About CIS

The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) is Australia's leading public policy research institute.

The Centre for Independent Studies supports a strong civil society in which liberty is paramount, families & education are valued, economic freedom & property rights are assured, & individual responsibility & initiative are encouraged.

The mission is to defend & promote:

  • Individual liberty and choice, including freedom of association, religion, speech and the right to property
  • An economy based on free markets and limited government
  • Democratic government under the rule of law
  • An autonomous and free civil society

Through public policy research and events, the CIS encourages debate among leading academics, politicians, media and the public. We aim to make sure good policy ideas are heard and seriously considered so that Australia can continue to prosper into the future.

We are proud to be associated with some of the greatest leaders in business and academia as visiting lecturers or as CIS members, staff and on the Board of Directors.


Since 1976, the CIS has produced valuable research that has shaped and influenced public policy. Our overall research agenda is set by our Executive Director, in consultation with the research staff, and the CIS Academic Advisory Council. As an independent think tank, we do not undertake any research on request.

Our diverse research program includes:

  • Economic policy & TARGET30
  • Social policy
  • Government and Politics
  • Foreign policy
  • Religion and Civil Society.


Events are a core part of what we do at the CIS and include an ever-growing number of lectures, workshops, seminars and conferences. Through our events, we examine wide-ranging issues that affect Australia and the world, and foster debate on what makes a free and open society.

  • The Annual John Bonython Lecture brings to Australia the forefront of international intellectual opinion
  • The Acton Lecture on Religion and Freedom examines the contribution of religion to free societies
  • The CIS Lectures foster public debate on CIS research and policy issues
  • Consilium is one of the premier conferences in Australia and is open only to invited guests.


Publishing is a central part of the CIS’ activities. CIS publications are available in our bookstore.

  • Policy Monographs combine extensive research and analysis
  • Policy Forums are compilations of speeches at our lectures and seminars
  • Occasional Papers present the philosophical and ideological underpinnings of the CIS
  • Issue Analyses are timely briefing papers on public policy issues
  • Policy Magazine is our quarterly journal, published since 1985, and a widely recognised reference for public policy formulation.

Liberty & Society Student Program

Liberty & Society is a program of weekend seminars designed to challenge the brightest young minds in Australia and New Zealand. The purpose is to bring together a group of undergraduates and recent graduates to discuss the intellectual basis and practical aspects of a free society. By targeting the opinion makers and policy formers of tomorrow, the CIS is contributing to shaping future policy in Australia and New Zealand.

Funding and Independence

The CIS is funded solely by private sector donations – from individuals, companies and charitable trusts – as well as subscriptions and books sales. 'Independent' in our name means:

  • We are politically non-partisan
  • Our research is not directed by our supporters
  • We do not accept government funding, nor do we derive any income from political parties or groupings.