Australian Think Tanks


A selection of Australian think tanks arranged in a way to provide an understanding of their policy bent and political leanings.

australian think tanks


Left leaning

  • Australia Institute: a progressive think tank based in Canberra, it conducts research on a broad range of economic, social and environmental issues in order to inform public debate and bring greater accountability to the democratic process.
  • Australian Fabian Society: research and debate into progressive political ideas and public policy reform.
  • Australian Institute of Employment Rights: seeks to ensure fair and decent workplace rights.
  • Evatt Foundation: dedicated to upholding the highest ideals of the labour movement.
  • Per Capita: a progressive think tank dedicated to building a new vision for Australia based on fairness, prosperity, community and social justice.

Right leaning

  • Australian APEC Study Centre: a pro-free trade think tank run that supports APEC’s strategic, economic, social and educational objectives throughout the Asia-Pacific region through institutional capacity building and research.
  • Centre for Independent Studies: is an economically liberal and socially conservative think tank.
  • HR Nicholls Society: believes that in a modern society there is no intrinsic imbalance in bargaining power between employers and employees and the regulation of workplace relations should be minimal.
  • Institute for Private Enterprise: promotes the cause of private enterprise and argues for a reduction in the role of government.
  • Institute of Public Affairs: an independent, non-profit public policy think tank, dedicated to preserving and strengthening the foundations of economic and political freedom.
  • Sydney Institute: a privately funded not-for-profit current affairs forum encouraging debate and discussion.


  • Australian Strategic Policy Institute: an independent, non-partisan think tank that produces expert and timely advice for Australia’s strategic and defence leaders.
  • Grattan Institute: an independent think tank dedicated to developing high quality public policy for Australia’s future. [Founded in 2008 with a $15 million endowment from each of the Federal and Victorian Governments.]


Top 4

The top four Australian think tanks as rated by the 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI):

  1. Australian Institute for International Affairs (AIIA)
  2. Lowy Institute for International Policy
  3. ANU Strategic and Defense Studies Centre (SDSC)
  4. Centre for Independent Studies (CIS)

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