Matthew Lesh

Adjunct Fellow

In 2019 Matthew took up his current position of Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute in London, while continuing his affiliation with the IPA as an Adjunct Fellow.

Before moving to London, Matthew was a Research Fellow at the IPA (2016-2018) researching freedom of speech at Australian universities (inaugurating the Free Speech on Campus Audit), entrepreneurship and changing political values, as well as managing for a time Generation Liberty, the IPA's youth outreach project. In 2018, Matthew’s first book was published, Democracy in a Divided Australia, which examined Australia’s political tribes and the capture of policymaking by a new elite, while charting a path forward for a divided nation.

His writing has appeared extensively in the Australian and international media outlets, including The Australian, Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Australian Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, Brisbane Times, The Spectator Australia, The Huffington Post, ABC Opinion, Crikey, The Punch, Online Opinion, Spiked, CapX, and BrexitCentral. He also appears regularly on radio and television and has provided expert evidence to Australian Senate committees.

Matthew graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons), majoring in politics and international studies, and history. He subsequently completed a Masters in Public Policy and Administration at the London School of Economics. Matthew graduated from LSE with a Distinction and received the Peter Self Prize for Best Overall Result and the Joint Peter Self Prize for Best Dissertation.

Matthew has also worked for state and federal parliamentarians, in digital communications, and founded a mobile app development start-up.

Je Suis Bill Leak
20 October 2016

Je Suis Bill Leak

The idea that a cartoonist should be answerable to a government body for making a political point is yet another low in the use of Section 18C of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act. 18C makes it unlawful to ‘offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate’ on the basis of race or ethnicity. It’s under 18C that columnist Andrew Bolt has had two articles
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After Brexit, Anglo-Oz Relations Can Flourish
12 October 2016

After Brexit, Anglo-Oz Relations Can Flourish

Australia’s cultural, social and political history is entwined with Britain’s. We share a language, the Westminster democratic system, the common law and a respect for diversity, individualism and freedom. Australia’s modern incarnation was defined by British colonisation. As former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott put it last week, during a discussion of Anglo-Australian trade relations at the UK Conservative Party
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UK Nanny State Bullies Family Restaurants
1 October 2016

UK Nanny State Bullies Family Restaurants

The UK government’s nanny statist food ingredients and portion size policies are now being expanded to restaurants, cafés and pubs of all sizes. The government plans to set sugar reduction targets, calorie caps for particular products such as chocolate bars and muffins, and push for smaller portion sizes. If foot outlets, of any size, don’t follow the punitive guidelines they will be named and
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7 September 2016

Dead To History

A movement to censor our history is forming at Australian universities. Students and academics are campaigning for buildings and lecture halls to be renamed because of their association with ‘offensive’ historical figures. They no longer feel comfortable confronting, or even acknowledging, the past- instead, they want to expunge it altogether. Their first target is the renaming of the Richard Berry
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WARNING: This Article Contains Ideas That Offend
19 August 2016

WARNING: This Article Contains Ideas That Offend

Trigger warnings-alerts before content that could cause emotional discomfort-are an attack on intellectual freedom. The warnings change understanding, damage student mental health, and contradict the entire purpose of higher education: to challenge, not coddle, students. Following the concerning American trend, trigger warnings have quietly crept into Australian universities in recent years. They have become replete across student publications and organisations,
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Triggering Censorship
1 August 2016

Triggering Censorship

Political correctness runs rampant on campus as research shows that free speech is now under attack at Australian universities, writes Matthew Lesh In October 1951 University of Melbourne vice-chancellor Charles Lowe proposed restricting the use of campus buildings for political discussions. This suggestion came after three professors, at a public meeting held at the university a month earlier, advocated a
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A Pokemon In The Eye For Nanny State
13 July 2016

A Pokemon In The Eye For Nanny State

A new app is doing what years of nanny state programs and millions of wasted taxpayer dollars failed to do – get people outside, on their feet and living healthier lifestyles. Pokemon GO was released only last Wednesday and is already the most popular mobile application on iPhone and Android. The game puts players in aug-mented reality, based on real
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1 May 2016

Free Speech On Campus Audit 2016

Freedom of speech is under serious threat at Australian universities. The Free Speech on Campus Audit 2016 is a systematic review of intellectual freedom on Australian campuses using a methodology adapted from American and British assessments of university free speech. Each Australian university has been assigned a red, amber, or green speech ranking, based upon their policies and past actions.
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