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Past events

  • 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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