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The TJRyan Foundation is a progressive think tank focusing on Queensland public policy. The aims of the Foundation are to stimulate debate on matters of Queensland public administration and to review the policy directions of current and previous State governments on economic, social and cultural issues. This website focuses on evidence-based policy, providing access to our own research and a range of online policy resources.

Current Issues and Events

Frame-breakers also known as Luddites circa 1816

Ann Scott compares the impacts of Industrial Revolution and Margaret Thatcher's neoliberalism both of which exacerbated the divisions between the more prosperous south and England's industrial north, which bore the brunt of the pain. She suggests we should heed Winston Churchill's 1939 appeal to the US - calling for 'ceaseless vigilance' to preserve our democratic institutions.

Lara Watson talked to the Queensland Fabian Society about why Indigenous Queenslanders are deserting the major parties.  Her analysis of voting trends in the federal seat of Leichhardt in the 2016 election revealed significant trends away from the major parties. She suggested reasons why many Indigenous Queenslanders have become sceptical about the political process.

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law and campaign manager, describes how Silicon Valley sympathisers and donors (one a Facebook Board member) helped devise his social media campaign, coached him in micro-targeting on Facebook and 'how to run a lean campaign while getting the message out'.

Tim Dunlop

Tim Dunlop writes that 'our politics is in a stupid place at the moment, obsessed with trivia and score-settling over social and economic debates that are long-past relevant'. ... 'Our economy of “jobs and growth” is coming up against the twin barriers of environmental catastrophe and technological unemployment. This  —  and the inequality that goes with it  —  is the legacy of the neoliberalism of the last forty years and it is a project that is in ruins.'

Kath Gelber and Luke McNamara write that removing the words 'insult' and 'offend' from the Racial Discrimination Act would send a troubling symbolic message to the communities that section 18C is supposed to protect. The government feels they should bear the burden of more harm so that others can have free speech. 

Cathy Alexander provides a guide for researchers to ensure their research is noticed: 'The assumption that academic research will organically find its way to those with the power to act on it is false. ... Most politicians will not read a single academic paper, or even an abstract, in any given year. Nor will their advisors, often party loyalists with law degrees.

Professor Fr Frank Brennan

Professor Fr Frank Brennan, Chair of the Rudd Government's investigation of an Australian Bill of Rights, has seven recommendations for Queensland on how to make a Queensland Human Rights Act effective.

Associate Professor Susan Harris-Rimmer provides an overview of why Queensland should have its own human rights legislation and what the experiences of the ACT and Victoria show.

Professor Anne Tiernan

Anne Tiernan: 'An expert, professional and neutral career public service remains a defining feature of Westminster-style governance.

'We know from history, from the searing experience of the past decade, and the worrying future that lies ahead if we don’t act, how critical that stewardship role remains.'

Peter Varghese

Peter Varghese: 'Deep policy thinking is an area where our system, at both the political and the public service levels, has struggled over the last decade.'

'It is becoming harder for the political leadership to think deeply about new policy approaches. This means that governments come to power with headline policy positions, often without the backup of detailed policy analysis. Once in government they look to the public service to fill in the gaps.'

Sophie Lewis

Sophie Lewis writes: '2016 is on track to be the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous records set in 2015 and in 2014. These are just a few of the flurry of recent record temperatures, which includes Australia’s hottest day, week, month, season and year. 'The question now is what the future will look like. At some point in the decades to come, these record-breaking temperatures will not be rare; they will become normal. But when exactly?'

The Palaszczuk Government has proposed to adopt a Code of Race Ethics into the Queensland Parliament and Bill Shorten is pressing for a similar code to be introduced into the Federal Parliament. At our seminar on Indigenous Human Rights, Professor Margaret Reynolds referred to the 1998 Federal Parliamentarians' Code of Race Ethics. For those interested in the original wording, a copy is provided through the link above.

Uncle Bob Anderson was joined by Professors Margaret and Henry Reynolds for our Indigenous Human Rights seminar at QUT. Uncle Bob gave the keynote address, 'From Civil Rights to Land Rights 1966-2002: personal reflections'. Others spoke on land rights issues and sandmining on Stradbroke Island; and 'Treaty or Referendum? and the lessons from New Zealand'.  View the videos on our TJRyan Foundation YouTube Channel.

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Reports
& Policy Briefs

Ann Scott discusses the lessons that might be learned from the Industrial Revolution, Margaret Thatcher's divisiveness, and the Brexit vote; she recalls Winston Churchill's 1939 appeal to Americans to maintain 'ceaseless vigilance to protect democracy.

Critique by Dr David Hamill AM of current practices and policies within the ALP.

Paul Boreham and Chris Salisbury provide an overview of innovation-led industry policies that engage in long-run strategic investments to create and shape industry trajectories rather than just responding to problems of industry decline.The paper draws an outline map of how such policies might be applied to the Queensland economy.

Geoff Dow argues that the development of economic policy needs to be founded on a clearer understanding of economic growth, debt, government spending and taxation if key social democratic concerns about current unemployment, living standards, and wealth and income distribution are to be effectively addressed by labour-oriented politics.

Roger Scott and Howard Guille provide an assessment of the first year in office of the Palaszczuk Government.

An edited collection of TJRyan Foundation research papers and commentaries covering the Newman Government's years in office, and including 2015 post-election analyses. 

All TJRyan Research Reports can be found through this link.


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