Colleen Harkin

National Manager, Class Action Program and Research Fellow

Colleen Harkin joined the Institute of Public Affairs as a Research Fellow and as the National Manager of the Class Action research program. She holds a Master degree of Education, a Bachelor of Education, and has undertaken a post graduate course in High Incidence Difficulties and a Diploma of Teaching.

Colleen has been a classroom teacher in both primary and secondary schools, across government and private schools. She has also worked as an education consultant in Australia and in Japan.

Colleen also has experience in the IT sector, in business development and project management, and owned her own small business in the development of award-winning bespoke databases and widgets for a range of international clients.

Most recently worked with Hon Senator Jane Hume MP and returned to the classroom to occasionally engage in relief teaching.

As a teacher and a mother, Colleen is passionate about lifting standards in the Australian education system. Through her work at the IPA Colleen aims to undertake research and build resources that empower educators, parents and students with the knowledge and capability to become independent and proud citizens.

Colleen has served for many years as an executive committee member on a number of school and community sporting clubs and on the fundraising arm for the Royal Children Hospital She continues to organise an annual fundraising event for RCH. She has been politically active throughout her life in both fund raising and policy input. She enjoys a good steak tartare, time at the beach, building and home renovations.

Colleen Harkin Discussing Teacher Shortages On The Rita Panahi Show – 11 June 2024
11 June 2024

Colleen Harkin Discussing Teacher Shortages On The Rita Panahi Show – 11 June 2024

The Institute of Public Affairs’ Colleen Harkin was on The Rita Panahi Show to discuss the IPA’s research into the teacher shortages across the nation. All media posted onto the IPA website are directly related to the promotion and dissemination of IPA research. Below is a transcript of the interview. Rita Panahi: Joining me now is the national manager of
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Apparently, Mathematics Can Be ‘Racist’
2 May 2024

Apparently, Mathematics Can Be ‘Racist’

In this article Colleen Harkin contextualises and disseminates the findings of the IPA’s research into the national curriculum. It has been republished on the IPA website with permission. The views expressed are those of the author alone. The allegation that maths is racist and therefore needs to be ‘decolonised’ is not unique to ANU. Is maths racist? Professor Rowena Ball at
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Colleen Harkin discussing the National Curriculum on The Rita Panahi Show – 16 April 2024
16 April 2024

Colleen Harkin discussing the National Curriculum on The Rita Panahi Show – 16 April 2024

The Institute of Public Affairs’ Colleen Harkin was on The Rita Panahi Show to discuss the IPA’s research into the national curriculum. All media posted onto the IPA website are directly related to the promotion and dissemination of IPA research. Below is a transcript of the interview. Rita Panahi:Welcome back. Mathematics skills across the country have been falling for two
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Turning Students Into Barely Literate Social Justice Warriors
14 December 2023

Turning Students Into Barely Literate Social Justice Warriors

In this article Colleen Harkin contextualises and disseminates the findings of the IPA’s research into student aptitude and general education effectiveness in correlation with PISA rankings data. It has been republished on the IPA website with permission. The views expressed are those of the author alone. The recently released results of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) confirm yet
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Latest PISA Rankings Confirm Long-Term Decline In Australian Student Achievement
6 December 2023

Latest PISA Rankings Confirm Long-Term Decline In Australian Student Achievement

“Australia’s education system and the National Curriculum are failing our students, as new international data shows the dramatic decline in academic achievement over the last two decades,” said Colleen Harkin, National Manager of the Institute of Public Affairs’ Class Action program. Late last night, the OECD released its 2022 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores. PISA measures 15-year-olds’ ability
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Glib Advertising Will Not Enable ‘That’ Teacher
15 November 2023

Glib Advertising Will Not Enable ‘That’ Teacher

This article was originally published in The Spectator Australia on or about 15 November 2023 and was written by the author in their capacity as a contributor for that publication.  It has been republished on the IPA website with permission. The views expressed are those of the author alone. ‘Be that teacher’ is a new $10 million advertising blitz by federal, state,
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Centralisation, The Voice, And Why The National Curriculum Should Be Abandoned
1 November 2023

Centralisation, The Voice, And Why The National Curriculum Should Be Abandoned

In this article, Colleen Harkin contextualises and disseminates the findings of the IPA’s research into the national curriculum, conducted as part of the IPA’s Class Action Program. The Class Action Program was established in 2022 to analyse Australia’s national curriculum and improve Australia’s educational standards. Centralised control results in a hierarchy of out-of-touch elites, neglects local agency, and creates unnecessary
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Learn From Sad History
20 October 2023

Learn From Sad History

Millennials’ support for ‘socialism’ would wane if they were taught more of its true nature and tragic history, report IPA Research Fellows Lana Starkey and Colleen Harkin. Long branded narcissistic, entitled, and politically apathetic, the ‘Me me me’ millennial generation—those born between 1980 and 2000—are now the largest voting group in Australia. If the polls are correct, their attitude towards
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Climate Change Catastrophisation, Curriculum Indoctrination, And The Detrimental Impact On Youth Mental Health
29 September 2023

Climate Change Catastrophisation, Curriculum Indoctrination, And The Detrimental Impact On Youth Mental Health

In this article, Colleen Harkin contextualises and disseminates the findings of the IPA’s research into the national curriculum, conducted as part of the IPA’s Class Action Program. The Class Action Program was established in 2022 to analyse Australia’s national curriculum and improve Australia’s educational standards. The deliberate, dishonest catastrophisation of climate change and environmental issues in our school curricula is
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NAPLAN Results Offer Proof: Australia’s Education System Is Failing
29 August 2023

NAPLAN Results Offer Proof: Australia’s Education System Is Failing

In this article, Colleen Harkin contextualises and disseminates the findings of the IPA’s research into the national curriculum, conducted as part of the IPA’s Foundations of Western Civilisation Program. The Foundations of Western Civilisation Program was established in 2011 to defend and extend Australians’ understanding of the influential, historical role of the West in establishing many of the liberties enjoyed
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