The Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas was established in late 2018 when philanthropist Judith Neilson committed at least $100 million to create a centre for journalism, based in Australia but with global reach and ambition.
Its purpose is to support and celebrate quality journalism in Australia and around the world during a period of historic transformation for the media industry. Through its grants and education programs, the Institute provides resources that help journalists and media organisations develop the skills and knowledge to produce outstanding work.
The Institute’s headquarters in Chippendale, Sydney, aims to become a lively international hub of journalistic activity and ideas, hosting debates and other events that promote informed and evidence-based public discourse. The Institute is non-partisan and governed by an independent board.
Judith Neilson is an Australian philanthropist, best-known for building one of the world’s most significant collections of Chinese contemporary art which is displayed at her White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney.
She maintains a long-standing interest in architecture and a range of humanitarian causes. She has endowed a Chair of Architecture at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) which leads research into innovative housing solutions for people displaced by natural disasters and conflict. The aim of this research is to meet immediate needs, but also to translate that knowledge into creating affordable housing solutions in urban environments around the world.
In 2017, she created the Judith Neilson Chair of Contemporary Art at the University of New South Wales and a Scholarship in Contemporary Art at the University of Sydney. She is also a Patron of Anti-Slavery Australia. In 2016, her charitable work and contribution to the arts were recognised by her appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and in 2018 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the UNSW in recognition of her philanthropy and role in furthering knowledge of contemporary art.
The board of directors provides governance and strategic direction for the Institute.
The International Advisory Council’s role is to support the board with strategic advice and insights into current journalism practice and international developments and help further the Institute's international connections.