About us

The mission of the Institute for Ethics & Society

The Institute for Ethics & Society (IES) is one of three national institutes of The University of Notre Dame Australia. Founded in 2009, the IES aims to foster ethical awareness across the University and to enliven debate within wider society on questions of ethics and its interaction with faith broadly informed by the Catholic intellectual tradition.

We achieve these aims via four integrated activities:

  • Developing a vibrant research agenda in targeted fields of academic study
  • Providing expertise in ethics education for students and staff at Notre Dame
  • Delivering training services for industry in professional ethics
  • Facilitating public debate and engagement on issues of ethical importance


The IES pursues academic research on ethics and society that is philosophically rigorous, interdisciplinary, and informed by the Catholic intellectual, social and moral tradition. The IES has three research focus areas: Moral Philosophy & Ethics Education (MPEE); Bioethics & Healthcare Ethics (BHE); Religion & Global Ethics (RGE). The IES cultivates a community of scholars that includes IES affiliates and adjuncts, visiting scholars, research students, cross-institutional collaborators and industry partners.

Ethics Education

The IES serves the University by supporting and informing the teaching of Ethics across all faculties. We work alongside Notre Dame staff to foster the ethical development of our students, ensuring they can address moral issues of professional and social import. IES researchers regularly deliver expert guest lectures in ethics and provide curriculum consultancy. We have taught ethics to students in the areas of Medicine, Nursing, Media, Business, Law, Education and more. We aim to make Notre Dame a leading contributor to scholarship on Ethics Education in Australia and beyond.

Professional Ethics Training

The IES provides professional ethics training to clients outside the University. We have a track-record of successful and diverse professional engagements. In recent years we have been engaged to deliver ethics training by Government, commercial businesses and not-for-profits within a diverse range of industries.

Public Engagement

The IES is committed to promoting a rigorous and open public conversation about ethical and social issues. The QndA panel series provides a platform for prominent scholars, public intellectuals and community leaders to debate pressing contemporary matters. Scholarship at the Cathedral (in partnership with the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney) provides public lectures delivered by eminent intellectuals at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney. IES researchers also contribute to various media outlets, providing commentary on pressing ethical and social issues in public life.