Policy and advocacy program 

The Policy and Advocacy Program encourages the participation of Fellows and social scientists in engaging in debate, research or other activities that advocate and highlight the importance of the social sciences in providing data, advice, and direction for policy development by government. The social science community is encouraged to accept this invitation to be heard on important issues and to contribute strongly and with effect.

In March 2003, ASSA welcomed the news that DEST (Department of Education Science and Training (DEST), now under the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)), approved additional funding to the academy from the Higher Education Innovation Programme (HEIP). Part of the condition of funding was the establishment of a Policy and Advocacy Committee.

The committee’s principal responsibility is to strengthen the social sciences’ role in the development of policy issues and providing advice to government, and to advocate the role social sciences have in providing such advice.

The Policy and Advocacy Committee is Australia’s premier forum for providing social science insights and recommendations to government. As old communications barriers fall and policymakers seek expertise from an ever-expanding network, the academy is uniquely placed to provide advice to policymakers:

  • from some of Australia’s most accomplished social scientists
  • with a multidisciplinary perspective, across the social science spectrum
  • independent from government and universities
  • with a focus on practical solutions.

The Policy and Advocacy Program convenes regular Academy Roundtables, writes submissions to government inquiries and produces Policy Papers, including by Australia’s most promising early career researchers in the social sciences. The activities of the Policy and Advocacy Program are:


The Academy Roundtables are discussion sessions bringing together insider-knowledge and research expertise from the highest ranks of the public service, universities, the broader ASSA Fellowship and select early career researchers. By invitation, they organise discussion around a specifically selected area of public policy requiring reflection, a multitude of perspectives and ultimately the formulation of reform options that are original but also practical.

All Academy Roundtables produce a Policy Paper or more detailed publication, all available for public readership in the ‘Publications and Reports’ section of this website. Recent topics include Researchers access to microdata, The adequacy and sustainability of the retirement income system. The academy is grateful for support from our recent partner organisations, including the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Department of Social Services, Committee for Sustainable Retirement Incomes (CSRI), and many more.


The academy seeks to reflect the varied experiences and expert recommendations of our vast network of Fellows, responding to government inquiries when the public policy challenges of the day call for independence and wide-ranging specialties.

Inquiries are selected by the Policy and Advocacy Committee, often in consultation across the Fellowship. The views of interested Fellows are sought on each occasion, the resulting evidence compiled and given coherence, and then published online for public viewing.

If you are a Fellow and would like to recommend an inquiry question for consideration by the academy, recommendations are always welcome and can be received by the Secretariat.

For more information, please contact:
Mr Murray Radcliffe
Deputy Director
+61 2 62491788

Contact Information

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

    ABN: 59 957 839 703
  • Location: 26 Balmain Crescent, Acton, ACT 2601
  • Postal: GPO Box 1956, Canberra, ACT 2601
  • +61 .2 62491788
  • +61 .2 62474335
  • secretariat@assa.edu.au

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