About CPD



Our vision and ambition

CPD develops long-term policies to promote shared prosperity and sustainable wellbeing. We are independent, values-driven and future focused. 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 are 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 open about our values and funders, and dedicated to bringing constructive policy thinkers together into innovative alliances.

Our values commit us to:

  • a society that expands opportunity and social justice;
  • an economy that is clean, innovative and productive;
  • a government that is active and effective; and
  • a country that is respected for its leadership and cooperation.

Across each of these areas, we want to combine the best domestic and international ideas and insights and help build the dynamic, progressive policy agenda Australia needs to thrive in the long term.

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.

We do not just criticise current policies: we put forward practical solutions that can outlast political cycles and enhance the wellbeing of current and future generations. 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, long-term fiscal pressures or entrenched socio-economic disadvantage. We engage with a range of voices and decision-makers, encouraging cross-sectoral debate and collaboration. We’re committed to evidence, integrity, transparency and practical policy solutions – wherever they come from

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:

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.

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. Your support enables us to develop evidenced, non-partisan solutions for seemingly intractable problems. You help us work with government, civil society and business ​to bring these solutions to light. And you help us turn proposals into outcomes for the community.


“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