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Past events

  • Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at 06:00 PM

    Nordic Talks: Breaking the ice ceiling - Gender equality in Iceland and Australia

    Iceland’s outstanding levels of gender equality have been achieved through policies such as extensive paid parental leave, including an emphasis on fathers using paid parental leave.

    This emphasis on paternity leave is one important reason that Iceland is frequently ranked as the leader among all the Nordic nations – and thus the world leader – in terms of gender equality.

    Join us to explore the lessons Australia can learn from Iceland to improve gender equality.

    This is the fifth webinar in our Nordic Talks series, presented by the Nordic Policy Centre at the Australia Institute, with support from The Nordics, a project under The Nordic Council of Ministers. #NordicTalks #auspol


    Dr Marian Baird, Professor of Gender and Employment Relations, Co-Director of The Women, Work and Policy Research Group at the University of Sydney Business School and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia

    Ásdís Arnalds, Director of the Social Science Research Institute at the University of Iceland

    Emeritus Professor Andrew Scott, Convenor at The Australia Institute’s Nordic Policy Centre


    Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director, The Australia Institute

  • Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at 06:00 PM

    Nordic Talks: The Role of First Nations Communities in the Clean Energy Transition

    Australia has all the ingredients for a green industrial revolution; abundant rare minerals, plentiful wind and sun, manufacturing capabilities, while Sweden is a global leader in green industry practices and production.

    But how can First Nations communities participate in the clean energy transition?

    This talk will unpack how Sweden and Australia can better balance the competing interests between the ‘green gold rush’ and the interests of First Nations communities.

    This is part of a series of webinars presented by the Nordic Policy Centre at the Australia Institute, as part of Nordic Talks.


    Jenny Wik Karlsson, CEO & Senior legal adviser at Sámiid Riikasearvi (National Association of Sámi in Sweden)

    Chris Croker, Managing Director, Impact Investment Partners and First Nations Clean Energy Network Steering Group

    Rod Campbell, research director at the Australia Institute


    Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director, The Australia Institute

  • Wednesday, March 01, 2023 at 06:00 PM

    Nordic Talks: Pedalling Health – Healthy and sustainable cities in Denmark and Australia

    Enabling more people to cycle and walk as an everyday means of transportation is vital to reducing emissions and improving public health.

    In Denmark, the bicycle has been recognised as a fast, efficient, and sustainable mode of transportation for decades, and the key to more liveable cities and happy, healthy people – supported by a network of safe cycling infrastructure and a positive cycle culture as part of healthy urban design which also means fewer food deserts.

    This webinar, part of our special Nordic Talks webinar series, will explore how Australia could move closer to Danish cycle culture and healthier design of cities, to not only improve the health of the planet, but the people on it.

    Join Dr Sandro Demaio, CEO of VicHealth, an experienced researcher in Nordic nations; and Marianne Weinreich, Chair and co-founder of the Cycling Embassy of Denmark for a discussion about building healthier, more people-friendly cities.


    Marianne Weinreich, Market Manager, Ramboll Smart Mobility; Chair, Cycling Embassy of Denmark

    Dr Sandro Demaio, Chief Executive Officer, VicHealth


    Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director, The Australia Institute

  • Thursday, February 02, 2023 at 06:00 PM

    Nordic Talks: The Value of a Free Press

    Norway is number one the World Press Freedom Index, while Australia dropped 14 places in 2022 due in part to its highly concentrated media landscape.

    This webinar, the second of our special Nordic Talks webinar series, will explore how Norway’s targeted ‘press support’ subsidies could help Australia to achieve greater diversity in its highly concentrated media landscape and improve its protections for public interest journalism. And what can Norway learn from Australia’s world-leading News Media Bargaining Code about regulating Big Tech platforms such as Google and Facebook?

    Join Professor Eli Skogerbø from the University of Oslo, and Dr Maria Rae of Deakin University for a fascinating discussion hosted by deputy director Ebony Bennett for the Nordic Policy Centre at the Australia Institute, as part of Nordic Talks. #NordicTalks #auspol



    Professor Eli SkogerbøCo-director of POLKOM – Center for the Study of Political Communication, Professor at the Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo.

    Dr Maria Rae, Senior Lecturer in Politics and Policy, Deakin University


    Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director, The Australia Institute


  • Thursday, December 01, 2022 at 06:00 PM

    Nordic Talks: A plus or F minus? Educational Equity in Finland and Australia

    More than a decade after the Gonski review into Australia’s school funding aimed to reduce the impact of social disadvantage on educational outcomes, educational outcomes for Australian schoolchildren are getting worse. The success of Finnish educational outcomes shows that equity drives excellence for all students.

    This webinar, the first of our special Nordic Talks webinar series, will explore how Australia could move closer to Finland’s world-leading achievement by putting equity at the heart of education.

    Hosted by the Nordic Policy Centre at the Australia Institute, supported by Nordic Talks. #NordicTalks #auspol


    • Pasi Sahlberg, Professor of Education, Southern Cross University
    • Correna Haythorpe, Federal President, Australian Education Union


    • Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director, The Australia Institute




  • Monday, December 09, 2019 at 10:00 AM

    The Nordic Model: Can it help to Solve Australia’s Labour Market Policy Challenges?

    Australia’s labour market currently faces many challenges: low-wage growth, widening income disparity, extensive wage theft and non-compliance with legal minimum standards, low productivity growth, weak skill formation and persistent gender inequality. Many other advanced industrial nations, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, confront similar challenges.

