What is the Centre for Independent Studies?

The CIS is Australia’s foremost classical liberal policy research organisation ensuring civil discussion begins and ends with good policy that protects the liberties and freedoms of all Australians.


To promote free choice, individual liberty,
defend cultural freedom and the open exchange of ideas.

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What does the Centre for Independent Studies do?

CIS conducts and publishes original research, books, and periodicals with the vision of a prosperous Australia achieved through free markets, free society, and limited government.

For over 40 years, the CIS research has been pivotal in Federal and state reforms across Australia, making the case for smaller government and capitalism. Our researcher’s work can be found in publications across Australia from The Australian, Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald, Q&A, ABC, and many more. Alongside our media outreach, original video, audio, and publications from CIS’s Policy Analysts, the CIS has a reputation for sound public policy proposals based on evidence and the goal of progressing human flourishing.

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What are CIS’s research areas?

In 2019 the CIS is focussed on 4 key programs: Economics, Education, Culture & Prosperity, and Foreign Affairs. Over the years our research has encompassed economics, Liberty, Healthcare, Social Policy, Indigenous Affairs, Government & Politics, Foreign Policy, Education, Culture, Religion, and Welfare.

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When was CIS founded?

Most backyard sheds contain lawnmowers and the odd spider, not the seeds of Australasia’s leading think tank on public policy. Yet, from these humble beginnings, the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) has developed into an organisation at the forefront of social and economic debate.

Founded in 1976 by Greg Lindsay, a young schoolteacher interested in classical liberal ideas, CIS was established in a period marked by much social and political discontent. The turmoil and controversy of the Whitlam years had given way to disappointment and stagnation under the Fraser government, yet the notion that governments were the solution to any problem prevailed, particularly in the media.

Click here for more history.

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Is CIS affiliated with the government or a political party?

No. The Centre for Independent Studies has always been an Independent research organisation devoted to advancing Classical liberal philosophy. We are strictly non-partisan, do not accept government funding, and rely entirely on the generous support of private individuals, foundations, and corporations.

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How does CIS get its funding?

CIS is a tax-deductible not-for-profit think tank. Funding is derived from the generosity of members, foundations, and private companies. Please click here to become a member or a generous supporter of the CIS.

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Why should I become a member of the CIS?

Your generous contribution to the CIS makes you a part of our growing, tight-knit community of scholars and supporters. Your investment in the CIS ensures good ideas are advanced through good policy.

CIS has helped lead the effort to make Australia a better, freer place.

From the Keynesian mindset that delivered economic turmoil in the 1970s, Australia would move into an era of sounder policy and more durable prosperity. We’ve enjoyed the longest boom in our history. The lesson: good policy really matters.

That was then. Today, we face myriad daunting new challenges (as well as some old ones) that threaten our prosperity and freedom. Now more than ever, a counter-argument is needed.

Governments can’t create optimism, wealth and jobs; only the private sector can do it. Innovation and progress spring not from bureaucracy but from the brilliance of individuals. And our civil society should be vibrant enough to tolerate all people of whatever ethnic, gender or religious persuasion.

With your support, the CIS will continue to champion a free, open and prosperous future — one that we can bequeath to our children and grandchildren with great pride and confidence. To help back this ongoing work, click here.

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Who is CIS’s Executive Director?

CIS is led by the executive director Tom Switzer, with a talented team of Scholars, Managers, and a talented Board of Directors.

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Who serves on CIS’s Board of Directors?

CIS is governed by a Board of directors of leading business and financial executives. More information on the current composition of the Board can be found here.

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Who are CIS’s scholars?

CIS’s scholars are some of Australia’s leading public policy experts. From a wide array of backgrounds ranging from education, government, private sector and universities. A list of CIS’s current scholars can be found here.

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Who are CIS’s officers?

A complete listing of CIS’s officers and senior management can be found here.

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I am a CIS donor or member. Can I visit the centre in Sydney?

CIS’s development staff is always delighted to meet with our donors or others interested in CIS at our headquarters in the CBD. We also host multiple events at our headquarters regularly. Please contact us any time or check out our upcoming events.

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I am a CIS donor or member, and my contact information has changed. How can I update my contact information?

We would greatly appreciate having your most up-to-date contact information to ensure your publications are delivered properly.

Phone: 0294384377 –inform reception you would like to change your contact details.

Post: Level 1, 131 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000

Email: office@cis.org.au

Drop By: Level 1, 131 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000

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How can I adjust the number of mailings that I receive from CIS?

We would be glad to adjust your mailings to ensure you receive only things that interest you. Please contact office@cis.org.au or 0294384377

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How can I recommend a friend who might be interested in learning more about CIS?

The Centre for Independent Studies is always looking to expand its circle of friends and supporters. If you know someone who would be interested in our work, please contact Judy Taylor at jtaylor@cis.org.au or 0294384377.

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I would like to discuss making a donation to CIS with a member of your staff. Whom should I contact?

We would be delighted to speak with you about supporting CIS. Individuals may contact Judy Taylor at jtaylor@cis.org.au or 0294384377.

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How can I obtain a copy of CIS’s annual report?

CIS’s annual report is available in PDF here. If you would like a hard copy sent to you, please contact Judy Taylor at jtaylor@cis.org.au or 0294384377.

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How do I contact a specific scholar?

Contact information for all of CIS’s scholars and research assistants can be found here.

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What is CIS’s ABN?

CIS’s ABN is 15 001 495 012

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Are donations to CIS tax-exempt?

Yes, most gifts to the Centre for Independent Studies are fully tax deductible except for membership. If you have questions, please contact Judy Taylor at jtaylor@cis.org.au or 0294384377.

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What is CIS’s annual budget?

Please see the financial page in our annual report for information on CIS’s budget.

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How can I make a gift to CIS?

CIS accepts gifts in a variety of ways, as listed below. For any additional information, please contact Judy Taylor at jtaylor@cis.org.au or 0294384377

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Do you accept online contributions?

Yes. To support the Institute with a secure online donation, please click here.

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Does CIS publicise the names of its donors and contributors?

CIS does not sell or share donor information with the public or any other organization. Our donor information is held in strict confidence to respect the privacy of our donors.

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Can I designate my gift to CIS for a particular program or scholar?

Donors may earmark their gift for any of CIS’s major policy areas or specific research projects. Please contact Judy Taylor at jtaylor@cis.org.au or 0294384377 to further discuss this option.

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Can I make CIS a beneficiary of my will or estate?

Yes. There are a variety of mechanisms for supporting CIS in your estate plans. For more information, please visit the planned giving section of our website or contact Deborah Hendeson at dhenderson@cis.org.au or 0294384377.

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How can I contribute to CIS’s endowment?

CIS’s development staff member would be pleased to discuss this with you. Please contact Judy Foster at jfoster@cis.org.au or 0294384377.

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Can I make a gift in honour of a friend or family member?

Yes. Donating to CIS is a great way to honour a friend or family member who shares the Institute’s commitment to limited government, free markets, and free society values. Please contact Judy Foster at jfoster@cis.org.au or 0294384377.

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Where is CIS located?

Level 1, 131 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000

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Who are the major points of contact in the development office?

CIS has a small development staff and spends just six percent of the Institute’s annual budget on fundraising—far less than other policy organisations. Please do not hesitate to contact our team with any questions you may have about supporting CIS at 0294384377

Judy Taylor, jtaylor@cis.org.au

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