Products – The Centre for Independent Studies

CIVIL SOCIETY AFTER COVID: On re-building a virtuous civic culture

Peter Kurti
17 June 2020 | AP10
CIVIL SOCIETY AFTER COVID: On re-building a virtuous civic culture

Australia faces an unprecedented economic and social challenge. In addition to economic recovery, the equally crucial work of civic repair is required as part of the social transition out of the Covid-19 pandemic. A strong civic culture will be integral to rebuilding prosperity.

Classical liberalism appropriately affords great importance to the liberty of the individual. However, that liberty finds its fullest expression in a society characterised by a spirit of reciprocity and respect for the wellbeing of others. Community, informed by recognition and acceptance of mutual obligation, lies at the heart of civil society, a key mediating component of the compact between state and citizen.

Governments can help uphold the principles underlying civil society – which include trust, commitment, cooperation, and obligation – by ensuring adequate levels of funding to support charities and not-for-profit community organisations through the economic crisis. These organisations, committed to general pursuit of the common good, already provide essential services across various sectors of the Australian economy; they warrant government support for their activities in this critical role.

As the country pursues a return to prosperity, restoration of a virtuous civic culture must be a priority for governments so that all institutions of civil society may once again perform effectively the essential roles upon which the wellbeing of so many Australians depends.

Latest Publications

Cancelling the Culture: Critical Theory and the Chasm of Incoherence
Peter Kurti
03 June 2021 | AP22

Critical Theory exerts a significant intellectual hold on the formation of policy and the conduct of discourse in the Australian public sphere. In its essential form, Critical Theory holds that there are many biases and imbalances of power in society which are hidden from view by dominant cultural structures, such as use of language and the ways in which knowledge…

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Back to Basics: A new model for business creation in remote Indigenous communities
Nyunggai Warren Mundine, Elizabeth Henderson
20 May 2021 | AP21

The past decade has seen significant growth in the Indigenous business sector fuelled by landmark Commonwealth policies such as the Indigenous Business Sector Strategy. However, these policies have not succeeded in remote Australia where Indigenous economic participation through business creation is most needed. This paper calls for an overhaul of the current approach. It outlines a practical model for business…

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Confronting Indigenous educational disadvantage: A Kimberley perspective
Lorraine Hammond
24 March 2021 | AP20

The challenges of education in Australia’s remote majority indigenous communities are complex and persistent. The best intentions and considerable resourcing over decades haven’t translated into consistently higher quality instruction and unfortunately, not a significant improvement in broader education outcomes. This paper documents the challenges faced on the ground by educators in Western Australia’s Kimberley Region, as well as the lessons…

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Implications of the Retirement Income Review: Public advocacy of private profligacy?
Terrence O'Brien
17 March 2021 | AP19

The recent Retirement Income Review (RIR) implies policies that would reduce after-tax returns to super saving, encourage faster spending of life savings and of equity in the family home, and minimise bequests.  Its approach would incline each generation towards consuming more fully its own lifetime savings. This paper demonstrates the RIR relies on contested Treasury ‘tax expenditure’ estimates that use…

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Victims of failure – how the COVID-19 policy response let down Australians
Monica Wilkie
09 December 2020 | AP18

The government response to COVID-19 has imposed restrictions on Australians unseen in peacetime. As Australians approach nearly a year of living under varying coronavirus restrictions it is timely to analyse governments response to COVID-19. Victims of failure – how the COVID-19 policy response let down Australians examines the policy response adopted by the National Cabinet, and individual states and territories,…

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