Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies Australia


    • 27 Feb 2018
    • 13:00 - 14:00
    • Sydney Mechanic's School of Arts, Level 1, 280 Pitt Street Sydney

    Tuesday 27 February 2018 Speaker:

    Image Source: Sydney University

    Department of History, Sydney University


    This talk will examine the nature of Australia's response to Donald Trump's first year in the White House.

    It asks whether the heavy emphasis on sentimentalism has delivered real benefits to Australia, and how Canberra might respond to increased pressure from Washington to do more in the region, particularly in the light of the announcement that Harry Harris
    will serve as the new US Ambassador to Australia.

    The talk will also assess the ongoing debate within the TrumpAdministration on the direction of US foreign policy and itsimplications for Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

    James Curran specialises in the history of Australian andAmerican foreign relations. In 2013 he held the Keith Cameron Chair at University College Dublin, and in 2010 was a Fulbright scholar at Georgetown University. Prior to joining academia, Curran worked in The Department of Prime Minister and
    Cabinet and the Office of National Assessments.

    A non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, he is also a regular commentator on radio and television, and his opinion pieces on foreign affairs and political culture have appeared in major Australian newspapers as well as the Lowy Interpreter, China-US Focus, the East Asia Forum and the Council on Foreign Relations ‘Asia Unbound’ series.

    For more information about the professor, see these links,

    • 05 Mar 2018
    • 12:00 - 14:00
    • TPI House, 171 Richmond Rd, Richmond, SA

    Speaker:  Richard Price, CEO of Defence SA


    The Impact of Australian Defence Industry Policy on Australia and particularly South Australia.  

    • 06 Mar 2018
    • 18:00 - 20:00
    • RUSI Hall Victoria Barracks Brisbane

    RUSIQ Evening Lecture

    Tuesday, 6 March 2018, 1800hrs, RUSI Hall, Victoria Barracks, Brisbane

    Never Forget Australia!
    The Little French Digger, one of six poignant stories from the upcoming documentary based on Vikki Bennett’s recent book.”

    Last year, Vikki Bennett spoke to RUSI about her children’s book : “The Two Pennies”, Another story which she mentioned was that of a very young French orphan boy who was adopted by an Australian unit. The soldiers became so attached to their young charge that they decided to smuggle him from France to England and then from England to Australia.

    This they managed to do, not without some excitement.

    In Australia, he was “formally adopted” by Air Mechanic Tim Tovell. None of the soldiers, or this little boy knew his real name, so he was universally known as “The little Digger”. Vikki has just written a book on this story, entitled “The Little Stowaway” This will be published in March, so Vikki will have copies available on the night for us to purchase

    Presenter: Back by popular demand! Ms Vikki Bennett, well known motivator and author.

    Vikki will be accompanied by Ms Sally Elliott, a granddaughter of Tim Tovell, who will give an appreciation of this extraordinary story from the Australian side.

    SBS will be screening the documentary: “Never Forget Australia” on Monday 23 April at 8.30pm

    To register to attend this lecture, please phone Mr Bob Hume 0409 49 82 11, or email to, by close of business, Monday, 05 March 2018

    Access to Victoria Barracks requires that all attendees be registered for the lecture and to have their names checked off a list at the entrance to RUSI Hall. Names will also be registered with Base Security

    The cost is $10.00 for RUSI Members; and $15.00 for non-members (which includes supper)

    Please note: Registration is essential for Catering and Security purposes. 

    • 15 Mar 2018
    • 18:00 - 19:00
    • Spender Theatre, Australian Defence College, Weston Creek

    The Battle of Marawi

    Professor Clive Williams, MG

    The Council is delighted to announce another presentation by USI of the ACT Life Member, Professor Clive Williams.

    The Battle of Marawi was fought between the Government of the Philippines and it supporters (including Australia) and militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The battle commenced on 23 May 2017 and ran for five months. In this presentation, Clive will examine the background to the battle, describe its main players, sketch its course, and consider its implications.  

    The presentation will be held in the Spender Theatre at the Australian Defence College, Weston Creek, commencing at 1800 hours. Please join us for networking in the ADC Mess from 1700 hours.  

    You can register here, or by calling our office on 02 6266 3466.

    Members and guests are reminded that photo ID is required for access to the Weston Creek campus.

    (Photo and biography: ANU)
    • 16 Mar 2018
    • 11:15 - 14:00
    • Headland Park at Georges Heights off Middle Head Road Mosman

    Friday 16 March 2018

    The Institute, with the assistance of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, will be holding a presentation on the:

    “JAPANESE ATTACKS ON SYDNEY HARBOUR in 1942” by Military Historian LTCOL Peter
    Sweeney, RFD (Retd).

