The University of Sydney's Camperdown/Darlington Campus
Centres and institutes_

About the lab

Driving change for the common good
The prime focus of the Lab is to work with communities as they address the issues that matter most to them.

Sydney Policy Lab was created by people searching for practical answers to the question of how we can best arrange our life together. Its work reflects this, building relationships with and between people from diverse backgrounds to encourage greater empathy and understanding, supporting them to create community-led policies. We particularly seek to work with those who have been excluded from power.

Since our establishment we have demonstrated that this approach works and that our university is an ideal place to host it.

Sydney Policy Lab acknowledges the generations upon generations of Traditional Custodians who have held responsibilities for Country, “custodian-ing” it from one generation to the next. We acknowledge the cultural protocols of protecting and holding knowledges that have sustained culture and Country for over 60,000 years. 

Based in Sydney, we acknowledge the Gadigal Elders, past and present, and the beautiful Gadi Country where we work. We extend this acknowledgement to the Country, Elders and Ancient Ones of many other First Nations communities across Australia. We honour and respect the sovereignty of the many Nations where we live and work. 

We are committed to working respectfully with First Nations communities across these beautiful lands, seas and skies.

A critical piece of social infrastructure

Community building is becoming ever more important and the Sydney Policy Lab aims to help communities undertake it.

  • the Covid-19 pandemic, which exposed how cultural, class, geographical and age divides made tackling the virus and its social and economic consequences more difficult
  • the dramatic acceleration of climate change, whose bushfires and floods have global causes but local effects, often in communities not adequately equipped to cope.

Working together, we will do this by: 

  • adding world-leading research and lived expertise into the conversations that matter 
  • remaking relationships within the university and with local communities 
  • bringing our work to the attention of government to bring about policy change
  • connecting with philanthropists and policy partners (including analogous policy labs) across Australia and the world.

We are collaborative leaders, known for the success of our research and community-led policy design, and for creating a network of learning communities that cooperate strongly together.