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

24 February 2023
Program Overview

McKinnon Institute for Political Leadership

The McKinnon Institute for Political Leadership is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation that provides outstanding professional development for members of Australia's federal, state and territory parliaments.
14 November 2023

Susan McKinnon Foundation partners with Analysis & Policy Observatory

The Susan McKinnon Foundation (SMF) is proud to announce it will partner with the Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO) to ensure the vital public resource can continue operating. APO curates a free online library of articles, research reports, evaluations, policy briefs and white papers to help organisations including government, not-for-profits, universities and think tanks access […]
Program Name: Analysis & Policy Observatory
13 March 2023

Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Independent MP Helen Haines awarded the 2022 McKinnon Prize

Program Name: McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership