In an era where “truth isn’t truth” and “fake news” has become a concept of influence, and when leading
political figures claim that “the people of this country have had enough of experts”, the contribution of a
Learned Academy becomes even more important than before. In 2017-18 this Academy has sought to
even more strongly enhance this contribution.
This Academy seeks to recognise the skills and achievements of Australians who pursue systematic
and creative application of logic and evidence to any and all of our world’s important social, political
and economic issues, and further cultural and environmental concerns. This is the essential focus
of the work of the scholars of the Academy, based principally in the nation’s universities, but also
from Fellows well versed in the practice of social science in national and world affairs. In this way,
guidance is brought forward through the Academy’s work to what understandings can be openly and
demonstrably supported in the marketplace of ideas for addressing the nature of things. The Fellows of
the Academy are those who have achieved sustained excellence in Australian in pursuing such knowledge.
This Annual Report details the Academy’s efforts and activities for 2017-18 financial year. While
some modest Commonwealth funding is received and gratefully acknowledged, it is important to
also record that Fellows pay a healthy quantum of annual fees too. These subscriptions, combined with
external funding, serve to further the fully honorary conduct of the intellectual contributions made by the
The Academy’s activities range across workshops, forums, public lectures, working parties, outreach
and more, and their financial dimension is documented in the financial statements in this
report. We can also report that in 2017 Academy’s Fellows have contributed approximately 384
voluntary hours towards the Academy’s operations, representing a value to Government and the
community of over $460,800.
To assist in fulfilling these functions the Academy in 2017-18 has added to its corpus of knowledge
membership through an exhaustive process of election to Fellowship and has admitted 46 new members.