Royal United Services Institute of Australia

RUSI of Western Australia



The aim of the institute is to promote informed debate and to improve public awareness and understanding of defence and national security.

Brief History

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) of Western Australia was founded in Perth in 1902. The original aim centred on improving the education of Service Officers by promoting the study of strategic and defence matters. A defence oriented library was established, which today contains a fine collection. The RUSI of WA is a Constituent Body member of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies Australia.

New RUSI of WA President takes Office in 2016

We welcome Louise Austen to her new role in leading Western Australia into a new era.


Ms Louise Austen joined RUSI of WA in 2008 and became Assistant to the Secretary in 2012, later becoming the Secretary and Treasurer.  Louise has her Bachelor of Arts (History and Politics, International Relations) and received her Master of International Relations from the University of Western Australia in 2013.  She is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Medicine with the Aboriginal Health Team at the University of Notre Dame, Fremantle.


Click here to download the latest (October 2015) Newsletter

Click here to download the latest (August 2012) version of the Constitution

Click here to download the latest (July 2014) Strategic Plan


2016 Click here to download the latest (April 2016) Newsletter

Previous Newsletters can be downloaded by clicking below:

2015 MarchMaySeptemberOctober

2014 FebruaryMarch, July

2013 February, MarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptember, October

2012 JanuaryFebruaryMarch, April, May, June, JulySeptemberOctober #2

2011 February, MarchAprilMay, June, JulyAugustSeptember

2010 February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October,

Recent Events at RUSI of WA

On Thursday 22nd October 2015, Commander Sean Noble, RAN, Commanding Officer, Joint Logistics Unit (West) spoke on:

Providing logistic support from Western Australia to enable Defence to train, fight and win

On Thursday 8th October 2015, Australian Greens Senator for WA, Scott Ludlum spoke onDefence and Climate Change

Senator Scott Ludlum discussed climate change as a multiplier of security instability, which looms as the greatest identified threat to global and regional security, observing how difficult it has been to get climate change recognised as a security issue in defence doctrine and procurement and suggest some ways forward.

On Thursday 24th September 2015, we heard Stephen Smith – Director, Perth USAsia Centre present: Perth: a strategic view to our region

Mr Smith is a Professor of International Law at UWA and a member of the Board of Directors at the Perth USAsia Centre. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Perth law firm Lavan Legal and a member of the Government and Public Sector Advisory Board for Ernst and Young Australians.

On Thursday 3 September RUSI WA held its AGM. See the table on the left for the new Council This was folowed by a presentation by Dr Alert Palazzo who spoke on: Resource Security, Climate Change and the Future Character of War

On Thursday 23rd July 2015, Derek Parks – Director of Aviation Services, Department of Fire & Emergency Services spoke on: The employment of aviation services and capabilities relating to emergency management in WA, including aviation first response. A brief introduction to the various state government, commercial and not-for-profit aviation services that employ a substantial aviation services, or have a first response or supporting role in emergency management.

On 26th June we had our one day History Conference: 1915- Western Australians at War and on the Home Front

Click here to download a transcript of one of the presentations:
Violent Lessons: Was the Gallipoli campaign central to the growth of tactical competence in the AIF?

18th June 2015, Mr L. Gordon Flake – CEO Perth USAsia Centre spoke on: Antipodean Perspectives:  How the world looks different from Washington DC and Perth

Thursday 30th April 2015 Jim Truscott spoke about his latest book:Snakes in the Jungle, Special Operations in War and Business - an overview of Australian involvement in operations in SE Asia in WWII, and more recently in Southern Rhodesia, Bougainville, Cambodia, Southern Ocean, Indonesia, PNG, Solomon Islands, the Olympics and terrorism.

Thursday 26th March 2015 (7.30 pm) - Mr Steve Lieblich spoke on: The Middle East in Flames

Thursday 26th February 2015, Ms Sarah PerrySenior Cyber Security Consultant, Thales Australia spoke on:

“People Not Packets – Cyber Security as an Intelligence Problem”

27th November 2014, Mr Graham Bentley AM, Director International Business Development, Lockheed Martin Australia spoke on: Joint Strike Fighter Project - A program overview of the Australian Defence Force JSF Program in relation to the US Joint Strike Fighter Program.

28 August 2014, we conducted our AGM. Details of the new Council can be found by selecting the Officebearers file (Top LHS)

25 July 2014, we conducted an all-day WWI history conference, co-badged with Curtin University

26 June 2014, Professor Benjamin Reilly spoke on: Australia as a Southern Hemisphere Power

Professor Reilly is a political scientist specializing in democratization, comparative politics and political development. He was formerly Professor of Political Science, head of the Policy and Governance program and Director of the Centre for Democratic Institutions in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University (ANU).

