collapse), social (terrorism, failed states, forced migration).

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News | View all

  • Jan

    ‘Growing concern over rising inequality has renewed interest in the effects of inequality on health’ says Richard Eckersley, Australia21 Director, ‘But the science is not as straightforward as many think.’ [...]

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  • Dec

    What are the facts about ectasy? Alex Wodak, Australia21 Director, and Gideon Warhaft argue that unless we can agree on the basic issues and realistic options around ectasy, more young [...]

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  • Dec

    The 2014-15 Australia21 Annual Report is now available online. For the full report go to 2014-15 Annual Report. Or click to check out the Annual Report Highlights.

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  • Jul

    A21 has launched a crowdfunding campaign at to fund an app designed to help people understand what empathy is and how to bring it into daily life. Empathy can be a powerful tool to encourage more human-centred and effective ways of developing policy on complex issues and it can help people live more meaningful and connected lives. Your donation welcome.

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  • Apr

    In Canberra today (10th April), we have a Young Australia21 stall at the National Youth Week Expo in Garema Place – 4pm-8pm. Come by and say hello. We have some surprises in store, including a giant interactive box that you can submit your worries into (to be transformed into something beautiful) – and which you can also post your wishes on. We will also have some of our publications to give away by donation, and you can chat to us about our upcoming projects. Hope to see you there!

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Our Sponsors

  • University of Melbourne
  • Mecu
  • Bob Hawke Ministerial Centre
  • ACT Government Health
  • Natural Resource Conservation League of Victoria
  • Australian Unity
  • National Climate Change Adaptation Research Network
  • Price Waterhouse Coopers
  • Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry
  • ANU