Grattan Institute is an independent think tank dedicated to developing high quality public policy for Australia’s future. It was formed in 2008 in response to a widespread view in government and business that Australia needed a non-partisan think tank providing independent, rigorous and practical solutions to some of the country’s most pressing problems.
These three words are vital to Grattan’s mission. We are independent, taking the perspective of the Australian public interest rather than any interest group. We avoid commissioned work to ensure this independence.
We are rigorous in obtaining the best available evidence from our own data analysis and from published work. And we are practical in articulating what governments should do to improve the lives of all Australians.
Grattan runs six policy programs: Cities, Energy, Health, Higher Education, School Education, and Productivity Growth. We chose them because we believe they are vital to shaping Australia’s direction as a liberal democracy in a global economy.
We also believe they are areas where fact-based analysis and lively debate can change the minds of policy makers and the public, and where key issues are not being resolved. All our reports and most of our events are free and can be viewed online.
Grattan began with a $15 million endowment from each of the Federal and Victorian Governments. BHP Billiton provided $4 million. In order to safeguard our independence, Grattan Institute’s board controls the endowment. The funds are invested and Grattan uses the income to pursue its activities.
In addition, the University of Melbourne contributes support in kind, most importantly by housing us in a building just off Grattan Street in Carlton, opposite the University. That’s how we got our name.
Grattan also benefits from significant support from companies and philanthropic organisations. Generous backing by the Myer Foundation, for example, enabled us to launch a Higher Education program in 2011. Our other Institutional Affiliates support the programs we choose to pursue, and ensure we have the funds to expand into new policy areas over time.