Social Work and Human Services: Australian social policy

Scholarly commentary: some key books and journals

The Library Catalogue 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:

Practise using the library catalogue with our Interactive Tutorial  (15 min.)

With 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

Navigate to the News media guide

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 Catalogue. Example search: NDIS > Resource Type: Audio Visual

Key sources of grey literature

 'Grey literature' is information that has not been published commercially. Government departments, institutes, professional associations and other organisations can be an excellent source of information.

Freely available material can include:
  • reports
  • statistics
  • submissions (responses to public consultations run by government
    or statutory authorities)
  • working papers
  • details of research projects
  • speeches
  • policy documents
  • legislation

Link to the Grey Literature research guide

For more information see the Grey Literature guide

 Search Tip:

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

Example Government websites

Web Archives

Find material that is no longer available on current websites.

Australian politics

Navigate to the Australian politics page within the Politics and International Relations guideCheck out the Australian Politics page
on the Politics and International Relations guide for more on Australian politics

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, <>.
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, <>.
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,  <>.
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.

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