Family Life

An open and liberal society is characterised by a flourishing civil society, of which strong families are a fundamental part. The family unit should be valued and subject to minimal government interference, but there are challenges to this principle. To what extent should the state support the family? Is paternalistic intervention in dysfunctional families justified? How and when should the state act to strengthen the family? CIS research on family life works to address these issues.


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…

Early Childhood Intervention: Assessing the evidence
Trisha Jha
20 September 2016 | Research Report 19

Early childhood interventions are programs that aim to improve a child’s development trajectory over the longer term. In the context of increasing disadvantage in welfare-dependent communities in Australia, governments spend considerable sums on these programs. The rationale is that investment, in theory, will reduce the…

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…

Untangling childcare and family policy
Trisha Jha
05 March 2016

Speech given by CIS Policy Analyst Trisha Jha to the NSW Liberal Party’s Rural and Regional Lunch on Saturday March 5, 2015. Thank you to Tobias and Hollie for inviting me to address you all this afternoon. I’d like to give you a bit of an…

The myths of the generational bargain
Simon Cowan
01 March 2016 | Research Report 10

There has been a marked growth in pension cost and cohort. The percentage of people of retirement age has risen from less than 2% to almost 11% between 1911 and 2011, while the percentage of people receiving the pension has increased from around 30% to…

Media & Commentary

Of work, single mothers and men
03 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Over the past 50 years the United States has, like Australia and other modern economies, experienced a dramatic rise in the percentage of single mother families. During the same period…

No dole for non-working sole parents
Jeremy Sammut
12 November 2016 | The Spectator

A new front in the ‘welfare wars’ has opened following revelations that a significant number of those dependent on welfare are receiving financial support from the government that exceeds the…

Privately-funded, better measured, more accountable social services
Jeremy Sammut
11 November 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

National Adoption Awareness Week has redrawn attention to the appallingly few adoptions in Australia — despite the appallingly high number of children in foster care that will never go home…

When the rubber hits the road
Trisha Jha
11 November 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Think-tankers cop a lot of flack. Australian think tanks don’t loom quite as large in the public sphere as they do in other, larger countries — where they are often…

Indigenous kids failed again
Jeremy Sammut
09 November 2016 | The Spectator - Flat White

The Family Matters report released by SNAICC, the peak Indigenous child welfare services lobby group, is a recipe for perpetuating indigenous child abuse and disadvantage. The ‘exclusive’ coverage of the…