Honouring the legacy of Don Dunstan, the Foundation promotes visionary leadership and progressive thinking within government and the private sector in South Australia, by furthering debate and action on key public policy issues.

We work with local, national and international stakeholders who share the values of the Foundation and provide support to our projects and program. On our own initiative or by bringing together researchers, policy makers and community members we influence decisions taken and ensure outcomes for a fairer, progressive and more tolerant society.

For more information about the foundation visit our full website


The Don Dunstan Foundation was established in 1999 with a view to perpetuating the memory of Don Dunstan and reflecting his life’s work through fostering research, education and discussion on a broad range of issues, including social development and areas consistent with the Foundation’s Deed of Trust such as literature, the arts and food and wine.

The Foundation is a public charitable trust established by a Deed of Trust and is a registered tax-deductible gift recipient organisation. The Foundation enjoys the support of the State Government, the University of Adelaide and Flinders University. It also relies on the support of individuals and organisations both public and private to continue with its work. The Foundation is located at the University of Adelaide and receives financial and in-kind support from the University and in-kind support from Flinders University.


The Don Dunstan Foundation has a Mission to:

  • be a rich reservoir of innovative ideas and information about reshaping our future
  • facilitate collective debate and action to enliven participatory democracy
  • build a bridge between academic analysis, government policy and the people


In its work the Foundation will be guided by its fundamental values:

  • Respect for fundamental human rights
  • Celebration of cultural and ethnic diversity
  • Freedom of individuals to control their lives
  • Just distribution of global wealth
  • Respect for indigenous people and protection of their rights
  • Democratic and inclusive forms of governance


The support received to date has enabled the Foundation to establish a diverse program of activities. Recent activities have included:

  • Providing scholarships for two doctoral students;
  • Continuing to fund the an undergraduate scholarship through the Smith Family Learning for Life Scheme and establishing another in conjunction with Wilto Yerlo at the University of Adelaide;
  • Providing support for research programs on social inclusion issues;
  • Successful conferences, forums and roundtables on issues of public importance;
  • Presentation of the Annual Don Dunstan Human Rights Oration. Orators include Julian Burnside QC and Professor Peter Singer;
  • Commissioning the Don Dunstan Fellows program led by Professor Julian Disney and promoting improved community relations with our near international neighbours;
  • Sponsoring publications on South Australian public policy;
  • Sponsoring a Dunstan Decade oral history and biographical project;
  • and Involvement as an industry partner in Australian Research Council grants and research projects