Staff profile - Ben Eltham

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Mr Ben Eltham

Position: Research Fellow (Grade 2)
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Arts & Education
Department: Centre for Memory Imagination & Invention
Campus: Melbourne Burwood Campus
Phone: +61 3 92517202 +61 3 92517202



Ben Eltham is a Melbourne-based researcher and writer. He is a research fellow  at Deakin University's Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention, where his research interests include cultural policy, cultural economics, public policy, cultural studies, media studies and the sociology of culture.

In addition to his academic research, particularly in the Australian cultural industries, Ben is also a widely-published writer and journalist. He is New Matilda's National Affairs Correspondent and artsHub's Industry Columnist. He also writes regularly about Australian politics, culture and the arts for a range of publications and media outlets including The Guardian, the ABC, Crikey, Meanjin Quarterly, ABR, Kill Your Darlings and others. Ben is a regular commentator on radio and television about politics and culture and has appeared on the Ten Network's Meet The Press and the ABC's The Drum, as well as numerous radio interviews. With Amber Jamieson, Ben co-hosts an Australian current affairs podcast () called The Thought Bubble.

Ben studied to postgraduate level in neuroscience at the University of Queensland before embarking on a career in the arts. He was the founder of Brisbane underground and emerging arts and cultural festival Straight Out of Brisbane and has worked at This Is Not Art and Melbourne Fringe. He has produced and toured performances to the Adelaide Fringe and participated in many different arts festivals as a speaker. He is the author of a play, The Pacific Solution, to be published by Currency Press in 2013, and has released three albums with his contemporary electronica group, Briztronix.

Ben is a Fellow of Sydney-based public policy think-tank, the Centre for Policy Development. He is currently completing his doctorate in Australian cultural policy at the University of Western Sydney's Institute for Culture and Society.


  • Bachelor of Science, University of Queensland, 1999


The Centre for Policy Development


Expertise categories

Knowledge areas

Australian politics, Australian culture, cultural policy, media policy, cultural economics, cultural studies, media studies, sociology of culture


Research interests

Australian cultural policy, cultural policy, media policy, cultural economics, cultural studies, media studies, sociology of culture



Eltham, B. (2012) Three arguments against soft innovation: Towards a richer understanding of cultural innovation. International Journal of Cultural Policy.

Eltham, B. and Westbury, M. (2010) "Cultural Policy in Australia" in Davis, M. and Lyons, M. (eds). 2010. More Than Luck: Ideas Australia Needs Now. Sydney: Centre for Policy Development, ISBN: 978-0-9808356-1-8. pp. 40-44.

Burns, A. and Eltham, B. (2010) ‘Catastrophic failure’ theories and disaster journalism: Evaluating media explanations of the Black Saturday bushfires. Media International Australia 137: 90-99.

Eltham, B. and Burns, A. (2010) Boom and Bust in Australian Screen Policy: 10BA, the Film Finance Corporation, and Hollywood's 'Race to the Bottom'. Media International Australia 136: 103-118.

Eltham, B. (2009) Australian cultural and innovation policies: Never the twain shall meet? Innovation: Management, Policy & Practice 11(2): 230- 239

Eltham, B. (2009) A 'game of nomenclature'? Performance-based sonic practice in Australia. Art Monthly Australia 225: 42-44.

Burns, A. and Eltham, B. (2009) Twitter Free Iran: an Evaluation of Twitter's Role in Public Diplomacy and Information Operations in Iran's 2009 Election Crisis. Proceedings of the Communications Policy & Research Forum (CPRF) 2009, 19th- 20th November 2009, University of Technology, Sydney, pp. 298-310.

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