The newDemocracy Foundation believes there is a better way to do democracy.


People want to be participants in politics, not just polarised voters in adversarial contests.


The research evidence is compelling- trusted outcomes are achieved when a diverse
and representative group of citizens, randomly selected, deliberate together.


We don't need better politicians. We need a better system.


City of Sydney – Safe & Vibrant Nightlife

In September 2013, the Foundation was appointed by the City of Sydney to conduct a Citizens Jury which mirrors the process underway for the South Australian Parliament through Premier Jay Weatherill.

A Citizens' Senate

Based on a paper by Alex Zakaras, reproduced with the author's permission .

newDemocracy Meets the US State Department

The US State Department conducts an International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) which enables a small group of Australian citizens (MPs and people like us!) to have an experience with academics, government representatives, NGOs, United Nations staff and elected representatives in the United States. It’s a way to share ideas and make contacts, and is generously funded entirely by the US Government. Iain Walker as the Executive Director of NDF is a guest of the State Department from March 22nd through April 12th and he’ll be posting updates here whenever he’s allowed to pause and draw breath.

A Review of the Federal Senate

The 2013 Federal Election has made citizens increasingly aware of the need for reform of the electoral system, particularly with regard to the Senate. Preferencing arrangements have led to a series of outcomes where it is contestable whether the intent of the voter is reflected in the candidates elected.

RSVP for City of Darebin Citizens' Jury

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In July 2012, as part of the Inquiry into the Economics of Energy Generation the NSW Parliament will commission a jury style process to make a structured contribution to the public inquiry process.

A New Planning System for NSW

In July 2011 the NSW Government began a comprehensive review of the state's planning system. The Minister sought submission and comments from the community and the Foundation has made two submissions which you can download here. The need for a planning system to be representative, trusted and consensual is a challenge at the core of the Foundation’s research aims, and while we hold no specific issue position about planning objectives, we have focused on designing a process that should earn public trust by being very difficult to manipulate by any particular interest.

SA Premier Weatherill – Why Do a Jury?

Landemore | Democratic Reason

Why the Many Are Smarter than the Few and Why It Matters



The A, B + C of Democracy

My parents used to have a book called “World History” which I flicked through every now and again.  It was not a happy read: one war after war, one king after another.  A Game of Thrones.  It made me think about how we got to be so peaceful today, living a happy life in Sydney.  Maybe people just got tired of fighting.  That seemed to be what happened in ancient Greece, in the city of Athens.

TEDx Sydney 2012

TEDxSydney 2012 took place on Saturday 26 May 2012 at Carriageworks. Tens of thousands of people enjoyed the day: 800 in the theatre, over 1,000 via big screen simulcast in The Forum, many thousands online via YouTube and ABC Big Ideas ... and up to 80,000 tuning in to ABC Radio National.

The Australian Citizens’ Parliament (2009)

This was Australia’s largest deliberative event, convened on the topic of democratic reform – asking the question how Australia’s political system could be strengthened to serve us better. It brought together a representative sample of Australia drawn from each of our 150 electorates.


(Selective excerpts from writings by Brian Martin, University of Wollongong, reproduced with the author's permission.)

Daily Telegraph | Community Rich in Talent

The Citizen Legislature: Sortition

(selective excerpts from 'A Citizen Legislature' by E. Callenbach and M Phillips reproduced with the authors' permission.)

AFR | Panels Give NSW Panels a Say on Energy

Who We Are

Luca Belgiorno-Nettis AM | Founder

Luca is Executive Director of Transfield Holdings and many of its subsidiary companies, as well as a Director of Sydney Harbour Tunnel Ltd and Perisher Blue Ltd.

The Hon Fred Chaney AO | Patron

The Hon John Button (1932 - 2008) | Patron

Lyn Carson | Director

Kathy Jones | Director

Kathy Jones, principal of communications consultancy KJA, is an expert in issues management.

The Hon Geoff Gallop AC | Research Committee

Premier of Western Australia 2001-2006.

The Hon Nick Greiner AC | Research Committee

Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO | Research Committee

With a background in commercial law and investment banking, Ms Turnbull is a Director of Turnbull & Partners Pty. Ltd, a private investment company. Ms Turnbull is the Chairman of ASX listed Prima Biomed Limited.

Prof. David Yencken AO | Research Committee

Professor Emeritus at the University of Melbourne, Patron of the Australian Conservation Foundation, and Chair of the Australian Collaboration, a collaboration of peak national community bodies.

Dr Kath Fisher | Research Committee

Dr Kath Fisher is a professional facilitator and trainer with over 30 years experience as a consultant facilitator to government and non-government organisations.

Max Hardy | Research Committee

Max is Director of Twyfords specialising in designing, delivering and evaluating community engagement processes, and has been licensed trainer for International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) since 2002.

Prof. Martin Krygier | Research Committee

Martin is Professor of Law at the University of NSW, co-director of the European Law Centre, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He has studied philosophy, politics, and law and his doctorate is in the history of ideas.

Carolyn Hendriks | Research Committee

Carolyn’s work examines the democratic practices of contemporary governance, particularly with respect to public deliberation, inclusion and political representation. She has taught and published widely on the application and politics of inclusive and deliberative forms of citizen engagement. With a background in both political science and environmental engineering, Carolyn has a particular interest in the governance of the environment, as well as science and technology issues. She has recently published a book on the practice of deliberative democracy, titled The Politics of Public Deliberation: citizen engagement and interest advocacy (Palgrave: London, 2011). Carolyn convenes a Masters course on energy politics, and is researching the democratic challenges of long term energy reform.

Iain Walker | Executive Director

Iain Walker holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from UTS.

Prof. Peter Shergold AC

Peter Shergold AC is the Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney. Peter came to Australia as an academic and was an economic historian for 16 years. In 1988 he joined the Australian Public Service to establish the Office of Multicultural Affairs and then, successively, became CEO of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission; Public Service Commissioner; Secretary of the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business; and Secretary of the Department of Education, Science and Training. From 2003-2008 he was Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Peter now chairs the NSW Public Service Commission Advisory Board and the Commonwealth’s Aged Care Reform Implementation Council, sits on the Queensland Public Sector Renewal Board and was recently part of the Independent Review Panel on Coalition Costings.

Dr Tim Southphommasane

Dr Tim Soutphommasane is Race Discrimination Commissioner and commenced his five-year appointment on 20 August 2013. Prior to joining the Australian Human Rights Commission, he was a political philosopher at the University of Sydney. His thinking on multiculturalism and national identity has been influential in reshaping debates in Australia and Britain.

Jennifer Westacott

Prof. John Dryzek

Graham Bradley AM

About the newDemocracy Foundation

The newDemocracy Foundation is an independent, non-partisan research organisation aiming to identify improvements to our democratic process. We aim to replace the adversarial with the deliberative, and move out of the "continuous campaign" cycle.

We appreciate the public endorsement of people who have lent their names to supporting the cause of non-partisan democratic reform and encourage you to consider the results of the research we publish.

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NewDemocracy's operating overhead is met by the annual contribution of The Anita and Luca Belgiorno-Nettis Family Foundation. All other donor funding is committed to research projects. All research project expenses and operating overhead are approved by newDemocracy's Research Committee. Read more...

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