Policy and Advocacy Program 

The Policy and Advocacy Program encourages fellows and social scientists to advocate for and advance the capacity of the social sciences to provide data, advice, and direction for policy development by government. The social science community is encouraged to be heard on important issues and to contribute to these programs.

In March 2003, ASSA welcomed the news the then Department of Education, Science, and Training approved additional funding to ASSA from the Higher Education Innovation Programme. Part of the condition of funding was the establishment of a Policy and Advocacy Committee. The purpose of the Policy and Advocacy Committee was to strengthen the role of the social sciences in the development of policy, and providing advice to government.

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 roundtables, writes submissions to government inquiries, makes representations at both public hearings and directly to senior policy makers and public servants, and produces Policy Papers, including by Australia’s most promising early career researchers in the social sciences. The two primary activities of the Policy and Advocacy Program are:


The Academy’s 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 selected areas of public policy requiring reflection, numerous perspectives. They ultimately formulate reform options which are original and 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, and The Adequacy and Sustainability of the Retirement Income System. The academy is grateful for support from our 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 expertise of our network of fellows, responding to government inquiries when the public policy challenges of the day call for independence and a range of 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, 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:

Dylan Clements
Programs Manager
Email: dylan.clements@assa.edu.au
Phone: (02) 6249 1788

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