The Labor party aligned think tank is The Chifley Research Centre (CRC) that receives funding from the Department of Finance of $255,939.20. It is based in Canberra, established in 1996 and the Executive Director is Brett Gale. It has a small professional staff.
CRC is a progressive research institution with close ties to the union movement and the broader progressive community. They conduct research into economic, social and political policies, while they encourage the development of high quality public policy. Policy work and discussions topics include debates about the need for new environmental laws, what the future of work holds, tackling inequality, and how to close the gender pay gap.
The centre hosts a range of speakers and panel events across the nation, addressing current policy dilemmas and ideas for the future.
The Centre is named after Prime Minister Chifley who was a tall, large, ruggard looking man with greying hair and grey-blue eyes who had left school at 15, worked on the railways and later educated himself at night. He was a friendly, charming man who had a dignified countenance and was content to be referred to informally as Ben or Chif.
His wife Elizabeth was an invalid soon after they were married, she suffered from a rheumatic condition, lived in Bathurst and they had no children. Chifley had helped win World War Two but failed to deliver and then convince people for the delay in the oft promised peacetime dividend. He was an able administrator and a constructive leader who laid the foundations of Australia’s post-war economic boom that delivered comprehensive social and economic reforms. Oddly they don’t refer to Ben’s salacious past dying in the arms of his mistress Phyllis Donnelly which just makes him more interesting to political historians.
The website contains basic news information about the centre with landing pages also devoted to about, events, donations, publications, Ben Chifley, media and a contact page. On social media they have 3,381 Twitter followers and on Facebook they had 4,567.
Executive Director, Brett Gale has experience in government, policy and in the corporate sector. Brett had been Group Head of Government Affairs and Communication Strategy at Westpac. He has also served as a Chief of Staff to NSW and Federal Labor Ministers including Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen. Gale has also held other staffing roles including Media Adviser to the NSW Minister for the Olympics during the 2000 Olympic Games. He also has a strong academic record having received a Littauer Award for academic achievement and class leadership while studying for his Master of Public Administration at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and having worked at Yale University’s Office of International Affairs. He has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney.