Insight
3
min read

Who are Australia’s major think tanks?

Published on
September 13, 2022
Author
William Wright
for GovConnex Research
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Guide to Think Tanks in Australia                                        

Everything you need to know about think tanks in Australia.

What is a think tank

Think tanks are organisations that exist to perform research and advocacy on different issues — often relating to policy. They usually employ senior academics who are considered experts in the organisation’s area of focus. Some think tanks are independent while others are aligned with certain lobby groups/political parties.

They play an important role in the political process, often aiming to influence policy in their area of interest. This is done by releasing research papers, developing policy recommendations, gaining media coverage, and lobbying relevant stakeholders.

How are they funded

Funding sources vary from academic institutions, private donations, government support, and political parties.

Key think tanks

Australia Institute - Independent public policy think tank with progressive policy values.

Lowy Institute - Independent foreign policy think tank.

McKell Institute - Labor Party aligned public policy think primarily focused on state government issues.

Grattan Institute - Independent public policy think tank.

Blueprint Institute - Independent classical liberal think tank with an emphasis on climate policy.

Menzies Research Centre (MRC) - Liberal Party aligned think tank primarily focused on federal government issues.

Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) - Independent public policy think tank with conservative policy values.

Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) - Independent public policy think tank with libertarian policy values.

United States Studies Centre (USSC) - Independent United States policy think tank based within the University of Sydney.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) - Defence and strategic policy think tank founded and funded by the Australian government. Closely linked to the Department of Defence.

Chifley Research Centre - Labor Party aligned public policy think tank.

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