Royal United Services Institute of Australia

United Services Institute of the Australian Capital Territory

Our Next Event

Thursday 28 June 2018

The Council is delighted to announce a presentation by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO, CSC, RAN, who will offer Reflections on working at the top table.

Admiral Griggs has served as VCDF since 2014 and was before that Chief of Navy; he has been a strong and consistent supporter of USI of the ACT and RUSIDSS-A more broadly. His reflections are sure to offer keen insights for leaders in all sectors.  

The presentation will be held in the Spender Theatre, Australian Defence College, on Thursday 28 June 2018, commencing at 1800 hours. Please note this is a change from the originally scheduled date. The ADC Mess will be open for networking from 1700 hours. Entry is free, but registration is required, either on the website or by contacting our office (E:; T: 02 6266 3446).

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

(Photo and bio: Defence)

Our Last Event

Thursday 31 May 2018

On Thursday 31 May, we continued our exploration of the Department of Home Affairs with the Department's First Assistant Secretary National Security and Law Enforcement, Mr Hamish Hansford

In presenting the rationale for the Department, Hamish described its historical roots dating back to Federation before turning to the imperatives that drove the Government to establish the Department in its current form. He contended that the challenges arising from the dark side of globalisation, such as transnational flows of terrorism, drug trafficking, cyber crime and modern slavery, demanded that the Government bring together disparate departments of state to force greater transparency and collaboration. In rebutting claims made by Professor John Blaxland in an earlier presentation, Hamish argued that the new Department is in fact only marginally larger than the former Department of Immigration and Border Protection; that it was the result of deep thinking over a long period of time; that its size and scope cannot be considered to rival the larger and better resourced Department of Defence; that there is still considerable room for contestability of ideas; that immigration has not been lost as a point of focus; and that there is an extent to which concentration of power in one minister was the whole point of the new arrangement. In a candid question and answer session, Hamish described some of the challenges that have had to be faced in bringing the Department together and concluded that, on balance, progress has been good. He envisaged that in five years' time, the Department would be much more mature and making a significant contribution to keeping Australia a prosperous, secure and united society.

(Bio: Home Affairs; Photo: USI)

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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