ACOLA is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that supports evidence-based interdisciplinary research.

Established in 2010, ACOLA is the successor to the National Academies Forum (established in 1995) and is comprised of a Council, Board and Secretariat.

ACOLA is the forum whereby Australia’s four independent Learned Academies – Australian Academy of the Humanities, Australian Academy of Science, Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering – come together to contribute to inform national policy and to develop innovative solutions to complex global problems and emerging national needs.

More than 2000 of the nation’s most eminent scientists, researchers, scholars and practitioners contribute to this rich source of expert knowledge.


The integrated application of the best thinking in Australian arts, engineering, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and technology, to assist the achievement of a healthy, creative, sustainable, democratic, cosmopolitan and productive nation.


To provide a forum that brings together great minds, broad perspectives and knowledge, to help solve complex societal issues for the benefit of Australia’s social, cultural, economic and environmental wellbeing.


ACOLA values excellence, creativity, inclusiveness, cooperation and multidisciplinary research.



  • To deliver policy advice to government on specific issues.
  • To promote that advice to the wider community and contribute to public debate.
  • To advocate to senior decision makers matters consistent with the objects of the Council on issues of major national policy.


  • To encourage research and scholarship across the disciplines.
  • To promote an appreciation of the value of national research and scholarship.


  • To enhance the prestige and visibility of the four Learned Academies.
  • To promote closer relations among the four Learned Academies.
  • To promote administrative efficiency through sharing of information and resources.

Key Strategies

Raise public awareness and understanding of the contributions that the arts, engineering, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and technology make to Australia’s well being.

Promote mechanisms that facilitate the linkage of research and analysis to policy formulation and its application in societal practice.

Encourage fresh, cross-sector ways of thinking about innovation and development and its relationship with the economy and society, as part of achieving a productive and sustainable Australia.

Identify ways to better harness the perspectives of all disciplines to solve complex issues.


ACOLA General Manager presenting on ACOLA at the 1st Pan-American Interdisciplinary Conference, Buenos Aires, March 2015