This Diary summarises the legislative and administrative changes made in the social policy field during 1985 and 1986 by the Commonwealth government. The Diary provides a ready reference for research workers, and can also be used as a succinct and factual account of policy during the years covered. For the first time, education policies are covered by the Diary. This issue also sees the separation of community services from social security into a separate new section in line with the division in December 1984 of departmental and ministerial responsibilities. The Diary follows the format of the 'diaries' prepared by Helen Ferber and published in R.B. Scotton and Helen Ferber (eds), Public Expenditures and Social Policy in Australia (2 volumes, Melbourne, Longman Cheshire, 1978 and 1980). These 'diaries' covered the years 1972 to 1978. The first Diary in the present series covered events for the calendar year 1980, with the events of each year since then being covered by an annual Diary, copies of which are available from the sponsoring Institutes and Centre. Events for the calendar year 1979 were recorded in supplements to the first three issues of the present series.