About The Policymaker

The Policymaker, a digital publication of the James Martin Institute for Public Policy (JMI), invites contributors to make an argument drawn from their expertise or experience. Articles analyse public problems, present evidence, and propose solutions. The opinion article format is an opportunity to step back and offer a more reflective and rigorous perspective on an important or emerging policy challenge facing Australia at a local, state, or national level.

In keeping with JMI’s broader ethos, The Policymaker has a strong commitment to analytic rigour and clarity, as well as expanding policy imagination, while our editorial stance is independent and non-partisan.

Articles on The Policymaker are typically too specialised and detailed for a newspaper opinion piece but shorter than a full policy brief. Articles should focus on policy innovations and new insights on a significant, neglected, or especially hard policy challenge facing Australia, including in the future.

The Policymaker is aimed at an informed reader, without presuming specialist knowledge. The intended audience includes politicians, other policymakers, experts across disciplines, practitioners in relevant fields, and the interested public.

JMI’s tone is always constructive and respectful, with an eye to enabling government to solve problems. Critical analysis has its place – describing and contextualising a policy challenge – but the primary orientation and emphasis of articles on The Policymaker is forward-looking: meaningfully expanding policy options, and creating more space for policy pathways and experimentation that serve the common good.

We work collaboratively with contributors. Drafts are subject to editing for style, clarity, and length. Headlines and presentational elements are ultimately the prerogative of the Institute’s editors.

Approximately between 800 and 1,500 words. But our word length is flexible to ensure each article has enough scope for substantive policy discussion.

Articles should be submitted as a Word document.

We welcome authors submitting graphs, diagrams, pictures, or similar that add or enhance meaning, analysis, or comprehension to your article. For graphs (and other forms of data visualisation), please supply (if possible) source data so we can generate a version consistent with our platform’s style and appearance. Pictures or photographs are subject to appropriate permissions.

Embedded hyperlinks are required for references/sources, where relevant, including official documents (no footnotes/endnotes). Editors may also check for factual information on assertions made in the article.

Authors are expected to take care to avoid any conflicts of interest, or the appearance of such conflict. This includes declaring any potential conflict of interest. Authors must certify that submissions have not been plagiarised. Submissions must not be copyrighted elsewhere.

The Policymaker articles are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This means they can be copied and redistributed by others in any medium or format, so long as this is done for non-commercial purposes and appropriate attribution and credit is provided.

How to submit

Please send short pitches (1-2 paragraphs) for an article, or entire draft submissions, to When
submitting an entire draft submission, please include a one to three sentence biographical note, highlighting relevant
experience, a portrait headshot photograph, and link to your Twitter handle (if applicable). We will normally respond within
five working days.

Structuring your opinion article

One common technique for structuring an opinion article is to use a four-part formula. It is provided here as a resource to assist
the writing process when you are preparing your opinion article, not as a prescriptive formula.