The OpenAustralia Foundation is a pioneering charity whose vision is to transform democracy in Australia. Our mission is to give all Australians the tools they need to effect the change they want. We create technologies that encourage and enable people to participate directly in the political process on a local, community and national level.
We currently do this through our five websites theyvoteforyou.org.au, RightToKnow.org.au, OpenAustralia.org, PlanningAlerts.org.au and ElectionLeaflets.org.au. These websites aim at finding better ways of making government, the public sector and political information freely and easily available for the benefit of all Australians. This transparency aims to encourage and inform people about how they can make a difference.
The OpenAustralia Foundation is a strictly non-partisan organisation. We are not the government, nor are we affiliated with any political party. We are simply passionate about making our democracy work. We believe that we can help to reinvigorate Australia’s civic culture by using powerful and exciting new technologies to inform and empower people, to address the growing disconnect between the Government and the people who elect it.
In 2004 Matthew Landauer and Katherine Szuminska attended the launch of TheyWorkForYou.com, a British website that encouraged people to find out what work their political representatives actually did for them. This speech and the success of the website inspired Matthew and Kat explore the possibilities of setting up a similar site here in Australia.
Three years later Matthew was given the opportunity by his then employer Rising Sun Pictures to take a week of paid charity leave. He used this time to develop the first, very rough, prototype of OpenAustralia.org. Since that time, with the help of volunteers and the odd charitable donation the OpenAustralia Foundation has achieved an incredible amount.