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 Australian current affairs forum founded in 1989.[1] The institute took over the resources of the Sydney Institute of Public Affairs which ceased activity in the late 1980s.[2] It claims to receive support from the Australian business community but does not actually disclose its sources of funding.[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).

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.


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.

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.[4]

Speakers at the Sydney Institute have included Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey, former prime ministers Kevin Rudd, John Howard and Malcolm Turnbull, current prime minister 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.

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.


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Hyde, John (2002). "Dry, In Defence of Economic Freedom" (PDF). Institute of Public Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 September 2007.
  3. ^ Norington, Brad (12 August 2003). "Think Tank Secrets". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  4. ^ "About". Insiders. Australia: ABC1. 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011.

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