Peter Botsman is one of Australia's hardest working, non-institutionally based public intellectuals. He is an Honorary Fellow at University of Melbourne, where he completed a Diploma of Education. Botsman has a strong sentimental attachment to the University of Melbourne which was also his late father, Dr. Peter Bernard Botsman's alma mater and where there are other strong family ties. For the past ten years Peter has worked on projects in Cape York, the Pilbara, the Kimberley, Arnhem Land, Shepparton and the NSW South Coast because of his interest in Aboriginal economic development and his work as voluntary national secretary of the ISX (Indigenous Stock Exchange). However he also continues to write and think about a diverse range of public policy, political and other issues.
Peter Botsman studied at Cornell University, New York, from 1972 to 1974 and completed a joint BA (Hons) degree at Griffith University, Queensland in 1976. Following a Diploma of Education from Melbourne University and a Master of Philosophy from Griffith University, he completed his doctorate at the University of NSW in 1987.
Botsman accepted his first position as a lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Technology, Sydney from 1986 to 1987. In August 1987 he was appointed Director of the Evatt Research Centre and in 1988 Executive Director of the Evatt Foundation. From1988 to 1996 the Foundation released a number of influential reports. Those which were co-authored, written and planned by Professor Botsman include: The Capital Funding of Public Enterprises (1988), State of Siege: Vertical Fiscal Imbalance and the Future of State Government (1989), The State of Australia Series Reports (1993, 1994, 1995 & 1996), Breach of Contract: Local Government and Contracting Out Services, (1996), Enterprise Bargaining in Higher Education (1994), Creating Jobs in Europe: Lessons for Australia (1996) and Unions 2001 (1997).
In 1991, Botsman won a Harkness Fellowship to the City University of New York and wrote USA Care: A National Health Insurance Strategy for the USA(Chicago, 1991). His work was well recognised in the USA, he was invited to President Clinton's inauguration in 1992 and continues to work with key American policy makers.
In 1997 Botsman was appointed Associate Professor in Public Health and Public Policy at the University of Western Sydney (Macarthur) and Head of the division of Public Health. Professor Botsman took up an appointment as Professor of Public Policy, University of Queensland and Executive Director of The Brisbane Institute from 1 March 1999 to 1 March 2001. During that time The Brisbane Institute emerged as Queensland's pre-eminent public policy forum featuring a wide range of international, national and local speakers.
In May 2001 Professor Botsman returned to Western Sydney as the Foundation Director of the Whitlam Institute and resigned from this position in November 2002.
Botsman is an inter-disciplinary public intellectual. His major publications have been written on a wide variety of subject areas including the banking industry, health research and development, the waterfront, the NSW power industry, unemployment, financing aged care, communityemployment co-operatives and a new model of family centred services for children with developmental disabilities. Professor Botsman's The Great Constitutional Swindle A Citizen's Guide to the Australian Constitution was shortlisted for the Centenary of Federation Prize in 2001 and his book with Noel Pearson and Mark Latham The Enabling State went through a number of print runs.
Botsman currently works hard as voluntary secretary of the ISX, editing Australian Prospect, writing a series of papers and books, contributing to national newspapers and working at a variety of consultancy projects. He works out of his home office at Eramboo Farm, Kangaroo Valley.