    By contrast, the four Nordic nations – Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – have avoided many of these problems. They have managed to combine economic prosperity with social equality. The so-called ‘Nordic Model’ has fostered internationally competitive industries and innovative enterprises whilst maintaining strong unions and high collective bargaining coverage. These nations have managed to achieve high levels of workplace gender equality by international standards.

    What lessons can be learned from the Nordic Model? Could it help to address the major challenges confronting Australia’s labour market?

    This workshop will examine these questions through presentations by leading academic experts and senior representations of unions, business and government. It is co-hosted by The University of Sydney Business School’s Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies and The Australia Institute’s Nordic Policy Centre and Centre for Future Work.


    10.00-11.00 – The Nordic and Australian Labour Market Models Compared

    Chair: Chris Wright (University of Sydney)


    • Andrew Scott (Deakin University / Nordic Policy Centre) – Nordic Industrial Relations and Social Policies: An Overview
    • Alison Pennington (Centre for Future Work) – Enterprise Bargaining in Crisis: Building a Viable Collective Bargaining in Australia
    • Søren Kaj Andersen (FAOS, University of Copenhagen) – Wages and Collective Bargaining in the Nordic States
    • Jens Arnholtz (FAOS, University of Copenhagen) – Different Nordic Responses to European Labour Mobility
    • Marian Baird (University of Sydney) – Comparing Australia's Work and Care Regimes to the Nordic Countries

    11.00-11.40 – Panel discussion: Is the Nordic Model a Model for Australia?

    Chair: Russell Lansbury (University of Sydney)


    • Jo Schofield (National Secretary, United Voice)
    • Mark Goodsell (NSW Head and National Director of Manufacturing, Ai Group)
    • Tim Ayres (Senator for NSW)
    • Bradon Ellem (University of Sydney)

    11.40-12.00 Questions and discussion

    12.00-1.00 Light lunch


    Date: Monday 9 December 2019

    Time: 10.00-12.00, with registration from 9.45, followed by a light lunch 12.00-1.00

    Venue: The Refectory, Level 5, Abercrombie Building (H70), The University of Sydney Business School, Corner Abercrombie St & Codrington St, Darlington 2008 – see map

    RSVP by Monday 2 December to [email protected]. Please advise of any dietary requirements.

  • Monday, August 26, 2019 at 09:00 AM
    Sydney Trades Hall

    Roundtable: Paid Parental Leave with Ásdís Aðalbjörg Arnalds, Academic from the University of Iceland

    Ben Oquist (The Australia Institute), Ásdís Arnalds (University of Iceland), Professor Andrew Scott (Deakin University)(Deakin
    The Australia Institute Nordic Policy Centre, together with the Centre for Future Work invite you to an important roundtable on paid parental leave, with an Icelandic example of how to get it right.

    This roundtable will feature visiting guest speaker from the University of Iceland, Ásdís Aðalbjörg Arnalds to discuss ‘the proven benefits of more extensive Paid Parental Leave including for improving fathers’ roles in children’s lives

    Ms Arnalds is a visiting academic from the Social Science Research Institute at the University of Iceland. She is a thought leader on Iceland’s equal rights to paid parental leave and will share new research on how Iceland’s laws have created a more equal division of care between parents and improved fathers’ longer-term involvement in their children’s lives. The discussion will explore the relevance to Australia and would benefit greatly from your participation.

  • Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 10:00 AM
    Embassy of Finland in Yarralumla, Australia

    Roundtable: Vocational Education with Professor Pasi Sahlberg, Finland’s world-leading expert on education policy


    The Embassy of Finland in Canberra & The Nordic Policy Centre at the Australia Institute present a roundtable discussion on building an equitable vocational pathway in Australian higher education, learning from Finland’s successes.


    + Professor Pasi Sahlberg, Finland’s world-leading expert on education policy; and
    + Ms Jeannie Rea, Immediate Past President of Australia’s National Tertiary Education Union, Chair of Criminal Justice and International Community Development program, Victoria University

  • Thursday, April 04, 2019 at 10:00 AM
    Embassy of Denmark in Canberra, Australia

    Roundtable: Nordic countries the EU and implications for Australia, with Dr Lykke Friis, former Danish Minister for the Environment, Energy & Gender Equality

    The Royal Danish Embassy & the Nordic Policy Centre at The Australia Institute request the presence of your company at a round table discussion: 'Priorities and challenges for the Nordic countries and EU, and the implications for Australia'.

    With special guest, Dr Lykke Friis, Berlin correspondent for the national Danish daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende, former Danish Minister for the Environment, Energy and Equality and former Prorector of the University of Copenhagen.

    Dr Lykke Friis will discuss efforts to entrench action against climate change, and issues facing the European Union beyond Brexit including the precariousness of the Italian economy.  along with outlining the multi-partisan approach in Denmark to advancing gender equality and in support of maintaining freely accessible higher education.

  • Wednesday, March 07, 2018 at 10:30 AM
    Embassy of Denmark in Canberra, Australia

    Launch of The Australia Institute Nordic Policy Centre

    The launch of The Nordic Policy Centre will bring together policy experts, public commentators and diplomats to discuss the lessons Australian can learn from Nordic policy approaches. We will launch our first research publication on lessons for Australia on revenue-raising options that lead to better public services, learning from Nordic nations.

    Speakers include:

    + Tom Norring, Ambassador of Denmark
    Lars Backstrom, Ambassador of Finland
    Beate Gabrielson, Deputy Head of Mission, Royal Norwegian Embassy
    Andrew Scott, Professor of Politics and Policy at Deakin University
    Ben Oquist, Executive Director of The Australia Institute

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