Adjunct Professor Eric Sidoti

Eric Sidoti is a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow. His interest is in public policy driven by engaged research focusing on democracy, human rights and civil society with an emphasis on policy development in parliamentary democracy and democratic institutions.

Eric is concurrently Executive Director (designate) of the newly established Public Interest Journalism Initiative [PIJI]. He has held senior leadership positions and advisory roles in a number of organisations with strong public policy research and advocacy credentials. Most recently he has been the Director of the Whitlam Institute [2007-2017] within Western Sydney University.

He was appointed as Amnesty International Australia’s first National Administrator in 1981. He operated a consultancy, Strategic Communications (1992-2007), which centred on long-term advisory roles with a small number of organisations: primarily the Dusseldorp Skills Forum and the Enterprise and Career Education Foundation but also with Australian Red Cross and JobFutures. He has held senior appointments with Amnesty International (in Australia and at its London HQ), the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace and the small NGO the Human Rights Council of Australia.

He has been engaged with a range of organisations to assist in strategic planning and organisation development including the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.

He has served on various Boards (Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Amnesty International Australia among them). He is currently a member of the Board of the Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Centre.


Diploma in Education, 1979, University of Sydney

Graduate Diploma in Communications, 1979, New South Wales Institute of Technology (now known as University of Technology Sydney)

BA, 1977, University of Sydney

Selected Research Grants and Projects

Selection during the period as Director of the Whitlam Institute:

2017 (+4 yrs):Civics Education Program [Revesby Workers Club]

2011-2014:The Experience of Education: the impact of ‘High Stakes’ testing on students and their families, Project designer/leader

Project over three phases of research: philanthropic funding

2011- 2013:Federalism in Australian Schooling: its impact on quality and equity, ARC Linkage Grant, Chief Investigators: Prof Jack Keating; Prof Brian Galligan; Prof John Polesel; Eric Sidoti

2008-2009: Political Participation by Young People, Project designer/leader: Multiple funders: UWS, NSW Government; philanthropic grants

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

Sidoti, E 2015,A reason to believe: young Australians and a 21st social democracy’,in Under the pump: pressures on young Australians, John Cain Foundation, Melbourne.

Arvanitakis, J & Sidoti, E 2011, ‘The politics of change: where to for young people and politics’, in L Walsh & R Black (eds), In their own hands: can young people change Australia?, Australian Council for Educational Research, Camberwell, pp. 11-19.

Sidoti, E 2006,‘The landmines campaign: a lesson in advocacy for our times’, in P Pak Poy (ed.), A path is made for walking: reflections on the Australian Network to Ban Landmines 1991-2006, David Lovell Publications, Melbourne, pp. 102-115.

Journal Articles

Cole, P & Sidoti, E 2008, ‘New work for networks’, Beyond the classroom: building new school networks, p. 91.

Sidoti, E 2004, ‘Youth and the budget’ [online], Impact, Winter, 6-7.

Sidoti, E (ed.) 2009-2017, Perspectives: essays on contemporary public policy, vol. 1-18.


Sidoti, E, Banks, R, Darcy, M, O’Shea, P, Leonard, R, Atie, R, ... & Moor, D 2009, A question of balance: principles, contracts and the government-not for profit relationship, Sydney: Public Interest Advocacy Centre, The Whitlam Institute, and the Social Justice and Social Change Research Institute, University of Western Sydney, Sydney.

Sidoti, E, and van Beek, H 2004, Green Corps and the ALP’s Youth Guarantee: a consideration of the existing fit and the potential for further development, Job Futures, Sydney.

Sidoti, E and Frankovits, A 1995, The rights way to development: a human rights approach to development assistance, Human Rights Council of Australia Incorporated, Sydney.

Selected Presentations

Sidoti, E 2018, ‘Advocating for change: what do we want?’, invited keynote address, COACT 20th Anniversary Conference, Sydney.

Sidoti, E 2017,Whitlam 101: Gough Whitlam the Member for Werriwa’, The 51st Ward and Olive Havard Lecture, Liverpool.

Sidoti, E 2016‘Corporate Social Responsibility’, invited address, Australia and New Zealand Third Sector Research Conference, Sydney.

Sidoti, E 2016,‘China’s place in Gough Whitlam’s view of the world: contemporary resonance’, invited address at Foundation of Australia Studies in China (FASIC), Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China.

Sidoti, E 2016, ‘Discerning the signs of the times’, Professoriate Dinner Address, Western Sydney University, Sydney.

Sidoti, E 2016, ‘The way of the reformer: Gough Whitlam & Australia today, invited address, Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, Sydney.


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