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About Us

Independent, rigorous and practical

Grattan Institute is 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 receive no ongoing government funding and reject 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. All our reports and most of our events are free and can be viewed online.

Grattan’s current policy programs are Budget Policy and Institutional Reform, Energy, Health, Household Finances, School Education, and Transport and Cities. All these policy areas are vital to shaping Australia’s direction as a liberal democracy in a global economy.

They are also 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.

Grattan has had a substantial impact on a wide variety of policy debates, as documented in its annual Impact Report.

Grattan began with a $15 million endowment from each of the Federal and Victorian Governments. BHP Billiton provided $4 million and the National Australia Bank $1 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. Other Institutional Affiliates support our programs, and ensure we have the funds to expand into new policy areas over time.

You can support Grattan Institute with a tax deductible donation, which will help us to continue to improve Australian public policy.