Royal United Services Institute of Australia

United Services Institute of the Australian Capital Territory


Members and guests of the USI-ACT, please find below links to a synopsis and the full thesis of our May 2022 presenter, Sasha Vukoja. the 2019 Leo Mahoney Bursary award winner.

Adapting to Strategic Uncertainty: The Development of Self-Reliance Within the ANZUS Alliance in Australian Defence Policy Between 1959 and 1989

For a brief synopsis of his thesis please follow the following link to a flyer highlighting his presentation at ANU in 2021.

Sasha Vukoja flyer v2.pdf

I encourage you to read the full thesis by following the link below.

Thesis - 7 Feb 22 - Final Version copy.pdf

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The USI of the ACT speaker program is proudly sponsored by PwC


Our Last Events

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Past events

17 Mar 2022 USI-ACT Monthly Speaker Program - MAJGEN Mick Ryan, AM
24 Feb 2022 USI-ACT Monthly Speaker Program - Mr Michael Shoebridge , ASPI
15 Dec 2021 ACT: USI of the ACT 2021 Virtual AGM
22 Jul 2021 Chief of Army LTGEN Rick Burr AO, DSC, MVO to Speak to the USI-ACT
24 Jun 2021 2020 Defence Strategic Update, Force Structure Plan and the Defence Estate | Mr Steven Grzreskowiak, Deputy Secretary E&IG
27 May 2021 Mr Michael Shoebridge "The implications for Australia from the direction of US policy under Biden and China under Xi"
14 Apr 2021 ACT: Annual Members' Dinner: Mr Mike Pezzullo AO, Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs, The Commonwealth Club
11 Mar 2021 ACT: LTGEN Greg Bilton AO CSC, Chief of Joint Operations at HQ Joint Operations Command
11 Feb 2021 ACT: Professor John Blaxland “Lessons from the Past: Challenges for the Future”
09 Dec 2020 ACT: 2020 Christmas Drinks
09 Dec 2020 ACT: 2020 Christmas Drinks
15 Jul 2020 ACT: Conventional and Unconventional threats to National Security: challenges in information warfare and cyber security with MAGJEN Thompson and Rtd US Rtd MAJGEN Davis
12 Mar 2020 ACT: MAJGEN Marcus Thompson AM HIW - Challenges in Information Warfare
13 Feb 2020 ACT: Prof John Blaxland "Defence and National Security After the Fire Emergency: A Way Forward"
28 Nov 2019 ACT: 2019 Christmas Drinks
12 Nov 2019 ACT: 2019 ACT Blamey Oration: GEN Peter Van Uhm AO (Retd)
17 Oct 2019 ACT: Hon Dame Annette King DNZM, New Zealand High Commissioner to Australia
19 Sep 2019 ACT: 2019 Annual Members' Dinner: Dr Paul Taloni PSM, Acting Director-General National Intelligence
05 Sep 2019 ACT: 2019 Annual General Meeting
29 Aug 2019 ACT: VADM Michael Noonan AO, RAN, Chief of Navy
11 Jul 2019 ACT: The Contribution of Estate and Infrastructure Group to Defence Capability: Mr Steve Grzeskowiak
13 Jun 2019 ACT: Panel Discussion: Australian Industry and Defence Capability
09 May 2019 ACT: Chief of Air Force, AM Leo Davies AO, CSC: Reflections
16 Apr 2019 ACT: Special offer for members: They Shall Not Grow Old
11 Apr 2019 ACT: 2018 Leo Mahony Bursary winner, Ms Natalie Sambhi: Rationalising difficult histories: the legacies of East Timor in the Indonesian Military's collective memory
21 Mar 2019 ACT: Commandant RMC, Brigadier Rupert Hoskin AM: Leadership Development for an Army in Motion
07 Feb 2019 ACT: Vice Chief of the Defence Force, VADM David Johnston AO, RAN: Defence Capability
13 Dec 2018 ACT: 2018 Christmas Drinks
04 Dec 2018 ACT: 2018 ACT Blamey Oration: General John Allen AO (USMC, Retd)
08 Nov 2018 ACT: Dr Tony Murney: Conflict Policing in Afghanistan: the Front-line Conundrum
18 Oct 2018 ACT: Ian Dudgeon: Trump's Withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal: Winners and Losers
26 Sep 2018 ACT: 2018 Annual Members' Dinner: Mr Greg Moriarty, Secretary, Department of Defence
06 Sep 2018 ACT: 2018 Annual General Meeting
09 Aug 2018 ACT: Panel Discussion: Approaches to countering terrorism and radicalisation: theory and practice
12 Jul 2018 ACT: Brigadier Phil Winter AM, CSC and Invictus athletes: Raising the Invictus Games 2018 Australian Team
28 Jun 2018 ACT: Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO, CSC, RAN: Reflections on working at the top table
31 May 2018 ACT: Mr Hamish Hansford, First Assistant Secretary National Security and Law Enforcement Policy: Home Affairs - the Department's Perspective
19 Apr 2018 ACT: 2017 Leo Mahony Bursary Winner: Ms Deborah Jeppesen: "Are we Influential? Examining the attributes which make military advisors effective in Train Advise Assist roles"
