The Ethics Centre (previously known as St James Ethics Centre) is an independent not-for-profit organisation that has been working for over 25 years to help people navigate the complexity and uncertainty of difficult ethical issues.
We deliver innovative programs, services and experiences, designed to bring ethics to the centre of professional and personal life, and align actions with values and principles.
Our free ethics helpline, Ethi-call, provides a confidential and safe space for people to explore ethical challenges and seek support to make sound, ethical decisions. Our professional services team design and deliver services, provide progressive advice and practical support to develop ethical capabilities at the individual, organisation and industry levels. These services guide people through highly sensitive and difficult decisions, from tailored ethics guidance to military personnel being deployed overseas, to advising leaders in some of Australia’s largest companies.
We remain the only organisation in the world providing practical guidance on complex ethical issues across all levels of society. Within communities and across continents, we work with individuals and families, organisations and industries, militaries and governments, to help people embed ethics at the centre of their choices and actions.
Based at the University of Sydney, SDN is a new initiative preoccupied with the new, exciting and dangerous political trends of our times. The researchers, lecturers, activists, journalists and policy makers associated with SDN come from different walks of life and have a diverse range of interests, but they all see themselves as concerned citizens sharing the same goal: to rethink, strengthen and transform the ideals and practices of democracy. Guided by a strong sense of context and history, they see democracy as both a form of government and a way of life committed to greater equality and the practical refusal of publicly unaccountable power.
SDN supports enquiries into a rich variety of subjects, including networked politics, online mobilisation and the future of journalism in a media-saturated world; global public disaffection with representative government; political ethics; surveillance technologies; the gendering of politics; democratic deficits within cross-border governing institutions; and environmental movements, corporate power and the fate of our biosphere
Since 2002 a team at the Australian National University has been conducting Audits to assess Australia’s strengths and weaknesses as a democratic society. From early 2008 the Audit has been based at the Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology, with continuing input from researchers at ANU and other universities.
Informative discussion papers are available here
CDI was established by the Australian government to support the efforts of new democracies in the Asia-Pacific region to strengthen their political systems. Based in the Crawford School of Economics and Government in the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University in Canberra.
CDI’s mandate is to strengthen two key institutions of representative democracy — parliamentary governance and political parties – in the emerging democracies of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. Target countries — Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. A fundamental focus is the link between parliamentary and party structures and the broader development process. They conduct high-level training courses, act as a networking hub, provide direct technical assistance and undertake applied research on parliamentary and political party development.
Griffith University is home to a number of research centres that focus on integrity and accountability.
Griffith University Centre for Governance and Public Policy is a research centre devoted to enhancing knowledge of governance and public policy in Australia and globally. Its Director is Professor Haig Patapan
“Good governance relies on institutions fulfilling their mission with integrity, supported by well-designed accountability regimes. As part of this, corruption resilience, detection and enforcement are critical priorities for all organisations – government, business or civil society – in an increasingly competitive world. This program provides national and international leadership in the evaluation, design and implementation of modern integrity systems: from public sector ethics as an element of public sector management; to whistleblowing and internal integrity policies; to the powers and performance of anti-corruption agencies; to improving international accountability for grand corruption crimes, and strengthening the anti-corruption work of the G20; to the crucial, complex ways in which integrity policies and institutions interrelate. Its researchers work with other Griffith University centres, public regulators, industry bodies and NGOs including Transparency International, to safeguard the public’s interest in having institutions it can trust.”
“The Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance is an interdisciplinary research centre that was initially established with ARC funding. Positioned in Griffith University’s Arts, Education & Law Academic Group, the Centre is home to scholars who engage in research on values-based reforms in institutional, organisational and community governance that reduce social injustices and improve individual, environmental and societal safety and wellbeing.
Research programs focus on institutional and organisational governance, ethical standard setting, human development, crime and corruption prevention, and the operations of institutions of justice. The Centre supports collaboration between experienced and early career scholars as well as research students, drawing from humanities, psychology, sociology, law, economics, criminology and other social sciences.”
Its Director is Professor Anna Stewart
“IEGL’s Vision is to be a globally networked resource for the development of values-based governance through research and capacity building. It aims to engage other academic, non-government organisations, government, business and multilateral institutions and networks to improve governance and build institutional integrity in governments, corporations, non-government organisations and international institutions.
IEGL’s mission is to build on the strengths of the participating centres to make an internationally significant contribution to research, teaching, consultancy and capacity building in the areas of institutional and community governance. More information on IEGL’s mission and aims.
IEGL is a joint initiative of the United Nations University, Griffith University and the Queensland University of Technology in association with the Australian National University.”
IEGL is led by Professor Charles Sampford.
Australasian Study of Parliament Group (ASPG) (No central website but chapters below)
The Australasian Study of Parliament Group (ASPG) is a politically non-partisan body which was established in 1978 to encourage and stimulate research, writing, teaching and discussion about parliamentary institutions, particularly those in Australasia and the South Pacific. The ASPG has Chapters in all States and Territories of Australia and in New Zealand. Its membership consists of parliamentarians, parliamentary officers, academics, teachers, journalists, students and other interested individuals. The National President of the ASPG is the Hon. Kevin Rozzoli, former Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly.
The Victorian Chapter of the ASPG normally meets three or four times a year for presentations and panel discussions on issues relevant to Australasian parliaments and legislatures in general. Meetings occur at Parliament House, Spring Street, East Melbourne on parliamentary sitting days, usually during the dinner break between 7.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m
The NSW Chapter of ASPG runs regular seminars on topical issues relating to Parliament in NSW and Australia.
The ASPG (Queensland Chapter) was established in May 1993 as a non-partisan body to encourage and stimulate research, writing and teaching about parliamentary institutions in Australia in order to generate a better understanding of their functions. The Queensland Chapter holds three seminars each year on topical issues relating to Parliament in Queensland and Australia.
The Tasmanian Chapter runs the ASPG Prize.
The University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Parliament jointly run the Parliamentary Internship Scheme. As part of the scheme university students undertake research projects for Members of the Tasmanian Parliament.
On completion the ASPG, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Tasmania), award a prize for the best research project.
This web page is out of date but includes a bibliography of interesting papers which can be purchased through Parliament House Canberra