Who is The Australia Institute?
The Australia Institute's Board represents a range of views and priorities, and its staff includes policy experts from fields as diverse as economics, public health and law. What unites us is a belief that, through a combination of research and creativity, we can develop the new ideas and practical policy solutions that a progressive Australia needs.
Board of Directors
Richard Denniss - Executive Director
An economist by training, Richard has worked for the past 20 years in a variety of policy and political roles. In recent years he has been at the forefront of the national policy debates surrounding climate change policy and the Australian mining boom. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University.
Prior to taking up his current position Richard was the Strategy Adviser to the Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, was Chief of Staff to the then Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, and held teaching and research jobs at Australian universities.
He has been appointed to a number of government advisory bodies, including the current review of Australia's retirement income system. He is known for his ability to translate economics issues into everyday language. Richard has published extensively in academic journals, has a fortnightly column in The Canberra Times and Australian Financial Review and was the co-author of the best selling Affluenza (with Dr Clive Hamilton) and An Introduction to Australian Public Policy: Theory and Practice (with Dr Sarah Maddison).
David Baker - Director of Research
David has a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) from Latrobe University and is currently studying for a Masters in Criminology. He has been a research officer with the Victorian Parliament and in a former life worked as an automotive designer. David's research interests include the social outcomes of government policy and the role and design of policy to improve social equity.
Serena Rogers - Director of Media and Operations
Serena studied communications and politics at the University of Canberra, graduating with a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism). She worked in the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery for Dow Jones Newswires and Channel 9 before joining the office of Senator Natasha Stott Despoja in 2001 as a media adviser. She has worked in the UK for the London Borough of Ealing and the Audit Commission, specialising in local government relations.
Katy Lambert - Office Manager
Katy has a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University with majors in Political Science and Development Studies. She has spent time volunteering in the Solomon Islands working with and encouraging local work within churches, women's refuge and the national prison.
Bridget Griffiths - Youth Engagement Officer
Bridget has a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) from the Australian National University and a Masters in International Relations (Peace and Conflict Resolution) from the University of Queensland. Prior to working at the Institute Bridget worked with NGOs and schools in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Mozambique to develop and improve sustainable and culturally appropriate development goals and practice.
David Richardson - Senior Research Fellow
David studied economics at Flinders University and the University of New England. He has taught economics at UNE and the University of Western Australia. His research interests include macroeconomics and international economics.
In Canberra David worked in the Economics section of the Parliamentary Library briefing MPs and Parliamentary Committees on various economic issues before Parliament. During the Hawke/Keating Governments David worked for Ministers Brian Howe and Senator Nick Bolkus. David brings a solid knowledge and practical understanding of the Australian economy and government.
Matt Grudnoff - Senior Economist
Matt studied at the University of Newcastle graduating with an Economics degree with Honours. He taught economics at the University for many years before moving to Canberra to work for the Australian Bureau of Statistics. He has also worked for the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. His research interests are in climate change policy and its impact on the economy. He also teaches economics with a focus on helping people engage in public debate.
Kerrie Tucker - Community Liaison Officer
Kerrie has worked as an environmental and human rights activist since the 1980s. From 1995 to 2004, she represented the ACT Greens for three terms as Member for Molonglo in the ACT Legislative Assembly and has since worked as Executive Officer for ACT Shelter, advocating for the needs of people experiencing homelessness and housing stress. In 2005 and 2006, she was co-chair of Anti-Poverty Week in the ACT and continues to contribute to the community on a voluntary basis through her work as an individual member of the ACT Collaboration.
At The Australia Institute, Kerrie's part-time work involves community liaison. She engages with key policy makers, NGOs and the broader community to update them on the Institute's research findings, to seek their views on policy matters and to work collaboratively with them where possible to enable evidence-based development of public policy.