About us

The John Cain Foundation

The John Cain Foundation was established as an independent, not for profit company in  mid 2013. It is dedicated to raising funds for the promotion of research on issues of public policy, whether economic, social and environmental, especially those ‘over the horizon ‘ issues of importance to Australia’s future.

It will raise funds for collaborative projects with existing research bodies to generate new policy proposals for debate and rigorous testing by academics and the broader community. A central purpose of the Foundation is to honour the name of a great Australian who has made such an important contribution to public administration and policy.

We stand for:

  • the courage of ideas
  • a strong sustainable economy for the 21st century
  • reward for innovation & enterprise
  • fairness – opportunities for all
  • strategic long-term thinking
  • transparent accountable government

Why John Cain?

The name John Cain is synonymous with integrity. The former Premier of Victoria is widely seen as one of Australia’s most effective leaders.  He took Victoria forward with pride and respect.  His government raised standards for transparency, fairness and integrity. The Cain government of the 1980s achieved reforms in many areas.  It initiated a number of improvements in the law and policy for prisons in Victoria, including creation of the state’s first independent Solicitor General.

A Social Justice Strategy was agreed with stakeholders in all sectors of the community and formed the basis for reform of community welfare policies.  Improvements were introduced in education, including major reform of vocational education, in health, in management of the environment and in transport.  Urban planning policies were reviewed, resulting in new strategies for containment of the city, vastly increased opportunities for residential dwellings in the central business district of Melbourne and strengthening of regional centres such as Bendigo and Geelong. The record of achievement of the Victorian government under the leadership of John Cain is inspiration to renew the spirit of social democracy in Australia today.


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