Royal United Services Institute of Australia

United Services Institute of the Australian Capital Territory

Our Next Event

Thursday 6 April at the Australian Defence College

Vice Admiral Tim Barrett AO, CSC, RAN, Chief of Navy:  The Royal Australian Navy: The Next Three Years

Tim Barrett joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1976 as a Seaman Officer and later specialised in Aviation.  He assumed command of the RAN on 1 July 2014.  His biography is here.  

Admiral Barrett now oversees the most significant modernisation of the Navy since World War II, a project that will consume billions of dollars, provide thousands of Australian jobs, and, if it goes to plan, deliver a Navy that is vastly more capable than the one that exists now.  Can Australian industry deliver ships at the rate demanded by Government?  How will we manage continuous shipbuilding?  What is the plan to recruit the people to crew the new submarines? Discover the answer to these and other questions as Admiral Barrett explains his view of the future Navy.

Register here.

Our Last Event

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

On Thursday 23 March, at the Defence College, our two 2016 Bursary winners briefed members and guests on their respective projects.   

Mr Cameron Hawker from UNSW Canberra described his work on Australian Prime Ministers and the Australian - American Alliance 1951 - 2001: Crisis Points and Political Decision Making.  He explained that the origins of his thesis lay in claims by the distinguished ANU scholar, Coral Bell, that Prime Minsters are the key figure in alliance policy.   His work tests that proposition in a series of case studies of crises ranging from Holt and LBJ managing the Vietnam War to Howard and Bush in the aftermath of 9/11. Cam is about half way through his research.

(Photo: USI)

Major Leon Young, also from UNSW Canberra, spoke about his work on Developing Computational Strategic Thinking Models.  He explained that his motivation was to determine whether strategic thinkers can be made, rather than just found, in an effort to understand where the ADF might put more emphasis in its professional military education programs.  The results of his research raise challenging questions for the Services, particularly in relation to some mid-level ranks.  Leon has substantially completed his work and at the time of writing is due to submit his thesis imminently.

(Photo: USI)

Both speakers expressed their thanks to Rolls-Royce Australia and the USI of the ACT for their support. We wish them well for the remainder of their studies and for the future.

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 2016, we are trialling several changes to our speaker program, including focussing on only a couple of themes and reducing our tempo to just one presentation each month.  Our principal theme explores the impact on Defence of the First Principles Review and the 2016 Defence White Paper;  while our secondary theme seeks a better understanding of global terrorism.

2016 also sees further changes in our governance.  At local level, the Council is working hard to implement the reforms identified in our 2015 strategic review.  And nationally, we have been closely involved in helping to steer major changes to the form and governance of RUSI-A.

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.

Sign up
google-site-verification: google1e5a6452d17ea7b4.html

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.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software