Our vision is for a tolerant, inclusive and clever Australia, enriched and enabled by a deep appreciation of the histories, ideas, and cultures of our people, and of people around the world.

The launch of the Australian Academy of the Humanities Strategic Plan 2020–2025 in June 2020 came at a remarkable time in our history.

In a world radically altered by the impacts of COVID-19, the need to strive for a humanised future seems more relevant and important than ever.

Our purpose remains clear and determined: to ensure the humanities in Australia thrive and excel, because we believe a better future for all humanity depends on ethical, historical, creative and cultural knowledge and expertise.

The Strategic Plan challenges us to consider what constitutes humanities expertise in 21st century Australia, to ensure that the Academy recognises, encourages and celebrates the full range of humanities excellence today, both within and beyond the university sector.

Download the Strategic Plan

Our objectives

The Strategic Plan provides a framework for our operations with flexibility to pursue new endeavours and adjust our operations in keeping with our purpose and objectives.

  • Preserve & advance knowledge

    Promote the advancement of Australian society by investing in humanities research capacity and encouraging global engagement and collaboration for researchers.

  • Inspire excellence

    Ensure that outstanding research across the humanities is recognised, encouraged and celebrated through our Fellowship election, grants and awards programs, and public engagement initiatives.

  • Inform & influence

    Be trusted and influential advisors to government, the media, and the research, education and cultural sectors, through evidence-led policy advice and development. Drive knowledge-sharing between government, research, industry and cultural sectors.

  • Lead & champion

    Promote the value and benefits of research and teaching in the humanities. Be the focal point for the Australian humanities community, including those studying, working or trained in the humanities.

  • Promote ideas, skills & creativity

    Empower communities, the economy and society through the sharing of cultural and creative knowledge and practice, and the skills required for a diverse, adaptable and creative workforce.

Our strategies

To fulfil our vision and purpose, and to meet our objectives, our Strategic Plan focuses on five strategies.

  • Shape a more diverse Fellowship

    To meet our objectives to ‘Preserve and advance humanities knowledge’, and ‘Inspire excellence’, we will shape a more diverse Fellowship that reflects the full range of humanities excellence today, both within and beyond the university sector.

  • Expand engagement and outreach

    To meet our objectives to ‘Lead and champion’ and ‘Promote ideas, skills and creativity’, we will develop and implement tools for improving public understanding and appreciation of humanities knowledge and skill

  • Increase visibility on issues of national importance

    To meet our objectives to ‘Inform and influence’ and ‘Lead and champion’, we will expand our network and our engagement on issues of national importance. Through these actions, we will help ensure ethical, historical, cultural and creative perspectives inform discussions regarding Australia’s future challenges and opportunities.

  • Reconcile & recognise

    To meet our objectives to ‘Preserve and advance humanities knowledge’, ‘Inform and influence’ and ‘Inspire excellence’ we will contribute to national efforts to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, knowledges and practices as foundational to our national story; and recognise the role and contribution of Indigenous researchers and knowledge custodians

  • Invest in organisational capability

    To deliver on all our objectives, we will focus on building a sustainable and innovative organisation with the right people, resources, operating environment and governance frameworks to deliver on strategy now and into the future.

Our principles

Everything the Academy does – our behaviour, our decisions and our actions – is governed by four guiding principles.

  • Independence

    We derive our authority and integrity through our independence from government, universities, commercial or other interests

  • Academic freedom & integrity

    We defend free and critical inquiry and the right of researchers to debate without fear of censorship or retaliation. In turn, we expect researchers to approach their work ethically, with integrity and rigour.

  • Collegiality & collaboration

    We seek to work with organisations with shared priorities and principles to better advance the humanities and, in doing so, the lives of people in Australia and abroad.

  • Diversity & equality

    We respect and value diversity, and we champion the principles of inclusion within all aspects of our operations, and across all aspects of life.