The New Institute – Background
To be a nationally respected and innovative institute which is influential in the development and debate of public policy at the local, state and national level.
- Respect and recognition of the shared interests, contributions, and mutual interdependence of all sectors of the community
- Commitment to innovative thinking, critical debate and intellectual excellence.
- Honesty, integrity, and ethical participation in debate and means of influence.
Within these principles, the New Institute will not take a position on any issue, but will value diversity of ideas and engagement in the public policy debate.
The general objective of The New Institute is to encourage, contribute to, and increase the involvement of its regional audience (based in Newcastle) in the discussion and development of public policy, and influencing the public policy agenda, both inside and outside the formal systems of government, political structures, and academia.
To achieve these ends, it will provide:-
- A platform for presentation of new policies and ideas of local, regional or national significance.
- A forum for innovative and critical thinking to influence the development and debate of public policy at all levels.
- A venue for the development of skills to participate in the public policy agenda, particularly by individuals and groups that have not previously engaged with the public policy agenda.
The Institute conducts meetings including invited presentations on a variety of issues, selected with particular interest in issues that are not currently adequately discussed in the mainstream media or public policy debate. Presenters may be local identities, or figures of national significance. These meetings are the focus for stimulating debate and discussion through various media and informally in the community. The Institute is self-funding.
Membership is open to the general public with commitment to the principles of the Institute.
The New Institute so far…..
The New Institute was established in Newcastle in early 2004 as an independent, not-for-profit, incorporated association, open to the general public. The Institute is a forum for new ideas, and a venue to encourage people to engage and participate in discussion of public interest issues, and the development of public policy. The broad aim is to raise the activity, intellectual sophistication and influence of public policy and political discourse in Newcastle.
The activities of the institute are guided by a set of core values and principles. Within these principles, the New Institute will not take a position on any issue, but will value diversity of ideas and broad engagement in debate.
The Institute conducts meetings including invited presentations on a variety of issues, selected with particular interest in issues that are not currently adequately discussed in the mainstream media or public policy debate. Presenters may be local identities, or visiting figures of national significance.
The Management Committee has included Felicity Biggins, Robyn Considine, Bernie Curran, Angie Dilorenzo, Ross Kerridge, John Miner, Peter McNair, Roger Pryor, Krysia Walker, Victoria Carroll and Micah Jenkins.
Meetings commenced in May 2004, initially to launch the idea of the Institute. Speaking meetings commenced in July 2004. Since then there have been multiple public forums on a wide variety of Topics. (see appendix) Meetings carried a modest admission charge (now only $5). Attendance has varied (20 –150), but is generally around 60.
Meeting Venues have included Butlers and Customs House Restaurants; The Newcastle Club; Panthers Club Newcastle; Newcastle Regional Museum; Civic Playhouse; Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle Police Museum, Wesley Hall, and Souths Leagues Club. In late 2011, venue sponsorship from Newcastle City Council saw the New Institute move its meetings to the Hunter Room at Newcastle City Hall.
The meetings generate public media coverage depending on the interest in the topic. This has included formal news reports, radio interviews (ABC, 2NUR-FM, KO-FM, 2HD), television coverage (NBN), reports and feature articles in ‘op ed’ or magazine sections of the Newcastle Herald, and on ABC ‘Stateline’.
The activities of the Institute have demonstrated that there is broad interest in the concept of a non-aligned, independent and broad-based public policy institute. There is growing audience and community support. It has also been demonstrated that there is ample ‘raw material’ for meetings, both as interesting speakers from within the region, and those visiting the area.
The New Institute is now aiming to establish organizational stability in order to facilitate further development. A web-presence, including facilitation of dissemination of information in various formats, is being developed. Alignment with established organizations with involvement in community leadership, development, and education is an appropriate step forward as the next step in the development of the institute,
Contacts:- Ross Kerridge 49261870 or 0401522875
Angie Dilorenzo 0422 401129
Or, use the Contact Form on our website