    The presentation will be followed by a

    Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Guide, MAJ ChrisBallantine (Retd).

    When: Friday 16 March 2018 Timing: 1115h to1400h
    Where: Headland Park at Georges Heights, off MiddleHead Road, Mosman
    Transport: Options include driving to and parking in Best Avenue, off Middle Head Road OR in Suakin Drive, off Middle Head Road; or catching
    the B244 Bus direct from Carrington Street, near Wynyard and alighting at the Cobbittee Street bus stop. Buses leave Carrington Street at 0935h, arriving at 1009h, or 1037h, arriving
    at 1110h. Other public transport options can be accessed on NSW Government Trip Planner on

    Conduct of the Event: A power point presentation will be given in Trust’s Board Room,
    followed by a short walk to a vantage point over Sydney Harbour where an oral presentation will take place. This will be followed by a tunnel inspection of the historic artillery emplacements near the Gunners’ Barracks.
    Where to Meet: Meet at Frenchy’s Café in Best Avenue off Middle Head Road at 1115h.
    What to Bring: Walking shoes, hat, water and umbrella should the weather be inclement.
    Cost: Cost for members will be $10.
    Fitness Levels: A moderate amount of walking is involved. Some vehicles will be available to assist our less mobile members.
    Booking: It is essential that you book with the RUSI NSW Office (Phone: 02 93932325) by Wednesday 14 March 2018.
    Lunch: Lunch and coffee can be purchased from Frenchy’s Café.
    Toilets: Toilets are located on site.

    • 27 Mar 2018
    • 13:00 - 14:00
    • Sydney Mechanic's School of Arts, Level 1, 280 Pitt Street Sydney

    Tuesday 27 March 2018 Speaker:

    Deputy Commissioner, Mandy Newton APM Deputy
    Commissioner, Support of the Australian Border Force

    Subject: The Australian Border Force

    This is open to any interested person and will be held at Sydney
    Mechanics’ School of Arts, Level 1 280 Pitt Street, Sydney – start
    time: 1pm.

    Attendance fees are: Members $10.00; Non-members$15.00.

    Pre-event registration is unnecessary. Tea/coffee is
    available before the lecture at no cost. A sandwich lunch is also
    available from 12 noon (cost: $8.00), but it must be ordered
    through the office (9393 2325) by 2 pm on the day before the

    • 12 Apr 2018
    • 18:00 - 19:00
    • Spender Theatre, Australian Defence College, Weston Creek

    The Council is delighted to announce a presentation by the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell AO, DSC, to be held in the Spender Theatre, Weston Creek, on Thursday 12 April, commencing at 1800 hours.

    In 2016, General Campbell addressed members and guests on the Ryan Review, which concerned training, education and doctrine in the Army. On this occasion, he will speak on The current and future Army. As General Campbell has now been Chief of Army for almost three years, this promises to be a rich and insightful session, not to be missed.

    Entry to this event is free but registration is required, either on the website here, or by contacting our office (E:; T: 02 6266 3446).

    Members and guests are reminded that photo ID is required for access to the Weston Creek campus.

    (Photo: Defence)

    • 10 May 2018
    • 18:00 - 19:00
    • Spender Theatre, Australian Defence College, Weston Creek

    The Leo Mahony Bursary is a significant element of the USI program. It is awarded annually to a doctoral scholar enrolled in an ACT university and studying in the field of national security and defence. It commemorates the memory and service of Founding National Secretary of RUSI-A and long-time USI member and Counsellor, Mr Leo Mahony.

    Connecting recipients with USI members is an important element of the Bursary.  We achieve this in a number of ways: recipients are presented with their award at our Annual Members Dinner; appointed Honorary members for 12 months; and invited to attend our events and functions. They are also asked to give a presentation on their work.

    The Council is delighted to announce that our 2017 winner, Ms Deborah Jeppesen, will present on her work on Thursday 10 May 2018.

    Deborah is investigating the attributes of military advisors that lead to success in Train Advise and Assist (TAA) roles. Her focus is predominantly on Afghanistan and Iraq, but she has also interviewed Vietnam veterans and allied security force advisors and senior commanders commanders in order to expand the applicability of her research. Deborah is focused on how interpersonal factors and emotional self-regulation can assist in building mentoring relationships. Concurrently, Deborah has designed and delivered bespoke performance optimisation training to Australian Special Forces based on her research. This training is aimed at improving commando capacity to regulate emotion & physiological responses to improve performance under pressure while building resilience. 

    Please join us for what promises to be a fascinating evening.

    Members and guests are reminded that photo ID id required for access to the Weston Creek campus.

