The Balmain Institute is an Australian independent, incorporated non-profit organisation dedicated to generating informative discussions and fostering real conversations on topical issues both local and international.

We host a series of public talks and discussions that aim to be stimulating and intimate with expert speakers across science, arts, health, education, governance, economics and the environment.

The Balmain Institute respects expertise, reasoned argument and creativity.

Our talks program usually runs monthly from February to December. Everyone welcome!

Our COVID Plan

We are currently hosting our talks on Zoom.

We revise our plan in response to current advice from NSW Health.

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Event details

Balmain Meeting Room at the Balmain Town Hall. 
Details here

Doors open at 6.30pm
The events start at 7.00pm. Talks run for 45 minutes with a 15 minute Q&A, finishing at around 8.00pm

Admission is $10

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Watch past speakers on the Balmain Institute YouTube channel

Executive Committee

President:                 Florence McCarthy
Vice President:        Damien Stapleton
Secretary:                 Iraine Stevens
Treasurer:                Margaret Vickers
Anita Duffy, Ray Stevens, Bridgette Ikonomou, Angela Klemm, Sheree Waks.

Our supporters

We are grateful for the support of the Inner West Council and our local Independent bookshop Roaring Stories 268 Darling St, Balmain.

A brief history

Ten years ago, the Balmain Institute (BI) was founded as a not-for-profit, independent organization with the purpose of encouraging informed discussion in the local communities of Balmain and Rozelle. The focus was, and continues to be on, topical issues such as climate change, the arts, science, First Nations issues, corporate power, a free press, sustainable agriculture, and economics. Each year, the topics selected change to meet alterations in the national and international landscape. Our speakers were and remain local experts, scholars, journalists, economists, educators, students, historians, authors and actors.

With the COVID pandemic, the BI adopted and moved our meetings to Zoom presentations. Our speakers shifted to this technology and their input on issues such as China, Microfactories, COVID, and the upcoming US Elections, provided a wide range of people with the opportunity to participate in these presentations. Making any of this possible was through the generosity of viewers who made donations to us. We remain deeply grateful for their support.

With the advent of 2021, we have returned to our preferred mode of face-to-face gatherings, however sorry not to be able to share cheese and a glass of wine before our meetings. We hope our traditional form of gathering will continue, but the uncertain nature of the COVID strains and the limitations of current vaccines to new variants means our new normal is rift with uncertainties.

In any event, we welcome the participation of all those interested in sharing ideas and being stimulated by challenging discussions.