Welcome to the CPD

The Centre for Policy Development (CPD) is a public interest think tank dedicated to seeking out creative, viable ideas and innovative research to inject into Australia’s policy debates.

Our work combines big picture thinking about the future of government with practical research on options for policy reform. We give a diverse, cross-disciplinary community of thinkers space to imagine solutions to Australia’s most urgent challenges, and we connect their ideas with policy-makers, media and concerned citizens.

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Our activities

The CPD is a ‘think and do tank’. We create space for people who care about Australia’s long-term future to develop their ideas and we do what it takes to make those ideas matter.

This website is our main public face, supported by printed publications, events, and a strong media voice.

Past publications:


How can I get involved?

You can support our work by donating to the CPD. Small regular donations from CPD Supporters contribute to the strength of our independent voice in Australia’s public policy debate. The Centre for Policy Development is an endorsed research institute so all donations over $2 are tax-deductible.

We’re always looking for volunteers to help research, edit, and promote CPD publications, and to help organise CPD events. If you’re interested in volunteering please go to https://cpd.org.au/volunteer.

For information on how to contribute articles and policy papers please see write for us.

For web 2.0 addicts we’ve also got a CPD group on Facebook and a twitter account.

To receive regular updates on CPD events and publications, sign up to our mailing list.

Our philosophy

CPD is devoted to the simple idea that good policy can change lives. After years of hearing about what governments can’t do, shouldn’t do, or will inevitably stuff up if they try, our research and events explore how Australian governments can escape the short-termism of the political cycle and do what they do best, better.

The global economic crisis has thrown the fragility of Australian prosperity into stark relief, but we are yet to face up to the full extent of change needed to put our economy and environment on a secure, sustainable footing. We now have an opportunity to implement much-needed reform. To seize this opportunity we need a profound change in the way public policy is generated in Australia. We need to move from top-down, short-term ad-hoc ‘fixes’ to long-term, systemic renewal based on consistent principles, widespread citizen participation and a realistic understanding of how we live now.

The Centre for Policy Development believes that many public policies need to be reinvented to fulfil their original purpose – enabling citizens to cooperate to build our common wealth in ways that disconnected individuals, corporatised bureaucracies and unfettered markets cannot. Rather than presenting a ‘shopping list’ of policy demands, we join the dots between different issues and uncover the values and principles that underpin long-term solutions.

Australia faces increasingly complex challenges;
and there is often no one ‘right’ answer to problems such as climate change, dwindling water supplies, unsustainable debt or entrenched disadvantage. We believe that this makes a vigorous exchange of ideas more important than ever.

Our people

Miriam Lyons is CPD Executive Director, and members of our board of directors are listed here. Julian Burnside QC and Fred Chaney AO are our patrons. Our fellows carry out the research work of the CPD.

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