We stand for:

  • Free Speech
  • Intellectual and Academic Freedom
  • Bodily Autonomy – your body, your choice
  • Equality – equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes
  • Search for truth via open discourse and the scientific method


A primary function of ASF is to provide a place where Australians who want to help build a healthier, stronger country can generate and test ideas for better institutions that embed respect for freedom and scientific approaches for society’s problems.

Our Directors

We aim to promote intellectual and personal freedom in public debate and public policy, including the application of classic scientific methods to the analysis of scientific questions, and the transparency, contestability and accountability of public decision-making.

Dr Arief Farid

General Practitioner

Arief is a general practitioner based in Melbourne, Victoria.

Prof Gigi Foster

Professor of Economics

Gigi Foster (Professor, UNSW School of Economics; BA Ethics, Politics and Economics, PhD Economics) works in diverse fields including education, social influence, time use, lab experiments, behavioural economics, and Australian policy. Named 2019 Young Economist of the Year by the Economic Society of Australia, she publishes in both specialised and cross-disciplinary outlets, and her innovative teaching was awarded a 2017 Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. She has filled numerous roles of service to the profession and engages heavily on economic matters with the Australian community, as one of Australia’s leading economics communicators, in the media and at live events. She is an author most recently of The Great Covid Panic (Brownstone Institute 2021, with Paul Frijters and Michael Baker) and Do Lockdowns and Border Closures Serve the “Greater Good”? (Connor Court 2022, with Sanjeev Sabhlok).

Prof Paul Frijters

Professor of Economics

Paul Frijters is a long-time Professor of Economics, among the top 1% most cited economists, having worked as a Professor at the University of Queensland and the London School of economics for over 10 years. He is currently working in Saudi Arabia alongside a visiting emeritus professorial position at the London School of Economics.

Dr Lise Legault

Medical Doctor

I am a Canadian Family Doctor/ GP working Down Under. I believe in individual rights, particularly bodily autonomy and freedom of speech. I think all people should be treated as individuals regardless of their immutable characteristics. I graduated from Ottawa University with an Honors Degree in Biology in 2007, Doctorate of Medicine in 2011 and completed my Family Medicine training at the University of Saskatchewan in 2013. I moved to Australia in 2014 to warm up. In my spare time, I like to fight for freedom and spend time with my two young boys in the beautiful Aussie sunshine.

Dr David Richards

General Practitioner & Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr David Richards is an Australian General Practitioner and Adjunct Professor at an Australian University in the faculty of medicine. He graduated from London University in 1984, having also completed an Honours Degree in Human Genetics and Immunology. He has peer reviewed papers for a major European Journal and presented at International Conferences on Genetics and Carotid Ultrasound.

Dr Julie Sladden

Medical Doctor

Julie Sladden is a doctor and writer with over 25 years clinical experience across multiple disciplines in Australia and the UK. She is a passionate advocate for professionalism, ethics and transparency in healthcare.

Executive, Advisory & Administrative

Founding Members & Past Directors

Prof James Allan

Professor of Law

Professor James Allan holds the oldest named chair at The University of Queensland. He practised law in a large Toronto law firm and at the Bar in London before shifting to teaching law and has taught around the Commonwealth, arriving in Australia in 2005. Allan also writes regularly for the Spectator Australia, the Australian and Law & Liberty in the US as well as semi-regularly for British and Canadian outlets. He came out against lockdowns, in print, as soon as they were imposed and never waivered from that position. His core research areas are moral and legal philosophy and anglosphere constitutional law.

Dr Christopher Neil

Doctor – PhD Cardiology

Dr Chris Christopher Neil has practised medicine for 20 years specialising in cardiology for the past 13. Since obtaining his PhD he has been involved in clinical research in a tertiary hospital context, including supervising multiple higher degree students.

Prof Ramesh Thakur

Emeritus Professor

Ramesh Thakur is emeritus professor in Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University.
Educated in India and Canada, Ramesh has held full time academic positions at universities in Australia, Canada, Fiji and New Zealand. He is a former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, principal writer of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s 2002 UN reform report, a Responsibility to Protect (R2P) Commissioner and one of the three lead authors of its 2002 report on R2P. He served for five years as the Editor-in-Chief of Global Governance.
His recent books include The Group of Twenty (G20) (Routledge, 2013), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy (Oxford University Press, 2013), Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015 (Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, 2015), Nuclear Weapons and International Security: Collected Essays (Routledge, 2015), The United Nations, Peace and Security: From Collective Security to the Responsibility to Protect (Cambridge University Press, 2006 and 2017), and The Nuclear Ban Treaty: A Transformational Reframing of the Global Nuclear Order (Routledge, 2022).