About CPD

Our vision and ambition

CPD develops long-term policy architecture to promote wellbeing, fairness and sustainability through our democracy, economy and society. Our goal is to develop practical and innovative policy ideas for Australia’s long-term future and foster a collaborative environment to make them achievable.

How we’re different?

CPD is about the big picture and the long term. We have an intergenerational focus. We combine domestic and international insights. We bring constructive policy thinkers together into innovative alliances. We’re open about our values and funders.

We do not just criticise current policies: we put forward practical solutions that can outlast political cycles and enhance the lives of current and future generations. We have an intergenerational focus. We want to grow the policies that can help Australia to thrive over the long term.

CPD is not an academic research unit, a lobby group, a campaign body, or affiliated with any political party. We’re an independent, non-partisan and evidence-based policy institute. We’re willing to think unconventionally and aren’t driven by hidden values.

How we do it?

CPD’s core model is threefold: to create, connect, and convince.

  • We create viable ideas from rigorous, cross-disciplinary research at home and abroad.
  • We connect experts and stakeholders to develop these ideas into practical policy proposals.
  • We work to convince government, business and civil society of the merits of implementing these proposals.

If CPD had to choose between size, output and impact – it would choose impact every time. A 21st century Australia needs think-tanks like CPD to be bold, purposeful and dynamic. Policy development is not about short-term populism – it is about choices that strategically advance Australia and avoid complacency.

CPD is pluralist. Australia faces increasingly complex challenges for which there is often no ‘right’ answer, whether it is climate change, debt or socio-economic disadvantage. CPD engages with a range of voices and decision-makers, encouraging cross-sectoral debate and collaboration.

Our board, research committee, staff and fellows have been deliberately chosen for their diverse backgrounds. There are academics, authors, economists, former advisors and bureaucrats, lawyers, business people, commentators and advocates. Together, we will prod and poke and unsettle, in the pursuit of better policy to position Australia for the 21st century. We will call out Australia’s opportunities and weaknesses without fear or favour.

What we work on

CPD has three interconnected policy programs:

  • Sustainable Economy: a long-term economic growth strategy based on environmental and social health.
  • Effective Government: a purposeful and proactive role for government for the 21st century.
  • Intergenerational Wellbeing : fostering social mobility and tackling disadvantage.

These programs are informed by three cross-cutting themes:

  • Australia in the World: connecting local, national and global issues.
  • Regions & Cities: tailoring recommendations to suit the respective needs and opportunities of cities, as well as outer metropolitan and regional areas.
  • Technology & Innovation: Embracing the digital edge, new ideas and collaboration.

We publish research papers and proposals on issues falling within this mix. Our team tests and promotes this research by presenting at conferences, holding events and roundtables, providing briefings and interviews, and writing for specialist and mainstream media.

In 2015 our initial priorities are the security impacts of climate change; valuing and promoting natural, knowledge and social capital; and the role of government in service delivery. We will also be convening an events series on The Long Term Now: The View from 2030.

Locations and donations

CPD has offices in Sydney and Melbourne and a network of experts and contacts across Australia and abroad. We’re non-profit: donations to our Research Fund are tax deductible.


“Within our democracy there is no shortage of advocates for vested financial, ideological and short-term interests. What the public needs is a sufficient fact base and organisations that argue persuasively on behalf of the many, not just a few. I commend CPD’s commitment to fairness, wellbeing and sustainability and its contribution to research in the public rather than sectional interest.”

– The Hon. Fred Chaney, AO

“Policy institutes can convince governments and businesses to take a longer term view. They should have a clear understanding of the challenges ahead, and bring unusual suspects together to secure outcomes consistent with Australian values. CPD delivers on both counts.”

– Janet Holmes à Court, AC

“It is to CPD’s credit as a think-tank that this report also identifies ideas about how improvements could be made, as opposed to just describing the problems.”

– Terry Moran AC

“CPD is highly regarded for the depth of its research and analysis, and has maintained the quality in 2014 with impressive work on irregular immigration, public sector efficiency, and the marine economy.”

– Prof. The Hon. Gareth Evans, AC QC