Neoliberals and public education in Australia

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A number of prominent advocates of neoliberal economic policies have occupied important positions in Australian public eductaion. Damien Cahill notes that "perhaps the area of the state into which [radical neo-liberal] movement activists have insinuated themselves most is that of public education, at all levels: primary, secondary and tertiary." (Cahill, 2004: 279)


Radical neo-liberal activists who have held senior positions in Australian universities include:

In 1995, Melbourne University developed a close working relationship with both the Tasman Institute and Tasman Asia Pacific (Cahill, 2004: 280). While these two groups are now defunct, they both remain affilates of the University [1].

The Flinders University-based National Institute of Labour Studies (NILS) is "home to [radical neo-liberal] movement activist, Richard Blandy and prominent sympathiser, Judith Sloan. . . . According to Blandy, NILS is the model neo-liberal workplace." (Cahill, 2004: 122-123)

The School of Politics at the Australian Defence Force Academy is home to radical neo-liberal movement activists Chandran Kukathus, William Maley and Andrew Norton (Cahill, 2004: 123).

"The Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) was another centre for movement activists. Greg Lindsay argues that "the establishment of the Australian Graduate School of Management brought us Ray Ball and Malcolm Fisher who became active in the centre in the years ahead." Peter Dodd was also a director of AGSM." (Cahill, 2004: 123)

During the 1980s the Centre of Policy Studies was based at Monash University and in addition "movement activists David Kemp, Ross Parish and Geoff Hogbin" were also based there (Cahill, 2004: 123).

High schools

"In 1976 the Brisbane-based Foundation for Economics Education (Australia) was founded, one of its aims being to promote radical neo-liberal ideology within schools. Based upon the American Foundation for Economic Education, one of its founders, Viv Forbes, received the Adam Smith Award in 1986." (Cahill, 2004: 281)
"In 1989 the Centre for Independent Studies established the Economics Education Resource Centre (EERC), the aim of which was to target a radical neo-liberal agenda to high school economics teachers." (Cahill, 2004: 281)

Other related Sourcewatch articles

External links

  • Damien C. Cahill, "The radical neo-liberal movement as a hegemonic force in Australia, 1976-1996", University of Wollongong, PhD Thesis, 2004. (Available online from all Australian Universities)
  • University of Sydney, Past Chancellors: Dame Leonie Judith Kramer, accessed July 2006.