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


Ending the Violence in Indigenous Communities
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, Marcia Langton, Josephine Cashman
05 December 2016 | OP152

Urgent action is need to address the epidemic of violence in Indigenous communities. Aboriginal women are between 37 and 80 times more likely to experience family violence than non-Indigenous women. For too long, the voices of the victims of domestic violence have been oppressed and…

MEDI-VATION: ‘Health Innovation Communities’ for Medicare Payment and Service Reform
Jeremy Sammut, Gerald Thomas, Peta Seaton
02 November 2016 | RR21

Health Innovation Communities (HICs) would essentially constitute an Australian ‘Silicon Valley’ for health – hubs for research and development within which the proverbial 1000 flowers will bloom as a plurality of different providers create novel health products and solutions. The good examples and real world…

Submission to the Productivity Commission on the Preliminary Findings Report: Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services: Identifying Sectors for Reform
Sara Hudson
27 October 2016 | CIS Submission

To improve Indigenous outcomes, there needs to be better management of overall funding and a strategy to coordinate how programs are delivered.

The Battle of Ideas: can the beliefs that feed terrorism be changed?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Denis Dragovic, Tanveer Ahmed, Peter Kurti
19 September 2016 | OP149

Defeating violent Islamic extremism has been a high priority for all western countries, including Australia, since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. However, the threat we face doesn’t so much come from zealots flying planes into buildings as from young people barely out of childhood and…

Mapping the Indigenous Program and Funding Maze
Sara Hudson
23 August 2016 | Research Report 18

There is much goodwill in Australia to improve Indigenous outcomes. However, too many programs are implemented because of their perceived benefit, rather than a rigorous assessment of what works. This research report maps the number of government and non-government Indigenous programs and potential level of…

Media & Commentary

Vale Michael Novak
Peter Kurti
24 February 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

When CIS hosted Michael Novak in 1995, he noted — with concern — people’s tendency to envy those who are more prosperous than ourselves. Novak, who died last week, insisted…

Closing the Gap Report -- F for failure
Sara Hudson
17 February 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

If the Closing the Gap Report was a school report, the government would get an F. Of the seven targets, only one is on track to be met — year…

Traditional culture at odds with closing the gap
Jeremy Sammut
16 February 2017 | The Australian

Nine years, tens-of-billions of dollars, and tonnes of national goodwill have not made much impression on the appalling gaps in social outcomes between the most disadvantaged indigenous Australians and other…

New Indigenous Commissioner is sole good news in PM’s Closing the Gap Speech
Sara Hudson
14 February 2017 | MEDIA RELEASE

As expected, the Prime Minister’s Closing the Gap report findings were bleak, Centre for Independent Studies Indigenous Research Manager Sara Hudson said. “Only one of seven Closing the Gap targets…

Rudd endorses ‘Stolen Generation’ double standard
Jeremy Sammut
14 February 2017 | MEDIA RELEASE

Kevin Rudd’s description of the removal of at-risk indigenous children from their families being “a new stolen generation” relies on an outdated understanding of the relationship between Aboriginal identity and…