22 May 2014, Mr Victor Abramowicz spoke on: A View from Two Sides: Capability Development Group, the Defence Materiel Organisation & Delivering Combat Power to the ADF

Mr Victor Abramowicz described how the Australian Defence Force (ADF) goes about procuring major capital equipment in terms of drawing up its needs and requirements.

11 April 2014 Brigadier Alison Creagh, CSC spoke on: The ADF Theatre Project and the production of the ‘Long Way Home

10 April 2014 Commodore Peter Lockwood, Senior Officer WA spoke on: Defence Engagement and the Senior Officer Western Australia

Commodore Peter Lockwood is the first officer to be appointed by Defence as the Senior Officer West Australia (SOWA) working to The Secretary and CDF, a position stood up in response to a recommendation from the ADF Force Posture that Defence should create a new one star Navy appointment in WA to act as a senior representational officer for broader civil and interagency coordination and international engagement, due to the prominence of the ADF and Navy presence in Western Australia; and the increasing importance of the Indian Ocean.

27 March 2014 Lorraine Findlay spoke on: Prosecuting War Crimes – Can Theory and Practice be Reconciled?

Lorraine Finlay B.A (UWA), LL.B (UWA), LL.M (NUS), LL.M (NYU) is a lecturer in the School of Law at Murdoch University.  Her areas of teaching and research include criminal law, constitutional law, international criminal law and international human rights (which she teaches in Geneva as part of the Murdoch International Human Rights program)

28 November 2013 Colonel Michael Page, Senior Military Liaison Officer in the Directorate of Indigenous Affairs, spoke on: 'The Defence Ingenous Development Program'

The Photos below show COL Page speaking to the RUSI, and being thanked by RUSI WA President COL Michael Brennan.

   RUSI WA Photos

23 October 2013 Professor Sarah Percy, UWA spoke on 'Mercenaries, Private Military Companies, and Private Security Companies'

26 September 2013 Major General Simone Wilkie AM spoke on:

The Australian Defence College: Leading Defence Training and Education in Order to Build Defence Capability.

   Defence Photo

27 June 2013 Captain Angela Bond RAN, spoke on:

Refining an Officer for Command - Linking Postings and Skills for the Ongoing Development of an Officer.

Captain Bond assumed command of HMAS Stirling and as Senior Naval Officer – Western Australia on 17 December 2012

  Defence Photo

9 May 2013 Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO Chief of Army, gave a Blamey Oration, speaking on: “The Army’s Role in a National Maritime Strategy” Click here to download a transcript of this Oration

CA receiving the Blamey Medallion from Brigadier Duncan Warren AM, RFD

   RUSI WA Photo

21 March 2013 Dr Daniel Baldino, University of Notre Dame spoke on 'Cyber-Terrorism: The Phantom Menace?'

28 June 2012 there was an Evening Discussion – Afghanistan: Was (Is) It Worth It?

24 May 2012 the Secretary of Defence, Mr Duncan Lewis AO, DSC, CSC delivered the 2012 WA Blamey Oration

Mr Duncan Lewis AO, DSC, CSC joined the Australian Army after schooling in Western Australia for a 33 year career in the military In 2005, Duncan left the military and joined the public service to be First Assistant Secretary of the National Security Division within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. From December 2008, he served as Australia's inaugural National Security Adviser and was the Prime Minister's principal source of advice on all national security matters with responsibility for the strategic leadership of the national security community and the coordination of national security policy development and crisis response. (Photo courtesy Defence)

Click here to download a transcript of this Oration

24 May 2012 Major General Michael Crane DSO AM Spoke on: ADF Force Structure Review

Click here for a copy of the transcript

  (Photo courtesy Defence)

Blamey Oration

The RUSI of WA conducts a Blamey Oration every Year.

2010 - VADM Russ Crane Chief of Navy Click here for a copy

2011 Dr Ian J Watt AO, previous Secretary of the Department of Defence was unable to personally deliver his address but has provided it for the record.

2012 Mr Duncan Lewis AO, DSC, CSC Click here to download a transcript of this Oration

2013 LTGEN David Morrison AO  Click here to download a transcript of this Oration

RUSI of WESTERN AUSTRALIA - Library Catalogue

The RUSI of WA has a significant library of books in its Library. Contact Secretary to borrow. For your convenience the catalogue can be downloaded complete or by section. Click on links below to download:

Introduction to Catalogue

Part I: Books

Part II: Periodicals

Part III: Maps and Transparencies

Part IV: Fiction

Occasional Booklists

Piracy Booklist

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 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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