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.


Welfare reform beyond decades of dependence, ‘dole bludgers’ and ‘double dipping’
Simon Cowan
31 May 2017 | OP156

Recent attempts to reform welfare have focused on the wrong elements of the system. In some cases, advocating tightening eligibility for unemployment benefits and single mother payments while simultaneously increasing the scope and cost of family benefits and pension payments. Blaming ‘dole bludgers’ will never…

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…

Media & Commentary

The ill-liberal equality campaign
Jeremy Sammut
06 September 2017 | Australian Financial Review

Bill Shorten says it is a “distraction” for defenders of traditional marriage to claim that same-sex marriage will threaten religious freedom in Australia. According to the nominal leader of the…

Green zealots anti-Christianism
Peter Kurti
04 August 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Children are once again being used in an aggressive Green/Left campaign aimed at imposing a hard line secular orthodoxy, contrary to everyday customs and beliefs. Last week, Queensland education officials…

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…