The Brotherhood’s Research and Policy Centre is Australia’s largest social policy research centre in a non-government welfare organisation. In partnership with the University of Melbourne our multidisciplinary team includes international research and policy experts bringing us the most up-to-date and innovative research on social trends and issues. From policy analysis to program design and evaluation, we produce a rigorous evidence base to inform social and economic policy leading to a more inclusive Australia.

Like the Brotherhood’s services, our research program is largely structured around four life transitions: the early years, through school to work, the working years, and retirement and ageing.

Some research activities cut across these transitions: such projects include those relating to refugees and to neighbourhood change

In addition we have a ‘critical issues’ research agenda, focusing on themes identified in strategic planning as significant for disadvantaged people and therefore requiring the Brotherhood to have a ‘national voice’. Current critical issues are inclusive growthsocial inclusion, climate change, taxation and financial inclusion.

Our research staff bring diverse academic disciplines and backgrounds to the team, and are supported by the staff and resources of the Brotherhood’s specialist library.

In 2013, the Brotherhood of St Laurence entered a new five-year partnership with the University of Melbourne. Through this partnership we are working together to create evidence for policy and to improve decision makers’ understanding of  inclusive growth to create a fair, compassionate and just society.

Read more in the Research and Policy Centre annual reports

Research publications

Research reports
Reports from our research include literature reviews, program evaluations, policy analysis and insights from people experiencing disadvantage.

Brotherhood Comment
Our research newsletter, published three times a year, provides an overview of current research projects and policy analysis.

Brotherhood Update
Our monthly enews provides links to recent reports, working papers, submissions and information about research events, as well as general news from the Research and Policy Centre.

Social Policy Working Papers
This online series is a joint undertaking of the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Centre for Public Policy at the University of Melbourne.

Social inclusion workshop program papers
The Brotherhood’s contribution to a distinctively Australia social inclusion agenda is underpinned by a wide-ranging social inclusion workshops program.

Journal articles
Brotherhood researchers contribute articles to journals in a variety of disciplines. Recent articles are listed here, with links to the relevant journal.

Contributions to books
Brotherhood research staff have been invited to write chapters for social policy books published in Australia and overseas. Recent titles are listed here.

Research publications database
An online list of Brotherhood reports since 2002 is searchable by author, title, subject and date.

Research events

The Research and Policy Centre fosters dialogue through research events including a lunchtime seminar series, conferences and workshops including the social inclusion workshops program commenced in 2008.

Research consultancy

The Research and Policy Centre provides in-house expertise for all Brotherhood programs and high quality consultancy services to other not-for-profit and government organisations. Our research draws on insights from people experiencing disadvantage and from service delivery, as well as on national and international social trends. It spans many areas of social and economic policy , including education and training, welfare, early childhood, employment, retirement and ageing, and migration issues.

Research proposals and ethics approval

The Brotherhood is committed to undertaking research which is carefully planned and adheres to the best ethical principles. Read about our research proposals and ethics approval process.

Keep up to date

You can register to get updates of research events or new publications including Brotherhood Comment.

Contact us

Brotherhood of St Laurence
Research and Policy Centre
67 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy Vic. 3065
Email: research(at)

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Brotherhood Update enews

The September 2015 issue of our research enewsletter, Brotherhood Update, is now available. Subscribe here

Persistent disadvantage
CEDA Addressing entrenched disadvantage front cover

Brotherhood researchers Francisco Azpitarte and Eve Bodsworth wrote a chapter on the persistence of disadvantage for a new CEDA report Addressing entrenched disadvantage in Australia

Conference presentation on homelessness

Shelley Mallett Homelessness policy, programs and new models to address homelessness in the 21st century, August 2014

Annual report
Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood