The Centre for Civil Society is a public policy and social innovation think tank. Our aim is to generate ideas and organise change-makers to empower the little people and strengthen civil society. We aim to empower those who are invisible in public policy and political debate:

  • families (the foundation of society but unrepresented by any broad, mainstream movement)

  • consumers (our two main parties represent employers and employees, but not consumers)

  • people with disabilities, chronic and mental illnesses and their families/carers (the most invisible and vulnerable Australians)

  • the aged (regarded as being not glamorous, important or productive in our culture)

  • volunteers in communities (who are the glue in society but are unrepresented in any of our halls of power)

  • small businesses and independent owners (the backbone of our economy and employment but overlooked by governments)

  • individuals and communities who practice self-help (whose voice is rarely heard)


Self-help, empowerment, community, smaller government, inclusion, social capital, and ethical conduct.

Our Principles

Government and public policy should be built around:

Person-centred arrangements (services and institutions should be tailored to meet the personalized needs of individuals and their families - the 'one size fits all' model belongs in the dustbin of history)
Empowerment of individuals and families (transferring resources and power to individuals, families and their agents, enabling them to grow in community and capacity, not isolation and powerlessness)
Choice (individualised funding arrangements should become the norm throughout social and community services so that people can build the lives they want)
Subsidiarity (devolution of authority to the lowest level of practical decision-making)
Dispersal of ownership (the widest possible distribution of economic ownership amongst individuals, families and communities)
Inclusion of people across racial, cultural, religious and ability boundaries (ethnic, cultural and disability-based separatism is to be discouraged)
Openness and transparency in public institutions
Environmental sustainability (initiatives and programs of government should aim to enhance - or at least not harm - environmental sustainability)
Protection of civil society (initiatives and programs of government should strengthen - or at least not harm - relationships and institutions in civil society)
Neither Left nor Right but 'bottom up'

The Centre for Civil Society is not aligned with any political party. Our ideas and values place us in the centre of the political spectrum, between Labor and Liberal.

We are neither Left nor Right, but bottom up. The terms Left and Right belong to an era of top-down, authoritarian politics which is now redundant as we move into a new era of decentralization, community, choice, voluntary engagement in the service of others, global information distribution and communication.

CLICK HERE for a map of Left and Right which may help you locate our ideas and values and our 'people power' agenda. CLICK HERE to download and print a copy.

Centre for Civil Society 2007