Our History

The Newcastle Institute was established (originally as ‘The New Institute’) in Newcastle in early 2004 as an independent, not-for-profit, incorporated association, open to the general public, and with a broad aim is to raise the activity, intellectual sophistication and influence of public policy and political discourse in Newcastle.

The original committee members included Ross Kerridge, Robyn Considine and Roger Pryor all of whom are still committed to the Newcastle Institute.

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.

Patrons and Life Membership

The Newcastle Institute was supported between 2004 and 2015 by Patrons. These patrons included: Trevor Waring AM (deceased), Ross Gittins AM, Dr Bernie Curran (deceased), Gaye Hart AM, and Marcus Westbury. Their support has been invaluable to the development and sustainability of the Newcastle Institute. With changes in the Newcastle Institute we have moved away from patrons as part of a structure. In recognition of their role in supporting the Newcastle Institute we have awarded these patrons life membership.

In addition, we have awarded life member to Professor Michael Ondaatje. Michael is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Arts and Academic Culture) at Australian Catholic University. Commencing prior to the election of President Barack Obama, Michael has spoken at the Newcastle Institute on many occasions. His expertise in American political and intellectual history, with a particular interest in the history of African Americans and US foreign policy has provided invaluable insight into the politics and election process of the United States.

Contact us

Please get in touch with the Newcastle Institute if you’re interested in our upcoming events, or membership.