Social Work and Human Services: Australian social policy

Scholarly commentary: some key books and journals

The Library Collection can be a good starting point for finding books, journal articles, videos and other material in the UniSA Library collection. Here are a few example searches:

Learn how to search the library collection with our Interactive Tutorial  (15 min.)

Advanced search options databases can help you find more relevant, scholarly references that may not be available via the catalogue. View our full list of databases or try one of these examples:

Think Tanks

 "an institute, corporation, or group organized to study a particular subject (such as a policy issue or scientific problem) and provide information, ideas, and advice" Merriam-Webster dictionary

May be linked to a particular ideology, political party or funded by corporations or individuals.  

Media Watch: Disclosing the funding on think tanks
Media Watch episode 17, aired 17 May 2013 on ABC

The think tanks shaping Australia
5 part series on Australia's most influential think tanks by Christiane Barro, The New Daily, June 2019

The IPA has captured the Liberal Party
by Mark Buckley, Independent Australia, 22 March 2020

What are think tanks good for?
by John de Boer, United Nations University, Centre for Policy Research, 17 March 2015

Conference papers

Conference papers can be a great way to find up to date information, research trends and innovations on a specific topic because researchers often present their findings first at conferences. See the Find Information page for more

Peak bodies

Includes a list of member organisations

Research reporting defining peak organisations, their key roles and contributions, and how they operate in South Australia. The report includes recommendations for future operation and funding.

Feed: latest VCOSS documents

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Picture of mountain peak'Peak bodies' provide a leading role in advocating and influencing policy to achieve the shared aims of their member groups or associations. 

Hint: look for a 'publications' tab or menu option to locate submissions and more

Policy in the news

Find news reports, articles, television broadcasts and more



Visit the News Media guide, featuring news sources from Australia and around the world. Includes links to resources subscribed to by the Library as well as to freely available resources

  TVNews: A chief source for Australian television news and current affairs

Updated daily includes content from the free-to-air networks programs include: Dateline, Four Corners, Insiders, Insight, Media Watch, and Q and A.

TVNews records are available via the Library Collection. Example search: NDIS > Resource Type: Videos

Key sources of grey literature

 'Grey literature' is information that has not been published commercially.Take a look at some examples of grey literature in the chart below. 

conference abstracts conference papers patents statistics
blogs emails  preprints theses and dissertations
brochures  curriculum  policy statements translations
software government documents  reports videos
clinical trial register entires informal communications  repository content webpages
practice guidelines archival material  standards wiki articles  

For more information on Grey Literature, take a look at the Grey Literature & Other Sources Library Guide

 Search Tip:

Use Google to search across multiple Australian government website by including site:gov.au (or site:sa.gov.au to limit to South Australian bodies) in your search eg. site:sa.gov.au policy

Example Government websites

Web Archives

Find material that is no longer available on current websites.

Australian politics

Take a look at available resources held in the Library, as well as information on external Australian Government Resources in the Australian Politics section within the Politics and International Relations Guide 

Referencing with Harvard UniSA style

Below are a few examples of referencing in Harvard UniSA style.

Type of reference Reference list example
Media release Ley, S (Minister for Health) 2015, Government continues Medicare consultation, media release, 3 March, Department of Health, Canberra, viewed 2 August 2016, <http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/health-mediarel-yr2015-ley013.htm>.
Submission to parliamentary inquiry Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) 2015, Re: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015, Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, AASW, Canberra, viewed 2 August 2016, <http://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.ashx?id=4f6bb5db-76f4-46bb-a25f-cde80bc3ea20&subId=405118>.
Policy paper Maas, F & Hartley, R 1988, On the outside: the needs of unsupported, homeless youth, Policy Background Paper No. 7, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne, viewed 2 August 2016,  <https://aifs.gov.au/publications/outside-needs-unsupported-homeless-youth>.
Hansard Australia, House of Representatives 2003, Debates, 5 June, pp. 16248-16252.
Bill Health Legislation Amendment (Medicare and Private Health Insurance) Bill 2003 (Cwlth).
Act Mental Health Act 2009 (SA).
Newspaper article Cook, H 2014, ‘St Kilda housing at risk of sell-off in government review’, Age, 26 August, p. 12.
Television program Nine Network 2015, A Current Affair, streaming video, Nine Network, 20 February, TVNews.

Need more help with referencing?