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Who we are

The Menzies Australia Institute is the UK's leading centre for research on Australia and its global connections. Through interdisciplinary research and public engagement, we provide an international forum for discussion and analysis of Australian history, society and culture.

Our research is organised around the theme Global Australia, reflecting the dynamic nature of contemporary Australian society and its long history of global connections.

We are one of five global institutes in the School of Global Affairs at King’s. Located on the Strand in central London, we are just metres from Australia House, the home of the Australian High Commission. We are named after Sir Robert Menzies (1894-1978), Australia’s longest-serving prime minister. We are academically independent and have no affiliation with any political party.

Our Advisory Board 

Our story

We began back in 1982 as the Australian Studies Centre in the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, supported by the Menzies Memorial Trust and the Australian Government. Our first head was the late Geoffrey Bolton, a distinguished historian from Western Australia. We were renamed the Sir Robert Menzies Centre for Australian Studies and in 1999 moved to King’s College London. Over four decades, we have promoted Australian studies in Britain and Europe and served as a cultural base for Australians in London.

The Menzies Australia Institute is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2022.

Australian continent made of small figures

Global Australia

In 2022 we launched our new research theme: Global Australia. This theme reflects the dynamic nature of contemporary Australia and highlights connections between Australia and the world.

In the past, settler Australians lamented the ‘tyranny of distance’ separating Australia from Europe and the United States. But in fact, Australia has long been connected to its region and the world beyond. Before colonisation, Yolŋu people from northeastern Arnhem Land traded with sailors from nearby Makassar (now in Indonesia) and connected Indigenous Australians with supply chains stretching to China. Settler colonialism heralded widespread institutional and personal links with Britain as well as other parts of Europe, Asia, the United States and beyond. Even in the nineteenth century, these links inspired a great deal of travel and mobility, as well as a widespread taste for global commodities. Today, Australians are among the world’s most voracious travellers and significant populations of expatriates.

Research facilitated by the Menzies Australia Institute focuses on the connections that define Global Australia. Stay tuned as we profile research projects and networks conducted by staff, visitors and students over the coming months.

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Our partnerships

The Institute collaborates with partners and communities in Australia and the United Kingdom to shape new ways of teaching, learning and understanding.

In 2019 the Menzies Australia Institute formed a partnership agreement with the Australian National University (ANU) which allows distinguished Australian scholars to conduct research and lead public programs at King's. In 2020-21, the ANU supported the Menzies Australia Institute co-directors, historian Martin Thomas and literature scholar Béatrice Bijon.

Our partnership with the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Melbourne enables us to deliver the Poche Leadership Fellows program.

The Menzies Australia Institute acknowledges the First Nations peoples of Australia and the Torres Strait. We celebrate and pay tribute to the oldest continuing culture and its traditional custodians from the past, in the present, and for the future.

University of Melbourne

News and events from the King's Global Institutes

In line with the university’s wider equality, diversity and inclusion statement, the Institute is committed to the provision of equality of opportunity and the recognition and promotion of diversity for all of our students, staff and visitors.

We aim to nurture a collegial, mutually supportive and committed culture among staff, students and visitors. We are committed to providing and promoting an environment in which all people can learn, work and interact freely without fear of discrimination, prejudice or harassment.

We are committed to creating and sustaining a diverse work and learning environment. All students and staff are treated equitably and are not accorded less favourable treatment because of age, marital/civil partnership status, sex, disability, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, family circumstances, religious or political beliefs and transgender status.

The Institute is also committed to enhancing the work-life balance of all staff in relation to caring responsibilities and other issues affecting well-being.