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:

Featured Publication


Homeland Truths: The Unspoken Epidemic of Violence in Indigenous Communities
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
25 July 2016 | OP148

Jacinta Nampijinpa Price’s speech is a powerful personal plea to stop the violence against women and children by men and in particular, indigenous males.  She talks about the need for positive cultural change and for Indigenous people to take back responsibility to resolve entrenched issues.…

The High Court, Democracy and Same Sex Marriage
Barry Maley
19 July 2016 | OP147

The High Court in 2013 overturned the understanding of marriage in the Marriage Act 1961 as an exclusive, voluntary, heterosexual union for life, and that the Constitution therefore allowed the introduction of same sex marriage if the Parliament so decided. It is argued that the…

The Democratic Deficit: How Minority Fundamentalism Threatens Liberty in Australia
Peter Kurti
12 July 2016 | Research Report 16

We are faced with a new kind of fundamentalism – call it ‘minority fundamentalism.’ It has all the features of religious fundamentalism, such as ideological fanaticism, intolerance of dissent, and a Manichaean certainty about truth and falsehood. The goal of the minority fundamentalists is to…

Society is Broken
Theodore Dalrymple
20 June 2016 | OP146

With experience as a prison doctor and psychiatrist, Theodore Dalrymple decries the impact of the welfare state and a culture of dependence in society. A phrase such as ‘a broken society’ should not be made to bear more meaning than it has. Societies do not…

MEDI-VALUE: Health Insurance and Service Innovation in Australia - Implications for the Future of Medicare
Jeremy Sammut
20 April 2016 | Research Report 14

For healthcare innovation to flourish there needs to be a real market for health services in Australia. Providers that deliver cost-effective, patient-centred care should be rewarded for increased efficiency and lower costs by being able to sell that value-proposition to cost-and quality-conscious purchasers. For innovation…

Media & Commentary

Mapping the Indigenous program and funding maze
Sara Hudson
26 August 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

More than $5.9 billion in government and not-for-profit funding for Indigenous programs is disappearing into a black hole because no one is really tracking what is happening to that money…

Direct democracy can be risky
Peter Kurti
26 August 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Plebiscites and referendums are supposed to get citizens more involved and make politicians more responsive. But exercises in direct democracy are always risky. Ask the people to express their opinion…

CIS welcomes government’s focus on improving Indigenous outcome evidence
Sara Hudson
24 August 2016

The Centre for Independent Studies, which this week published the research report Mapping the Indigenous Program and Funding Maze,  has welcomed federal government comments about improving outcomes and results for…

New CIS research: Billions wasted on Indigenous programs due to lack of evaluation and accountability
Sara Hudson
23 August 2016

More than $5.9 billion in government and not-for-profit funding for Indigenous programs has not delivered results because most of the programs are not subject to rigorous evaluation according to a…

Nyland report misrepresented those calling for increase in adoptions
Jeremy Sammut
20 August 2016 | Quadrant

Will the Northern Territory Royal Commission into the Don Dale scandal and the relevant issues pertaining to youth detention get to the root cause of the problem: the flawed child…