Lowy Institute

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Group.png Lowy Institute   Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Lowy logo 800 wide.jpg
FounderFrank Lowy
HeadquartersSydney, New South Wales, Australia
Sponsored byCoca-Cola
Membership• Frank Lowy
• David Gonski
• Joanna Hewitt
• Angus Houston
• Martin S. Indyk
• David H. Lowy
• Steven M. Lowy
• Mark Ryan
• James Spigelman
• Glenn Stevens
• Penny Wensley
• Michael Thawley
• Allan Gyngell
• Peter Hartcher
Australian military-industrial think tank

The Lowy Institute is a think tank founded in April 2003 by Frank Lowy to "conduct original, policy-relevant research about international political, strategic and economic issues from an Australian perspective." It is based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. While the institute has alternatively been described as neoliberal, "centre-right"[1] or reactionary,[2] it can best be described as a foreign influence network.

Officially, its research and analysis aim to be non-partisan, and its active program of conferences, seminars and other events are designed to inform and deepen the debate about international policy in Australia and to help shape the broader international discussion of these issues.[3], but the problems presented exclusively from a US foreign policy perspective, and the debates designed to shape the discussion within narrow frames.

For an allegedly Australian think tank, the enemies are remarkably similar to US/Israeli enemies, and their talking points, 'Chinese threats' everywhere, Uighur genocide, 'Remaking the Middle East', etc. lead down the same narrow path of options of aligning fully with the US military/intelligence apparatus.

Founding & funding

Based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, the Lowy Institute was founded in 2003 by Australian-Israeli billionaire businessman Sir Frank Lowy.[4] Lowy, a veteran of the Israeli defense forces,[5] and close associate of two former Israeli prime ministers,[6] emigrated to Australia and founded Westfield Corporation, a global shopping centre company[7][8]

In 2003, Lowy reportedly endowed the institute with a donation sufficient to fund the first eight years of its operation.[9] His family continues to play a key role in the institute, with at least four "Lowy"-named people on the Board of Directors.

The institute registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, in 2012, as the "Lowy Institute For International Policy," and by 2019 was reporting over $12 million in revenues (including over $2 million from government), and over $9 million in expenses.[10]

The institute has also been funded by donations from the investment management firm, Manikay Partners; from a global accounting and professional services firm: Ernst & Young; and from a former Australian diplomat and cabinet secretary, Michael Thawley.[11]

The Institute receives smaller funding through membership comes from varied sources, including US multinational Coca Cola,the Wallenberg family (through Saab), EY, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, arms company Boeing, multinational miners RioTinto and BHP, Swiss bank UBS, the Rothschild & Co. The Australian government is also a member, as are some departments, such as the the Australian intelligence service ASIO, Australian Federal Police,Australian Attorney General's Office, Department of Defence and Office of National Assessments - this creates a direct influence link to senior bureaucrats in these units.



The institute publishes polls, white papers and rankings on various international affairs subjects—particularly regarding Australia and the Asia-Pacific region—and advocates for a proactive and globally engaged Australian foreign policy. It hosts conferences, seminars and other events. Its annual Lowy Lecture is the institute's "signature event," where a "prominent individual," from Australia or abroad, comments on Australia's global role and on global influences on Australia.[3]

The institute has hosted presentations by every Australian prime minister since 2003, as well as the NATO Secretary General, U.S, Vice-President Joe Biden, United Kingdom prime minister Boris Johnson, and various other Australian and foreign leaders.[3][12]

The institute commonly meets and interacts with Australian officials, and with visiting international leaders, and is a source of influence on Australian government. The resulting internal and external computer activity, including email traffic, which could be of interest to foreign powers, is credited with attracting information-harvesting cyber attacks on the institute, during and before 2012—comparable to similar attacks against U.S. think tanks. As is standard practice, the alleged attacks were generally attributed to China.[13]

Research programs

  • East Asia
  • International Security
  • Pacific Islands
  • West Asia
  • International Economy
  • Diplomacy and Public Opinion


The institute's website offers publications for free download. In 2006 the regular talks began to be recorded and made available on the website.[14]

Lowy Poll

The annual Lowy Poll surveys a nationally representative sample of the adult Australian population on foreign policy issues and is the Lowy Institute's flagship publication. It is wholly funded by the Lowy Institute and its results are widely cited in the Australian and international media. The Lowy Institute has also conducted opinion polling in Indonesia, New Zealand and China. The first Lowy Poll was in 2005.

Leadership & staff

Board of Directors

The institute's board comprises Australian policy makers and business people.[15]

Notable staff

Former staff


In 2012, the institute was criticized by Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner of Friends of the Earth Australia, alleging that the institute ran "a disgraceful propaganda campaign" to advocate for Australian uranium sales to India, in contravention of Australia's longstanding policy of refusing to sell uranium to nations who did not join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).[2]


Known members

4 of the 14 of the members already have pages here:

Allan GyngellAustralian Spook and Director-General of the Office of National Assessments (ONA) from 2009 to 2013.
Peter Hartcher
Frank Lowy
Michael ThawleyWhile Thawley Ambassador to the United States, the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement was established, opening Australia to US products.


Coca-ColaBeverage company. It forces poor people to use them as replacement for polluted water supplies... that CC caused.
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  1. https://web.archive.org/web/20191226101228/https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/06/11/lowy-institute-think-tanks/
  2. a b https://web.archive.org/web/20191226101218/https://www.foe.org.au/anti-nuclear/issues/oz/u/cc/rory-medcalf-lowy-institute
  3. a b c "What We Do," Archived 26 December 2019 at the Wayback Machine. Lowy Institute. Retrieved 26 December 2019
  4. https://web.archive.org/web/20191226101228/https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/06/11/lowy-institute-think-tanks/
  5. https://web.archive.org/web/20191226101228/https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/06/11/lowy-institute-think-tanks/
  6. https://web.archive.org/web/20191226101228/https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/06/11/lowy-institute-think-tanks/
  7. https://web.archive.org/web/20160422094414/http://www.scentregroup.com/about/board/
  8. http://www.smh.com.au/business/property/frank-lowy-to-retire-as-chairman-of-scentre-group-20151023-gkgrdb.html
  9. https://web.archive.org/web/20191226101228/https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/06/11/lowy-institute-think-tanks/
  10. Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20191226101241/https://www.acnc.gov.au/charity/7a1103c55e0dac2be4e377d01c55b88e
  11. https://web.archive.org/web/20191226101228/https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/06/11/lowy-institute-think-tanks/
  12. https://web.archive.org/web/20191226122010/https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_168351.htm%3FselectedLocale%3Den
  13. Ghttps://web.archive.org/web/20191226101218/https://www.afr.com/companies/the-lowy-institute-hit-by-chinese-hackers-20181203-h18nn3
  14. https://web.archive.org/web/20121028113730/http://lowyinstitute.org/
  15. https://web.archive.org/web/20171105211211/https://www.lowyinstitute.org/about/board