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Who we are

The Menzies Australia Institute is the leading centre for Australian studies in the United Kingdom. Through interdisciplinary research and public engagement, we provide an international forum for discussion and analysis of Australian society and culture. We are one of five global institutes in the School of Global Affairs at King’s College London. 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 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. 

Why Australia?

Australia is home to the world’s oldest continuing cultures. The Indigenous people of Australia and the Torres Strait Islands have a unique heritage that includes an estimated 250 languages. Australia in the twenty-first century is a multicultural society with a large population of recent migrants. Nearly 30 per cent of Australia’s 25 million people were born overseas. Though geographically isolated, Australia is closely connected with its neighbours in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. These links co-exist with Australia’s historic connections with Great Britain, Ireland, and Europe.

As a modern democracy that emerged from a settler society, Australia needs to deal with the legacies of colonial violence and dispossession. Indigenous activists and their supporters have called for constitutional recognition that will give First Nations people an advisory role to Parliament, aspirations that were expressed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2017.

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 which allows distinguished Australian scholars to conduct research and lead public programs. The current ANU Co-Directors are the historian Martin Thomas and literature scholar Béatrice Bijon (the first woman to lead the Institute).

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.

Our Directors


Our Advisory Board 

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Our partners

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.