    (Photo: Jeppesen)

Past events

21 Feb 2018 QLD: February Luncheon Lecture Guest Speaker - Rear Admiral Simon Cullen AM CSC RAN (Retd) - Chairman and National President Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies
08 Feb 2018 ACT: Professor John Blaxland: "Home Sweet Home: A Critical Historical and Contemporary Perspective on the Emergence of the Department of Home Affairs"
06 Feb 2018 QLD: RUSIQ Evening Lecture by Mr Nigel Allsop - "Animals on War" Since ancient times man has used animals to assist him in waging war.
05 Feb 2018 SA: Invitation to Luncheon Event - Hon Martin Hamilton-Smith MP - "Strategic Focus on the South Pacific sea, air, land and space"
01 Feb 2018 SA: An Evening with Senator Rex Patrick
09 Dec 2017 SA: Sundowner Barbecue - C A N C E L L E D - 1:00pm to 5:00pm
04 Dec 2017 SA: Lunchtime Presentation - Rajiv Chand and Ian Gladstone - Dementia & Health "The Unspoken Impact on Command and Leadership"
30 Nov 2017 ACT: Christmas Drinks
30 Nov 2017 VIC: Lunchtime Address - Dr David Hunt - "Likely changes in US defense posture in the Asia/Pacific resulting from the appointment of President Trump
28 Nov 2017 QLD: Military Modelling Special Interest Group - "Diorama Unveiling" & End of Year Function
22 Nov 2017 ACT: 2017 ACT Blamey Oration: Stan McChrystal: Leading in Uncertainty
15 Nov 2017 QLD: Lunch Time Lecture - Commissioner Katarina Carroll APM - "Today's Fire and Emergency Services in QLD" - "Undder One banner a Last"
14 Nov 2017 QLD: Evening Lecture - "Railways in World War One" "One part in a much longer Australsian military railways journey."
06 Nov 2017 SA: November Luncheon Speaker - Phil Palmer, SA Secretary of the Ambulance Employees Association - "What it is to be a paramedic (Ambo) in South Australia, the challenges and rewards."
31 Oct 2017 QLD: Evening Lecture - "The Charge at Beersheba and its Context" - Presenter Capt Adele Catts
26 Oct 2017 ACT: Dr Tony Murney: Police Development Challenges in Afghanistan and Somalia: A Personal Perspective
18 Oct 2017 QLD: Captain Adele Catts - "The Australian Light Horse in WW I"
10 Oct 2017 QLD: "Say Farewell to the Beersheba Diorama" - Military Modelling Special Interest Group
09 Oct 2017 SA: October Luncheon Speaker - Senator Cory Bernardi, Senator for South Australia - "A Conservative's View of Defence."
05 Oct 2017 ACT: Dr Alan Ryan: The Australian Civil-Military Centre
21 Sep 2017 ACT: 2017 Annual Members' Dinner: Ms Kathryn Campbell CSC, Secretary of the Department of Human Services: Securing our systems and data
13 Sep 2017 QLD: CAPT David L O Hayward (Retd) - " The Sovereignty Dispute in the South China Sea, Economic Considerations for the Military & Economic Security of Australia"
07 Sep 2017 ACT: 2017 Annual General Meeting
05 Sep 2017 QLD: Diane Melloy - " The Boys of Brisbane Grammar School, Soldiers of the Queen and the King, to the Boer War and to the Great War."
04 Sep 2017 SA: September Luncheon Speaker - Dr Romain Fathi " A different perspective on the First World War: The Frence Experience."
23 Aug 2017 QLD: MAJ Matthew Marcinkewycz - The Modern IED Threat
22 Aug 2017 ACT: Conference: The Law of the Sea in the Asia Pacific Region: Opportunities, Threats and Challenges
10 Aug 2017 ACT: Hon Dan Tehan MP: Cyber Security
07 Aug 2017 SA: August Luncheon
01 Aug 2017 QLD: 2017 LTCOL Rick Maher: "Gallantry -v- Leadership"
13 Jul 2017 ACT: Mr Scott Dewar, First Assistant Secretary International Policy, Department of Defence
03 Jul 2017 SA: Luncheon Speaker July - Imam Mohammed Tawhidi - "The Danger to Australia posed by Muslim Extremists"
29 Jun 2017 ACT: Air Marshal Leo Davies AO, CSC, Chief of Air Force: The Royal Australian Air Force: The Next Three Years
05 Jun 2017 ACT: Major General Kath Toohey CSC, Head Land Capability: Looking Ahead: the Australian Army out to 2025
05 Jun 2017 SA: June Luncheon Speaker : Chen Yonglin, Former Chinese Diplomat : "Exposing the Chinese threat to Australia's Sovereignty"
