John Roskam

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John Roskam is the executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), a Melbourne-headquartered 'free market' think tank. Roskam is a member of the Liberal Party, having worked on their election campaigns and run for Liberal pre-selection a number of times.


Prior to his employment at the IPA, between 2000 and 2002 Roskam was the Executive Director of The Menzies Research Centre - a Canberra-based think tank for the Liberal Party. Between 1996 and 1998 he was Chief of Staff to Dr David Kemp, the Federal Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs. Prior to that he worked as Senior Advisor to Don Hayward, Victorian Minister for Education in the first Kennett Government (199--1996). Between 1998 and 2000 he worked as Manager of Government and Corporate Affairs for Rio Tinto.[1][2] While completing a PhD on Liberalism and the Liberal Party at the University of Melbourne he also taught politics there.

Links to the Liberal Party

According to Roskam's byline on a 2005 opinion column in the Australian Financial Review, "during the 2001 federal election he worked on the Liberals' federal campaign".[3] He has run for Liberal Party preselection - and missed out - "several times".[4]

In the aftermath of the 2007 electoral defeats of the Liberal Party in both the state of Victoria and federally, Roskam was mooted as a possible candidate for the seat in the state parliament.[5] However, once more his parliamentary aspirations didn't eventuate. Following the November 2008 announcement by Petro Georgiou that he would retire as member of the safe Liberal Party seat of Kooyong, Roskam was mentioned as one of the potential aspirants.[6] However, he later decided against nominating. Instead, Roskam supported John Pesutto, who he described as a leading industrial relations lawyer.[7]

In early 2009 Roskam was also mentioned as a possible contender to to fill the Senate seat vacated by Liberal member Julian McGauran.[8] He also expressed interest in running for preselection for the seat of Higgins held by Peter Costello. However, on the same day that Costello announced his intention not to renominate for the seat, Roskam said in an interview that "Peter was a good treasurer but right now it's a question of how he can make the best contribution to the party. It's for others to comment on whether he is doing that." Subsequently, Costello supporters suggested that Costello would campaign against Roskam. "What John did was so very stupid. Peter took it as a thinly veiled attack," a senior Liberal anonymously said.[9]


With Gary Johns, he has worked for the IPA - including on a contract with the federal government - to develop proposals to limit the role of nongovernmental organizations on public policy.[10]




  1. "John Roskam: Executive Director", Institute of Public Affairs, accessed December 2007.
  2. Appendix:Contributors", Proceedings of the Eighteenth Conference of The Samuel Griffith Society, University House, Canberra, ACT, 26--28 May, 2006.
  3. John Roskam, "Sermons from the left", Australian Financial Review, July 15, 2005.
  4. Jason Koutsoukis, "Party faces choice: new blood or not", The Age, June 18, 2005.
  5. John Ferguson, "Liberal party sharpens the knives", Herald Sun, December 21, 2007.
  6. Rick Wallace, "Fraser's tribute to 'quality' MP", The Australian, November 24, 2008.
  7. Michelle Grattan, "Howard backs former aide", The Age, May 25, 2009.
  8. Josh Gordon, "Lib 'star' to nominate for Senate", The Age, January 24, 2009.
  9. Peter van Onselen, "Wannabe's chances Petered out", The Australian, June 18, 2009.
  10. Gary Johns and John Roskam, "The Protocol: Managing Relations with NGOs", Institute of Public Affairs, April 2004.
  11. Patrons, Education Foundation Australia, accessed June 22, 2008.

Other Sourcewatch Resources

External links

Articles/Reports By & Interviews With Roskam

General Articles