05 Apr 2018 ACT: AVM Tracy Smart AM: Working Title "ADF Health Support Arrangements in Peace and War"
15 Mar 2018 ACT: Professor Clive Williams: "The Battle of Marawi"
08 Feb 2018 ACT: Professor John Blaxland: "Home Sweet Home: A Critical Historical and Contemporary Perspective on the Emergence of the Department of Home Affairs"
30 Nov 2017 ACT: Christmas Drinks
22 Nov 2017 ACT: 2017 ACT Blamey Oration: Stan McChrystal: Leading in Uncertainty
26 Oct 2017 ACT: Dr Tony Murney: Police Development Challenges in Afghanistan and Somalia: A Personal Perspective
05 Oct 2017 ACT: Dr Alan Ryan: The Australian Civil-Military Centre
21 Sep 2017 ACT: 2017 Annual Members' Dinner: Ms Kathryn Campbell CSC, Secretary of the Department of Human Services: Securing our systems and data
07 Sep 2017 ACT: 2017 Annual General Meeting
22 Aug 2017 ACT: Conference: The Law of the Sea in the Asia Pacific Region: Opportunities, Threats and Challenges
10 Aug 2017 ACT: Hon Dan Tehan MP: Cyber Security
13 Jul 2017 ACT: Mr Scott Dewar, First Assistant Secretary International Policy, Department of Defence
29 Jun 2017 ACT: Air Marshal Leo Davies AO, CSC, Chief of Air Force: The Royal Australian Air Force: The Next Three Years
05 Jun 2017 ACT: Major General Kath Toohey CSC, Head Land Capability: Looking Ahead: the Australian Army out to 2025
11 May 2017 ACT: Commissioner Andrew Colvin, APM, OAM: Australian Federal Police Operations in the Near Region
03 May 2017 ACT: Seminar on German Maritime Security and Operational Thinking: Prof Dr Michael Epkenhans & COL Dr Gerhard Gross
06 Apr 2017 ACT: Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, Chief of Navy: The Royal Australian Navy: The Next Three Years
23 Mar 2017 ACT: 2016 Leo Mahony Bursary Winners: Mr Cameron Hawker and Major Leon Young
09 Mar 2017 ACT: Mr Graham Fletcher, First Assistant Secretary North Asia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: A Focus on the Region - Australia and China: conflict of interests?
23 Feb 2017 ACT: Prof Clive Williams, MG: Lessons Learned from the Battle for Mosul
09 Feb 2017 ACT: Dr John Blaxland: Australia & Regional Security: The Challenge of being an Indo-Pacific Middle Power in the Age of Trump
30 Nov 2016 ACT: Dr Stephan de Spiegeleire: Capability-based planning: How does force design take place and how is that translated into capabilities?
24 Nov 2016 ACT: 2016 Christmas Drinks
09 Nov 2016 ACT: 2016 Blamey Oration: The Dragon and the Snakes: Emerging and Future Security Threats in the Post-Cold War Order: Dr David Kilcullen
13 Oct 2016 ACT: Contestability in Defence - Opportunities and Challenges
22 Sep 2016 ACT: 2016 Annual Members' Dinner
08 Sep 2016 ACT: Annual General Meeting
08 Sep 2016 ACT: General Jim Mattis USMC (Retd)
17 Aug 2016 ACT: Dusted Off with Brett Hunt
04 Aug 2016 ACT: Chief of Army - The Ryan Review
29 Jul 2016 ACT: An Evening Inspired by Bean
21 Jul 2016 ACT: Analysing the 2016 Defence White Paper
09 Jun 2016 ACT: Order of Australia Association (ACT) 2016 ADF Oration
02 Jun 2016 ACT Lecture: Mr Bill Farmer AO
11 May 2016 ACT Lecture: Mr Peter Baxter

President's Message

Air Vice Marshal Bill Henman AM (Retd)

I'm delighted to have been chosen as your new President and pleased to have the opportunity to get more involved in the USI of the ACT.

USI has made great strides in recent years and it will be important that we continue to build on that terrific work. We might do things a little differently, but we will continue to emphasise the benchmarks of presenting a compelling program, delivering value for stakeholders, and modelling best-practice governance. One thing is for certain: if we sit still, we'll die.

I'm very much looking forward to meeting members and working with you to take USI forward.

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 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:

Secretary USI of the ACT Inc.
CP3-1-157 Campbell Park Office


Mail address: 
Australia Post Mail to:
CP3-1-157 PO Box 7912 CANBERRA BC ACT 2610

Membership and Treasurer enquiries:

Tel: 0410 496 721


ABN: 69 739 962 119

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L3 generously supports the ACT Blamey Oration. L3 develops advanced defence technologies and commercial solutions in pilot training, aviation security, night vision and EO/IR.

Home Affairs generously supports the Blamey Oration.

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