Royal United Services Institute of Australia

United Services Institute of the Australian Capital Territory

Our Next Event

Thursday 21 March 2019

In our March event, we continue our exploration of capability issues with the Commandant of the Royal Military College of Australia, Brigadier Rupert Hoskin AM, who will speak about a new body of work on leadership.

The Australian Army’s approach to leadership has been developed over a long period and underpins its capability and reputation. But in a changing world, even highly successful models must be constantly tested and enhanced if they are to remain relevant. As part of his “Army in Motion” strategy, the Chief of Army has appointed the Commandant of RMC-A as Director Army Leadership and tasked him to review the Army's leadership development model, baseline its current effectiveness, benchmark its approach against other military and civilian organisations, and implement whatever measures are required to maintain excellence.  In this presentation, Brigadier Hoskin will outline progress to date and seek input from the audience, prior to a more formal exposition in a wider forum scheduled for July. This special USI event is a terrific opportunity for members and guests to inject their own experience into Army's thinking on this critical subject.

The presentation will be held in the Spender Theatre at the Australian Defence College, Weston creek, on Thursday 21 March, commencing at 1800hrs.  Entry is free, but registration is required. You can register here or by contacting Mickey in our office (T: 02 6266 3446; E:

Please join us for networking in the ADC Mess from 1700hrs.

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

(Bio: Hoskin; Photo: Defence)

This event is proudly sponsored by PwC.

Our Last Event

Thursday 7 February:

Vice Chief of the Defence Force

VADM David Johnston AO, RAN

Our 2019 program was opened on Thursday 7 February by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral David Johnston AO, RAN. VADM Johnston began by describing the future challenges the ADF might need to face and for which it must therefore be designed. He also stressed that in addition to the traditional environments of sea, land and air, the ADF will need to be prepared to fight in the space and cyber domains.  He described the ADF as a remarkable force with potent capabilities, but noted that expectations of it have also grown. He spoke briefly about his own role in capability development as force designer and force integrator, before touching on some of the areas in which he feels further work is needed, particularly on enablers. He concluded by underlining the importance of industry, noting the genuine strides that have been taken towards establishing industry as a true partner.

(Photo: USI;  Bio: Defence)

This event was proudly sponsored by:

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 2019, we will explore the theme of Defence Capability. VCDF, VADM David Johnston AO, RAN, opened the batting on 7 February, and we have a range of other related events planned over the course of the year. We will also host our 2018 Leo Mahony Bursary winner, Natalie Sambhi, the Chief of Air Force and the Chief of Navy. We plan to have another agency head as the speaker for our Annual Members' Dinner in September and we are looking hard at options for the 2019 ACT Blamey Oration.  All in all, 2019 shapes as another terrific USI year.

From a Council point of view, 2019 sees us well into our 2016-2021 Strategic Plan. The Council is well satisfied with progress against the Plan's objectives and will continue to consolidate governance reform. 2019 will also see some Council renewal, with both your President and Deputy President standing down at the end of mandated tenure. Planning is well underway to identify successors and we anticipate a smooth transition and continuing success under new leadership.

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.

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


Rolls Royce generously supports the Leo Mahony Bursary. Rolls Royce is one of the world's leading industrial technology companies.

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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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