Centre for Civil Society
 Empowering consumers, families and communities

Organisation   Projects   Membership   Director   Contacts



We bring people together in each federal electorate (150 electorates around Australia) to work locally in engaging our communities and our  representatives in an agenda of empowerment of ordinary people and strengthening of civil society.
CLICK HERE to join us.


You can take charge of your social support, education and health care through a personal budget.
for further information.

Making a difference in our not-for-profits.
for further information.

up people who live in the same street or nearby to build community by doing amazing things with and for each other - on a national scale.
CLICK HERE for further information.
Mutualism, Third Way Thinking

CLICK HERE to find out more.


"The Left and Right have been as bad as each other. The Left has allowed its distrust of markets and endless faith in government to obscure the importance of civil society. The Right has been so focused on replacing the state with markets that it has forgotten how to cultivate a trusting society.

This is the politics of the absurd. The Left identifies with the good society but rarely talks about the mutualism and trust between people. The Right recognises the importance of moral obligation but gives the impression of trusting market transactions more than civil society.

Few things seem to happen anymore without a government law or market transaction to guide them. This is how record levels of GDP in Australia now sit alongside record levels of crime, social stress and family  breakdown. The political balance needs to swing back towards civil society.

This task, in fact, requires a new type of politics."

Mark Latham, Mutualism: A Third Way for Australia," 1999.

CLICK HERE to read more. 

An Invitation to Join Us

The Centre for Civil Society is a social innovation and public policy institute for the empowerment of ordinary people and strengthening of civil society.

The term 'civil society' refers to the relationships and associations that make up our life at grass-roots levels of society, in families, neighbourhoods and voluntary associations, independent of both government and the commercial world. Our aim is to strengthen civil society and empower people within it. 


The term 'civil society' does not refer to 'politeness' or 'civility' in public life, as important as this is. It refers to that part of society that is not part of the state, hence the term 'civilian' when used to distinguish a person in civil society from military personnel or state officials, or the notion of a civil offence in law which is an offence between persons in civil society rather than a criminal matter.

The 'not-for-profit' sector of organisations is one strand in civil society, alongside informal and voluntary forms of association and activity. The 'not-for-profit' sector is not more important than informal and voluntary forms of association, though it currently attracts far greater attention from governments, policy makers and academics than other forms of relationship and association.

In Australia, civil society is largely ignored in public life. Personal and social well-being is primarily determined in and by civil society, but discussion about civil society has been almost entirely absent from Australian public debate for the last century.

In the last thirty years in particular, a managerial revolution has swept through government, business and non-government organisations which has deeply marginalised civil society. Managerialism has had the effect of shifting agency and responsibility for personal and social well-being away from the relationships and institutions of civil society onto a class of public, private and NGO sector managers. This process has almost killed off the instinct for, and practice of, voluntary association, personal responsibility, and the shared generation of moral and social capital.

The Centre for Civil Society was established in 2007 to counter this marginalisation of civil society in Australian public life.

We run events, publish resources and organise change-makers in federal electorates across the country.

The Centre is dedicated to empowering ordinary Australians in our roles as community members, residents, consumers, parents, family members, modest owners of assets, small business proprietors, and volunteers.

Our core values are:

relationships and social capital
ethical conduct

The Centre relies on donations from ordinary people and income generated from events and projects.

You may donate to the Centre using this form or through PAYPAL.

We invite Australians from all walks of life to become involved in strengthening civil society and renewing our social traditions of working together, looking out for neighbours and strangers, offering a hand up rather than a hand out for those who need it, unpretentiousness, and inclusive, convivial community.



for details of our campaign for a Real Education Revolution.


CLICK HERE for info on the National Federation of Parents, Families and Carers.


Charlie Leadbeater, Jamie Bartlett and Niamh Gallagher have authored this highly influential Demos Report on Self-Directed Services and Personal Budgets.
to read Making It Personal.
Mutualism, Third Way Thinking

CLICK HERE to find out more.


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Family Carers
There are 2.7million family carers of people with a disability, a chronic or mental illness, or aged frailty in Australia. They are invisible to politicians and policy makers. Read more...
How to Use this Website
If you are visiting this website for the first time, please note that there are two sets of links - one at the top of each page; and a second down the left hand and right hand side columns on our various projects.

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