Labor ideas for a better Australia



The John Curtin Research Centre (JCRC) is a social democratic think-tank dedicated to developing ideas and policies for a better Australia. We draw inspiration from the enduring relevance of our nation’s trade unions and the Australian Labor Party’s rich 128 year old tradition: a party of government; a movement in touch with the basic concerns, needs and aspirations of Australians whether they reside in our suburbs, cities, regions or remote areas; one informed by traditionalist and progressive values; and both patriotic and internationalist. With growing disillusionment towards mainstream parties the world over, and the core vote of centre-left and labour movement-based parties in particular fracturing, there has never been a more important time for social democrats to win the battle of ideas. To that end, the JCRC aims to bring together Labor parliamentarians and activists from across the breadth of the party, experts and leaders from our diverse local communities, likeminded think-tanks, unionists and best of the academy, in order to meet the large social and economic challenges facing Australia and help shape the direction of Labor ideas in the twenty-first century. In the words of Labor’s great wartime Prime Minister John Curtin, it is only through the ideas and actions of working people ‘that a better and more decent way of life can be given to all.’


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Our People



Dr Nick Dyrenfurth

Nick is the Executive Director of the John Curtin Research Centre. He is a former academic and the author or editor of seven books, including A Little History of the Australian Labor Party (2011, with Frank Bongiorno), Mateship: A Very Australian History (2015), 'A powerful influence on Australian affairs': A new history of the AWU (forthcoming, 2017), Heroes and Villains: the Rise and Fall of the Early Australian Labor Party (2011), All That’s Left: What Labor Should Stand For (2010, co-edited with Tim Soutphommasane), Boycotting Israel is Wrong: the Progressive Path to Peace between Israel and the Palestinians (2015, with Philip Mendes) and Confusion: The Making of the Australian Two-Party System (2009, co-edited with Paul Strangio). Nick is also a leading media commentator, having written for The Age, The Saturday Paper, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review, Daily Telegraph, Canberra Times, and The Monthly. Previously he has worked as a Labor Party advisor and speechwriter as well as having acted as a commentator on television and radio. Nick is an Adjunct Research Fellow in the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University in Melbourne, where he attained a PhD in Australian history.




Dr Henry Pinskier

Henry is the Chair of the John Curtin Research Centre. He is a medical doctor by training who now works in a business capacity in the private sector across both health and technology, including listed and unlisted companies. He currently chairs two technology companies and a medical services business. He has previously been a Director of the Alfred Hospital, The Victorian Managed Insurance Authority and Yarra Valley Water. He has also been a member of not-for-profit boards in the past including The Disability Housing Trust and Melbourne Youth Music. He is a past Williamson Community Leadership Fellow and was a member and Chair of the Victorian ALP Health and Community Services Policy Committee, a member of the ALP's National Policy Committee and a former Vice President of the Victorian Branch of the ALP. He has also been a State Conference and National Conference delegate over many years. He is the son of migrants who survived the Second World War and who were able to migrate to Australia in 1950. Henry went through the public school system and won the Australian History prize at Melbourne High School.



committee of management

Dr Henry Pinskier
Andrew Porter
Mary Easson
Ken Macpherson
David Cragg
Adam Slonim
Hon. Stephen Conroy
Clare Burns
Ben Davis
Gerard Dwyer
Aemon Burke



board of advisors

Dr Nick Dyrenfurth (Executive Director, JCRC)
Senator the Hon. Kim Carr
Senator Kimberley Kitching
Dr Mike Kelly MP
Hon. Michelle Roberts MLA
Hon. Peter Malinauskas 
Michael Danby (Former Labor MP)
Dr Bill Leadbetter (Former Labor MP, University of Notre Dame, Cathedral Scholar - Perth Cathedral)
Kosmos Samaras (Assistant Secretary, Victorian ALP)
Ari Suss (Executive Director, Linfox Private Group)
Marcia Pinskier (NFP Advisory Services)
Professor Marc Stears (Macquarie University)
Krystian Seibert (Not-for-profit sector policy expert)
Professor Andrew Reeves (Historian and policy analyst)
John Mickel (Former Labor MP; Adjunct Associate Professor, Queensland University of Technology) 
Geoff Fary (Former Assistant Secretary, Australian Council of Trade Unions)
Andrew Dettmer (National President, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union)
Marina Chambers (Australian Workers Union, National President)
Lord Maurice Glasman (UK Labour Party)
Jon Cruddas MP (UK Labour Party)
Professor Alan Johnson (BICOM, UK)
Arnie Graf (Community Organiser, US)
Simon Greer (Cambridge Heath Ventures, US)
Hilik Bar MK (Former Secretary General Israel Labor Party)