Royal United Services Institute of Australia

United Services Institute of the Australian Capital Territory

Our Next Event

Trump's Withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal: Winners and Losers

Thursday 18 October

The USI of the ACT Council is delighted to announce a presentation by former USI Vice President and long-time student of Iran, Ian Dudgeon, entitled Trump's Withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal: Winners and Losers.  The presentation will be held in the Spender Theatre, Australian Defence College, Weston Creek, on Thursday 18 October 2018, commencing at 1800 hours.

On 8 May 2018 President Trump withdrew the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (formally, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - JCPOA). Initially, Trump threatened withdrawal, and the reimposition of severe JCPOA-related sanctions, unless European JCPOA signatories (Britain, France and Germany - Russia and China are the other signatories) and Iran struck a new deal that rectified his perceived flaws in the deal. Trump then broadened his demands to include that Iran cease its other 'destabilising' regional activities. Trump has threatened to break Iran's economy, and precipitate 'regime change' through internal dissidence, if his demands are not met. Trump's demands have not been met due to push-back by Iran and other JCPOA signatories. The first of the reimposed sanctions took effect in early August, the remainder will take effect in November.

But Trump's demands and actions threaten a much wider destabilisation. At stake is the potential survivability of Iran's moderate government, and its ability to contain the hardliners through greater economic and constructive political engagement with the West. What will happen if Trump does break Iran's economy; will Iran, a state of 82 million people, descend into chaos, or worse, and what impact would that have on regional stability? Trump has also precipitated direct confrontation with European signatories who want an intact JCPOA and lifted economic sanctions as a lever to negotiate Iran's other destabilising activities. Also at stake are billions of dollars of trade and investment in Iran by all JCPOA signatories and Iran's other major trading partners, and the status of US global trade and international financial systems generally.

Ian will discuss these issues, and likely winners and losers, in what promises to be a fascinating presentation.  

There is no charge for attendance, but registration is required, either on the website here, or by contacting the USI office (E:; T: 02 6266 3446).

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: Lowy

Our Last Event

2018 Annual Members' Dinner

Wednesday 26 September

On Wednesday 26 September, members and guests were treated to an outstanding evening at the Commonwealth Club for the 2018 Annual Members' Dinner, once again sponsored by Thales Australia.

Our guest speaker was Secretary of the Department of Defence, Mr Greg Moriarty, who gave a thought provoking address on positioning Defence for success in a contested Indo-Pacific region. Speaking candidly under Chatham House Rules, Greg outlined a range of new challenges and canvassed some of the measures that Government is taking in response. He then kindly took a number of questions from the floor - the first time we've done at the Annual Dinner for some years. Greg was also very generous with his time in staying on after the formalities to speak personally with members and guests, and we are very grateful for his support. We're hopeful that an edited version of his address might be made available for the website, and we will advise further in due course.

Prior to Greg's address, the winner of the Leo Mahony Bursary was announced by Bursary coordinator, Jacinta Carroll. Jacinta reported that the judges were unanimous this year in selecting Ms Natalie Sambhi, a doctoral scholar at the Australian National University. Natalie is investigating how the Indonesian military's experience of East Timor shapes its military culture. Unfortunately, Natalie was not available to attend the Dinner, as she was on a field trip in Indonesia. We will work to find a suitable opportunity to to introduce her to members and present her certificates.

The Dinner was once again very well supported by senior Defence leaders, including Associate Secretary Rebecca Skinner, Chief of Air Force AM Leo Davies and Rhonda, and Chief of Joint Operations AM Mel Hupfeld. Our sponsors also turned out in large numbers:  Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins was accompanied by Vice President Strategy and Communication, Gary Dawson, and Directors Alex Cresswell and Michel Mathieu; and Leo Mahony Bursary sponsor Rolls Royce was represented by Vice President Defence Australasia AVM Roxley McLennan (Retd) accompanied by Loretta. We are also very grateful for the support of the many other senior people from across the national security and defence sector in Canberra who helped to make the Dinner such a grand occasion.

There are two sets of photos from the evening.  Some of you may have already seen the social pages from Canberra's local City News, but if not you can find them here. This year we also decided to employ a professional photographer to cover the event, and we hope you'll agree when you see the photos that it was worth the investment. You can find them herePlease feel free to share the links with your colleagues and friends. You are welcome to copy and save the professional photos but, if you are sharing, please remember to acknowledge USI of the ACT and the photographer, Rebecca Fassone.

(Photo: Rebecca Fassone; Bio: Defence)

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 are exploring 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. Members and guests will hear views from academics and policy practitioners. Beyond that theme, we will present a range of other speakers, including: our 2017 Leo Mahoney Bursary winner, Deborah Jeppesen; Vice Chief of the Defence Force Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO, CSC, RAN; and a panel of counter-terorism experts. And we will continue to seize opportunities to engage other relevant speakers as they arise. The guest speaker for our 2018 Members' Dinner will be Secretary of Defence, Greg Moriarty; and we have locked in another outstanding Orator for the 2018 ACT Blamey Oration, who will be announced later in the year. Please keep an eye on the website and watch our newsletters for further details.

From a Council point of view, 2018 is 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.

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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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