Gerard Henderson

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Gerard Henderson is the Executive Director of the Sydney Institute, a corporate-funded think tank in Sydney, Australia, and a media columnist and commentator. Prior to establishing the Sydney Institute, he was chief advisor to then-opposition leader John Howard, who later went on to become the Prime Minister of Australia.


Born in 1945, Gerard Henderson grew up in Melbourne, Australia. He attended Melbourne University, studying arts/law. From 1966 to 1976, he was a member of the extremely conservative National Civic Council, including working for its president B.A. Santamaria.

After graduating, he tought political science at La Trobe University and the University of Tasmania before becoming a ministerial staffer for Kevin Newman MP during the Fraser government. [1] Writing in Quadrant magaine, he coined the now-familiar phrase "Industrial Relations Club" to describe the organisations involved in setting Australian wages.

After the 1984 election he became chief adviser to then-opposition leader John Howard. Henderson remained Howard’s senior advisor until 1986, when he quit to run the Sydney Institute of Public Affairs (IPA). Later, in 1989, the Sydney IPA became the Sydney Institute, with Henderson as Executive Director, and his wife Anne as Deputy Director.


Henderson is a chief mouthpiece for conservative ideas in Australian politics. On October 28, 2005, Australian journalist Mungo McCallum wrote in Crikey Daily that "Gerard Henderson's loyalty (to use the word loosely) is not to John Howard as such, but to his anonymous paymasters at the Sydney Institute. Henderson and his wife Anne set up the Institute on the basis that they would be sole directors for ever, but the shareholders (largely businesses sympathetic to the Right) would have a mouthpiece for their views while never actually having to put their names to them — the harlot's privilege."

In the Media

Henderson writes a weekly column for the Sydney Morning Herald and the West Australian newspapers, comments each week on the ABC Radio National Breakfast program and appears regularly on the ABC TV's Sunday morning program Insiders.


  • Menzies' Child: The Liberal Party of Australia 1944-94, HarperCollins 1998
  • A Howard Government? Inside the Coalition, Harper Collins 1995
  • Mr Santamaria and the Bishops, Hale & Iremonger 1982
  • Australian Answers, Random 1990
  • Scribbles On... Wilkinson Books 1993

Contact details

Other Sourcewatch Resources

External links

Articles by Henderson

Articles about Henderson

  • "Gerard Henderson - Director", accessed February 2006.
  • "Gerard Henderson", ABC Radio National, accessed January 2006.
  • "The Right Stuff", The Herald, January 13, 1988.
  • Alan Ramsey, "Media Watch: 15 minutes of flame", Sydney Morning Herald, October 28-29, 2006. (Not avaialable online). (Covers correspondence between Henderson and the ABC's program Media Watch).