Royal United Services Institute of Australia

United Services Institute of the Australian Capital Territory

Our Next Event

Thursday 7 February 2019

Vice Chief of the Defence Force

VADM David Johnston AO, RAN

In 2019, USI of the ACT will explore Defence capability issues in some detail.  The Council is delighted to announce that we plan to commence our discussions with a presentation by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral David Johnston AO, RAN. VADM Johnston will describe Defence's broad capability development framework, including his own role as joint capability integrator, to provide context and set the scene for presentations that will follow later in the year.

Attendance at this event is free but registration is required. You can register here, or by contacting Mickey in the office (T; 02 6266 3446; E:

Please join us for networking in the ADC Mess from 1700 hours.

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

(Photo & bio: Defence)

This event is proudly sponsored by:

Our Last Event

Thursday 13 December 2018

2018 Christmas Drinks

On Thursday 13 December, more than 40 members and guests gathered at the ADFA Officers Mess to celebrate the end of another USI year. We took the opportunity to thank speakers who contributed to the program throughout 2018, including John Blaxland, Clive Williams, Emily Corner, Tiffany White and Tony Murney, who were all present. Our President, Mick Crane, took the opportunity to report briefly on 2018 achievements, such as attracting almost 900 people to our events in the calendar year, continuing to provide great value for stakeholders, and delivering improved governance. The Mess again provided a relaxed atmosphere and generous hospitality, and we're grateful to the President and members of the Mess Committee for their kind permission to use their facility again.

Tuesday 4 December 2018

2018 ACT Blamey Oration

On Tuesday 4 December 2018, the 2018 ACT Blamey Oration was delivered by General John Allen AO (USMC Retd) at the National Gallery of Australia. Speaking to an audience of 160 members and guests, General Allen spoke about the depth of the relationship between Australia and the United States, before describing the research programs at the Brookings Institution. He then turned to a very frank assessment of the challenges confronting America and touched on several possible policy prescriptions. In concluding, he took the view that there will be a "day after" and exhorted friends and allies of the United States to be ready for that day.

We hope to have a video recording of the Oration available shortly, but in the meantime, an "as delivered" transcript of the Oration can be found here.

Members and guests can download our photos from the Oration by using the link below and the password 8946.

Please feel free to download and use these photos, but do remember to acknowledge our wonderful photographer, Bec Fassone, if you're using them publicly.

In addition, CityNews social snaps are available at

The Blamey Oration is presented in partnership with the Field Marshal Sir Thomas Blamey Memorial Fund. The Oration is presented annually in the ACT by a distinguished scholar or policy practitioner, and addresses contemporary strategic issues or strategic leadership.

The Council of USI of the ACT is very grateful for the support of our sponsors for this event, L3 Technologies, and the Departments of Home Affairs and Defence.

(Bio: Brookings; Photo: USI/Fassone)


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 2018, we have explored in some detail the new Department of Home Affairs: how it came about, views on whether it is necessary, how it is shaping up, and what is hoped for its future. Beyond that theme, we have presented a range of other speakers, including our 2017 Leo Mahoney Bursary winner, Deborah Jeppesen; outgoing Vice Chief of the Defence Force Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO, CSC, RAN; and a panel of counter-terorism experts. The guest speaker for our 2018 Members' Dinner was the Secretary of the Department of Defence, Greg Moriarty; and we have locked in another outstanding Orator for the 2018 ACT Blamey Oration in General John Allen AO.

From a Council point of view, 2018 has been another 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) 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.

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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