Australia’s Democracy

We incubate, deliver and support practical improvements to help Australia achieve a more fit-for-purpose political, policy and service delivery system.

Effective government is the crucial enabler of opportunity.

Our goal is for governments to be more transparent, accountable and inclusive. The foundation supports practical programs that deliver tangible progress and our work is motivated solely by the long-term public good. Our approach is non-partisan and is undertaken in cooperation with all sides of politics.

We want Australia to have the world’s most effective governments focused on the long-term interests of the Australian community.

We invest in long-term transformational initiatives, support bold ideas, and enlist the cooperation of Australians from across the political system.

We focus on three areas – fostering robust state institutions, developing and inspiring effective leaders, and encouraging quality policy dialogue.

We believe positive leadership is crucial in a high-functioning democracy.

We believe strong, effective and apolitical public institutions are vital assets for a thriving democracy.

We believe that good policy making is rigorous, non-ideological and implementation focused.

Latest news and releases

30 May 2024

Susan McKinnon Foundation appoints Mike Baird as inaugural CEO

The Susan McKinnon Foundation (SMF) has today announced a significant new chapter with the appointment of former NSW Premier Mike Baird AO as its inaugural Chief Executive Officer, and Holly Kramer as Chair. SMF founders Grant Rule and Sophie Oh said Mr Baird, in this new role will significantly scale the Foundation’s activity in the […]
29 May 2024

Ten lessons for Public Servants from Robodebt: New report

The Australian Public Service must use the Robodebt experience as a prompt to revisit its values and draw lessons for the future.  Susan McKinnon Foundation partnered with Professor Emeritus Richard Mulgan to analyse the transcripts and findings of the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme and, through the lens of three established APS values – […]
Program Name: Robust State Institutions
8 April 2024

Lessons from NSW Health Pathology: Productivity, Control and Performance

Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of public services is a priority for governments as the population ages and becomes wealthier. The Susan McKinnon Foundation has partnered with Prof. Gary L Sturgess to study and document the decade-long organisational transformation of New South Wales Health Pathology (NSWHP) as a case study into the critical success factors […]
Program Name: Service Delivery Program