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Bennelong Society

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

The Bennelong Society is a small organisation formed to promote a conservative view of 'Aboriginal policy' in Australia. It was founded in 2000 at a follow-up workshop to earlier conferences on Aboriginal policy organised by Quadrant.

The society states that it takes its name from "a famous Indigenous Australian -- one of the Wangal people -- who had a close relationship with the early colonists. Bennelong soon learned English and is known to have taught George Bass the local Indigenous language...He travelled with the Governor to England and was presented to King George III and returned to his country after three years away." [1]

The society takes an assimilationist stance on Indigenous issues, and attempts to discredit the ideas behind land rights and self-determination. It's upcoming conference is called "Leaving Remote Communities". Past conferences have included "Celebrating Integration", and "From Seperatism to Self Respect".

Mr George Savell (the former Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies) recently gave a talk at the Bennelong Society Annual Conference.


Founding members

Its founding members included:

Links to Other Groups

The Bennelong Society shares a post-office box and a phone number with the Lavoisier Group and the HR Nichols Society, and retired Western Mining Corporation executive Ray Evans played a key role in setting up all three.

The websites of the Lavoisier Group and the Bennelong society were designed by Chris Ulyatt, Editorial Director at the Institute of Public Affairs from 1991-1998. [2]


Current Board members

Contact Information

The Bennelong Society, Inc
PO Box 424 Collins Street West
Melbourne VIC 8007
Phone: (03) 9391 0862
Fax: (03) 9391 7390

External links

  • - Australian Government Indigenous Services website - page on "Integration & Assimilation" which features numerous Bennelong Society papers.
  • Brad Norington "The Idea Factories", Sydney Morning Herald, August 11 2003
  • Gary Johns, "Gary Johns: The land rights initiative has failed", The Age, February 7, 2006
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