Royal United Services Institute of Australia

United Services Institute of the Australian Capital Territory

Our Next Event

Thursday 15 March 2018

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 t o theWeston Creek campus.

(Photo and biography: ANU)

Our Last Event

Thursday 8 February 2018

Home Sweet Home: A Critical Historical and Contemporary Perspective on the Emergence of the Department of Home Affairs

Professor John Blaxland

On 8 February, Professor John Blaxland, Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, presented to more than 100 USI of the ACT members and guests on the new Department of Home Affairs. In an entertaining but thought provoking address, Blaxland set out a range of concerns about the new arrangements. He described the evolution of the Australian Intelligence Community since Federation, arguing that changes had resulted incrementally - and sensibly - over time in response to periodic reviews and Royal Commissions. He contrasted this with the decision to form the Department of Home Affairs, the imperative for which remains unsatisfactorily explained.  You can find the slides for the presentation here and the audio here.

(Photo: USI.  Biography: ANU))

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 will explore 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.  We begin on 8 February with an academic perspective provided by Professor John Blaxland from ANU, and over coming months we plan to present a range of practitioner views.  Beyond that theme, we hope to present several senior officials and ADF officers to hear updates on their agencies.  In May, our 2017 Leo Mahoney Bursary winner, Deborah Jeppesen, will brief members and guests on her work following her coming research trip to the United States. And we will continue to seize opportunities to engage other relevant speakers as they arise. Finally, we are in the early stages of securing more high-profile speakers for our Members' Dinner and the ACT Blamey Oration.  So there's a strong program in prospect.  Please keep an eye on the website and watch our newsletters for further details.

From a Council point of view, 2018 shapes as 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)  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.

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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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