Social Policy


The Centre for Independent Studies remains at the forefront of social policy debate in Australia, with a focus on key issues such as welfare, health care, education and child protection. Ending the growth of the welfare state is a priority for the CIS social research team, as government spending on welfare continues to increase, seemingly unabated.

Since the 1980s, the CIS has been researching social policy issues, with the aim of promoting policies that emphasise personal responsibility and individual choice.

The CIS seeks a future for Australia that has individual freedom under a limited government. We believe that such a future would strengthen community life, leading to a more cohesive and flourishing civil society.

Follow the links for further information on our major social policy areas:



  1. FEATURE: How Think Tanks Work

    Jeremy Sammut | 20 Jan 2015 | POLICY Magazine

    How does a think tank influence policy? Research Fellow Jeremy Sammut explains.

  2. The Kinship Conundrum: The Impact of Aboriginal Self-Determination on Indigenous Child Protection

    Jeremy Sammut | 08 Dec 2014 | Policy Monographs

    This report argues that mainstreaming revolution in Indigenous policy should be extended to Indigenous child protection policy,... Read More...

  3. An Ounce of Prevention? A Toolkit for Evaluating Preventive Health Measures

    Helen Andrews | 26 Nov 2014 | Policy Monographs

    How can a policymaker predict whether a preventive health program will save money over the long term? These eight questions... Read More...

  4. Regulating for Quality in Childcare: The Evidence Base

    Trisha Jha | 05 Nov 2014 | Policy Monographs

    The report explores the evidence base for the recent National Quality Agenda reforms to childcare that mandate lower staff-to-child... Read More...

  5. FEATURE: The Legacy of Helen Hughes AO (1928–2013)

    Alan Tudge | 08 Sep 2014 | POLICY Magazine

    Helen Hughes dedicated the last decade of her life to improving policy for Indigenous Australians.

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Opinion & Commentary

  1. New Supported Living Pension would provide greater fairness

    Matthew Taylor | 02 Mar 2015 | SBS

    The final report of the Review in Australia’s Welfare System recommends what is probably the most comprehensive ... Read More

  2. Children are the victims of violence too

    Jeremy Sammut | 24 Feb 2015 | Daily Telegraph

    There are striking differences between the debate on child protection and the debate about family violence.... Read More

  3. Childcare places still come up short

    Trisha Jha | 24 Feb 2015 | Online Opinion

    The Productivity Commission’s report on childcare makes several important recommendations for making the sector more ... Read More

  4. Childcare report a vision of how things could be

    Trisha Jha | 20 Feb 2015 | ABC The Drum

    The Productivity Commission has done a relatively good job with its report on the childcare sector and put together a suite ... Read More

  5. Poor students likely to make poor teachers

    Jennifer Buckingham | 13 Feb 2015 | The Australian

    The Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) report released today unfortunately dismissed the opportunity to ... Read More

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  1. Monday's 'pension increase' a side show to the real reform needed

    Matthew Taylor | 20 Feb 2015

    With the Age Pension projected to account for 12 per cent of the growth in total spending over the medium term there can ...

  2. Morrison should reconsider ACNC backdown

    Helen Andrews | 20 Feb 2015

    New facts have vindicated Kevin Andrews’s strong position on abolishing the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission ...

  3. Can we trust the food nannies?

    Helen Andrews | 13 Feb 2015

    The dietary guidelines endorsed by the US and UK governments for the past three decades, which demonise fat as the number ...

  4. Don't pour funding into the leaky child care bucket

    Trisha Jha | 06 Feb 2015

    The Prime Minister's speech at the National Press Club this week was meant to set the tone for government policy in 2015. ...

  5. Does NSW have anything to learn about school entry policy?

    Matthew Taylor | 30 Jan 2015

    According to the Australian Primary Principals' Association (APPA) school entry policies need reform and should be consistent ...

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