Sydney Institute

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The Sydney Institute is corporate funded think tank based in Sydney, Australia. It is run by Gerard Henderson and his wife Anne Henderson, who are its only directors and only employees.

In a biographical note for Gerard Henserson it states that the Sydney Institute "has links with similar institutes around the world, including the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, the Manhattan Institute in New York, the European Policy Forum in London, Keidanren in Tokyo and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta." [1]


The Sydney Institute was founded by Gerard Henderson in 1989, out of the remains of the Sydney branch of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA). Henderson had been Opposition Leader John Howard’s senior advisor until 1986 when he quit to run the Sydney IPA. On 23 August 1989, the Sydney IPA became the Sydney Institute, and was opened by New South Wales Premier Nick Greiner with supporting remarks from Bob Carr (then NSW Opposition Leader).

About the Sydney Institute

The Sydney Institute appears to employ only two people - its Executive Director Gerard Henderson and its Deputy Director, Anne Henderson.

The Institute portrays itself as an a-political current affairs forum which hosts speakers from all sided of politics, but it's two employees are happy to use its name to propound highly partisan perspectives in the Australian media.

The Institute's Executive Director Gerard Henderson appears widely in the Australian media, including a weekly column in the Sydney Morning Herald, which is used to support Henderson's own conservative, Liberal Party-aligned political views rather than present any sort of 'non-partisan' viewpoint. The columns, however, always note that "Gerard Henderson is executive director of the Sydney Institute".

In 2003 Henderson downplayed the significane of think tanks in Australian politics. "They may have some influence but the policy process is so much more complicated," he said. [2]


In 2003 Gerard Henderson claimed that who funds the Institute was not relevant because the organisation didn't lobby governments. His weekly column, he claimed, was "totally separate", even though it identified him as being with the institute.

"There is no evidence of any link between what I write and the corporate supporters of the Sydney Institute," he told Brad Norington of the Sydney Morning Herald. The Instiute's Chairman, Meredith Hellicar, said donors remained anonymous except for "those who've been happy to out themselves". [3]

Some sponsors have included:

Sydney Institute Board

Contact Information

41 Phillip Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: 02 9252 3366
Fax: 02 9252 3360
Email: mail AT

Other Sourcewatch Resources

External Resources

  • "The Right Stuff", The Herald, January 13, 1988.
  • Brad Norington, "The idea factories", Sydney Morning Herald, August 11, 2003.
  • Brad Norington, "Deep pockets behind deep thought", Sydney Morning Herald, August 12, 2003. ("Think tanks attract secretive but tax-deductible funding from their supporters. The question is whether they return the favour by promoting certain issues or refraining from criticism")