The John Cain Centre for Social Democracy

The John Cain Foundation

The John Cain Foundation was registered by a small group of progressive thinkers in Melbourne in 2013, led by former Deputy Prime Minister Brian Howe AO. The former Premier of Victoria agreed to the use of his name, widely recognised as representing integrity in politics, and the Cain family were closely involved in the work of the Foundation.

This work involved research and policy development, with emphasis on issues of immediate importance to Victorian and Australian citizens. The organisation maintained an overarching objective of advancing the values of social democracy in its work.

During its period of operation, the John Cain Foundation frequently partnered with other progressive think tanks and with Victorian universities. The close relationship with Per Capita suggested an opportunity to combine resources in pursuit of similar goals and the merger was effected in the first half of 2020.

The John Cain Centre for Social Democracy

The John Cain Centre for Social Democracy is a new centre that will sit within Per Capita as a result of its merge with the John Cain Foundation in 2020.

Per Capita’s work on social democracy will be undertaken under the banner of the new Centre, which will continue in the spirit of the John Cain Foundation. The Foundation’s two annual events – the John Cain Lecture and the Evan Walker Conversation – will continue within the new Centre. The John Cain Lecture will be given by a prominent public thinker on a topic of direct relevance to the time and to the pursuit of social democracy. The Evan Walker Conversation is convened in partnership with the University of Melbourne and Housing Choices Australia.

The Board and supporters of the John Cain Foundation welcome the new organisational arrangement and the growth it represents. It is an appropriate vehicle to honour the former Premier of Victoria, a giant amongst political leaders.