United Services Institute of the Australian Capital Territory
Message from the President:
The COVID 19 disruptions have affected us all individually and this is also true for the ability of the USI-ACT to provide the unique membership benefits we have come to expect throughout a normal year. None more so than the ability of our membership to meet regularly via our speaker Program and at the normal annual events; to socialize, network and hear high quality presentations on the important Security and Defence issues affecting Australia today.
The Council had hoped that a return to normal proceedings would be possible before the end of the year, however the recent 2nd wave of COVID 19 cases in Victoria and more significantly in Sydney and some near South Coast locations make this unlikely. Hence, we will adapt the remaining yearly Program via on line forums to meet Government guidelines and do the best we can.
We will continue to provide a modified Speaker Program online over the coming months, and seek to run our AGM on line as well. Details of the AGM arrangements will be forthcoming shortly as we need to conduct it before the end of September. We are also investigating what is possible in regard gathering as usual for the annual dinner and will assess the practicality and wisdom of conducting such an event over the coming weeks.
We have more freedom of maneuver with the schedule of the 2020 Blamey oration and are currently reviewing our options with a priority on conducting it in the normal format when Government guidelines allow.
I am looking forward to seeing you all again soon, in person, and in good health,
The USI of the ACT speaker program is proudly sponsored by PwC
Our Last Event
Thursday 13 Feb: Defence and National Security After the Fire Emergency: A Way Forward with Professor John Blaxland.
Given that the recent National focus has been on the fires devastating a number of regions throughout Australia it was appropriate and timely to address a topic related to National Security that is more internally focused. Prof Blaxland’s topic was: “Defence and National Security After the Fire Emergency: A Way Forward”.
You can watch Professor Blaxland's presentation here.
John Blaxland is Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies. He was recently appointed Official Historian of the Australian Signals Directorate and commissioned to write a two-volume history of ASD. He is a former Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales, and the first Australian recipient of a US Department of Defense Minerva Research Initiative grant examining great power contestation in Southeast Asia.
I'm delighted to have been chosen as your new President and pleased to have the opportunity to get more involved in the USI of the ACT.
USI has made great strides in recent years and it will be important that we continue to build on that terrific work. We might do things a little differently, but we will continue to emphasise the benchmarks of presenting a compelling program, delivering value for stakeholders, and modelling best-practice governance. One thing is for certain: if we sit still, we'll die.
I'm very much looking forward to meeting members and working with you to take USI forward.
About the USI of the ACT
The United Services Institute of the Australian Capital Territory (USI of the ACT) is an independent, not-for-profit, incorporated association, part of a wider network of similar state and territory organisations operating under the umbrella of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies - Australia. Our aim is 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.