11 May 2017 ACT: Commissioner Andrew Colvin, APM, OAM: Australian Federal Police Operations in the Near Region
05 May 2017 WA: Invitation to Notre Dame Book Launch - "1915: Australians at War and on the Home Front" Edited by Daniel Baldino and Mike Brennan
03 May 2017 ACT: Seminar on German Maritime Security and Operational Thinking: Prof Dr Michael Epkenhans & COL Dr Gerhard Gross
01 May 2017 SA: Senator Nick Xenophon - Luncheon Speaker 1 May 2017 “Addressing the Adequacy of Australia’s Defence & Security Systems” -
01 May 2017 SA: LATE NEWS - INVITATION to LUNCHEON with Senator Nick Xenophon Senator for South Australia and Martin Hamilton-Smith MP JP - South Australian Minister for Defence Industries
06 Apr 2017 ACT: Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, Chief of Navy: The Royal Australian Navy: The Next Three Years
03 Apr 2017 SA: Jodie van Deventer- CEO Committee of Adelaide - "Future for Adelaide"
23 Mar 2017 ACT: 2016 Leo Mahony Bursary Winners: Mr Cameron Hawker and Major Leon Young
09 Mar 2017 ACT: Mr Graham Fletcher, First Assistant Secretary North Asia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: A Focus on the Region - Australia and China: conflict of interests?
23 Feb 2017 ACT: Prof Clive Williams, MG: Lessons Learned from the Battle for Mosul
09 Feb 2017 ACT: Dr John Blaxland: Australia & Regional Security: The Challenge of being an Indo-Pacific Middle Power in the Age of Trump
06 Feb 2017 SA: Luncheon Presentation "Saudi Arabia - Defence Attache Report"
13 Dec 2016 NSW: Lunchtime Lecture Tuesday 13 December 2016
08 Dec 2016 WA: Energy Security in the Indo-Pacific Century - Mr Andrew Pickford
30 Nov 2016 ACT: Dr Stephan de Spiegeleire: Capability-based planning: How does force design take place and how is that translated into capabilities?
29 Nov 2016 NSW: Lunchtime Lecture Tuesday 29 November 2016
24 Nov 2016 ACT: 2016 Christmas Drinks
10 Nov 2016 WA: November 2016 Lecture
09 Nov 2016 ACT: 2016 Blamey Oration: The Dragon and the Snakes: Emerging and Future Security Threats in the Post-Cold War Order: Dr David Kilcullen
26 Oct 2016 SA: Current Issues Briefing - The Australian Air Campaign in the Middle East 2000-2016
25 Oct 2016 NSW: Lunchtime Lecture 25 October 2016
19 Oct 2016 WA: An Evening with Mr Bob Jensen Senior Managing Director Strat3 LLC
13 Oct 2016 ACT: Contestability in Defence - Opportunities and Challenges
26 Sep 2016 NSW: Military History Seminar
22 Sep 2016 ACT: 2016 Annual Members' Dinner
08 Sep 2016 ACT: Annual General Meeting
08 Sep 2016 ACT: General Jim Mattis USMC (Retd)
07 Sep 2016 ACT: Naval History Workshop
05 Sep 2016 SA: RUSI SA Luncheon
31 Aug 2016 ACT: History Seminar Series: Western Front: Fromelles/Pozières and Beyond
30 Aug 2016 NSW: Lunchtime Lecture The ADF Reserve Contribution to Australia’s defence
25 Aug 2016 WA: August 2016 Lecture Dr Leigh Straw - The Mental and Physical Scars of War
17 Aug 2016 ACT: Dusted Off with Brett Hunt
04 Aug 2016 ACT: Chief of Army - The Ryan Review
29 Jul 2016 ACT: An Evening Inspired by Bean
21 Jul 2016 ACT: Analysing the 2016 Defence White Paper
04 Jul 2016 SA: July Luncheon
09 Jun 2016 ACT: Order of Australia Association (ACT) 2016 ADF Oration
06 Jun 2016 Global Solution for Humanitarian Emergency Shelter and Storage
02 Jun 2016 ACT Lecture: Mr Bill Farmer AO
23 May 2016 RUSI of SA - Current Issues Briefing
11 May 2016 ACT Lecture: Mr Peter Baxter
30 Apr 2016 QLD Seminar Program
20 Apr 2016 QLD Lecture Program
22 Mar 2016 NSW - Speak, Time (Location)

RUSIDSS-A Contact details:
Peter McDermott, Company Secretary. Herbert (Mickey) Michaelis,  National Support Manager and Hon Treasurer.            Queries on website and membership:

Mail address: 
CP3-1-155 PO Box 7912 CANBERRA BC ACT 2610. Telephone: 02 6266 3446.

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

Queries on website and membership: 
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