Australian Policy and History Network

From the editor…

As an avid Radio National listener, I had to do an Orwellian double-think yesterday morning as I was making my tea and listening to ‘Breakfast’. Gordon Brown, heading into an election, wants to be seen as ‘a man for the future, looking ahead rather than dwelling on the last 13 years’.

Only a few days ago, I was listening to another RN program, ‘Future Tense’, about the Australian Policy and History Network — a new organisation with the ambition of linking historians with politicians an policy makers by  ‘Linking the past with the present for the future‘. I dare say that from Mr Brown’s campaign slogan he’d rather not link the past with the present, and would rather voters forgot the moats, duck-pond follies and other financial rorts  — oh, and the small matter of the GFC —  and look into the gleaming future: a future of new, wondrous architectural follies achievements and ‘the best Olympic Games ever!’ Let’s say (reading between the lines of his campaign slogan) he’d rather historians kept their pesky hands off the past (and the present, for that matter!) and focus on a future under the splendid rose of New Labour. (No comments about Blake’s poem, please.)

But before I digress…

The point of this post was to let you know about the innovative work being done at the Australian Policy and History website. Their brief, as stated on their website, is as follows:

Australian Policy & History aims to provide policy-makers, the media and the general public with relevant, accessible information about the historical background to current events and issues. We connect historians with those making and commenting on public policy, so that the insights gained from the past can be used to inform decision-making in the present, leading to better outcomes in the future.

And to let you know that they are calling for network members, contributions, and are offering grants for contributors and early career historians.

The website for the Network is

And the story about the Australian Policy and History network can be found at Radio National’s Future Tense website.

Julie-Ann Robson

Views expressed by the editor do not necessarily reflect the position of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry.


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