Royal United Services Institute of Australia

United Services Institute of the Australian Capital Territory

Our Next Event

Thursday 21 September

Annual Members' Dinner

The Institute's 2017 Annual Members' Dinner, sponsored by Thales Australia, will be held at the Commonwealth Club, Yarralumla, on Thursday 21 September, at 1900 for 1930hrs.

The Council is delighted to announce that the Guest Speaker for this year's dinner will be Ms Kathryn Campbell CSCSecretary of the Department of Social Services. Ms Campbell will address the growing importance of cyber security and the Department's leadership in this field.

Registration for this event is now closed, but you may join our wait list by contacting our office: T 02 6266 3446; E

(Photo: Human Services)

Our Last Event

Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 August

On 22 and 23 August, the Centre for Military and Security Law, supported by the United Services Institute of the ACT, held a Conference that looked at how the Law of the Sea is coping with the pressures that are placed on it in the Asia-Pacific region. The Conference included an opening keynote address from Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, Chief of Navy, who reflected on the importance of the law of the sea for a mariner and practitioner, and also noted the role played by the rules-based order in securing Australia’s prosperity and that of the region. The Conference also included a second keynote address which was delivered by Professor Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg, a leading international authority on the law of the sea, the law of naval warfare and the law of cyber warfare, who identified some of the challenges that are posed by new technologies (including cyber) in the maritime domain.

The Conference consisted of six panels that considered the current relevance of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, detailed assessment of the 2016 Philippines-China Arbitral Award, and the threats posed to maritime security from the perspective of freedom of navigation, environmental degradation and climate change. The impact of these threats on the operation of navies and coast guards in the region was also a topic of focussed discussion. The concluding panel looked at how existing legal structures could cope with future maritime and security challenges in the region, and in particular how Australia’s responses to these challenges could be adequately met.

Attendance at the Conference was particularly pleasing, with more than 50 registered attendees as well as nearly 30 speakers/chairs. Media interest in the Conference was also evident, with mention of the Conference being held occurring on local radio and in The Canberra Times.

(Photos: CMSL)

President's Message

Major General Mike Crane DSC & Bar AM (Retd)


The USI of the ACT is committed to presenting a compelling program of activities, delivering value for stakeholders, and modelling best-practice governance.

In 2017, we are exploring in detail the 2016 White Paper's theme of Australia's security in the region.  We will present a number of speakers expert in this field, including an academic perspective and a range of policy practitioners.  Beyond this principal theme, we will present a selection of senior officials to hear updates on their agencies.  And we will continue to seize opportunities to engage other relevant speakers as they present.  We also continue to broaden the focus of our national security considerations - for example, we will hear a human security perspective at our annual dinner from Secretary of the Department of Human Security, Ms Kathryn Campbell CSC.

From a Council point of view, 2017 is a year of consolidating the changes we have made to our governance. We continue to work hard to implement the reforms identified in our 2015 strategic review.

About the USI of the ACT

The United Services Institute of the Australian Capital Territory (USI of the ACT)  aims to promote understanding of national security and defence issues.  Membership is open to all who have an interest in national security and defence.  We host a program of guest speaker presentations, usually once each month, and offer an annual bursary to an ACT-based doctoral scholar.  

Our Patron is Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd).  You can read his biography here.

Our next speaker can be found at "What's On", and a record of previous presentations can be found under "Transcripts" and Past Events.

Not a member?

Membership can be made through the website. Please click on the side up button opposite.

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Contact details:
USI of the ACT is located in Canberra. For further information please contact:

LTCOL Richard Maurice
Secretary USI of the ACT Inc.
CP3-1-155 Campbell Park Office

(membership and all other)

Mail address: 
Australia Post Mail to:
CP3-1-155 PO Box 7912 CANBERRA BC ACT 2610

0410 496 721 Treasurer

for Membership Inquiries
0477 358 580 Secretary

Special Thanks: 
The RUSIDSS-A gratefully acknowledges the support of the Department of Defence for its continuing assistance.

Queries on website and membership: 
Our major sponsor, Rolls-Royce Australia, underwrites the production of this website.

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