Framing the Future: National Security Executive Level 1 Development Program

National Security College | Executive program
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This interactive and practical two-week program will enhance your understanding of the national security community and the range of strategic challenges it faces.

Course date: 
9am 24 June – 5pm 5 July 2019
9am 2 September – 5pm 13 September 2019
National Security College, Level 3, Crawford Building #132 , 1 Lennox Crossing, ANU

Places on this program are largely pre-purchased by Commonwealth participating agencies and NSC Partners. Subject to availability, a small number of additional places may be offered at a rate of $14,000 (GST ex). Please email to nominate for an additional place.

Please note the 24 June - 5 July 2019 EL1 program is open to all organisations (fee-paying / market-based) at a rate of $11,650 (GST ex).

Course overview

This interactive and practical two-week program will enhance your understanding of the national security community and the range of strategic challenges it faces. It explores these areas alongside collaborative leadership and the national security policy framework, through facilitated discussion, workshops, hypothetical exercises and site visits. Additionally, it provides important professional collaborative networks as your career advances.

Scope and content

This program analyses the concept of national security, considers the range of issues and challenges facing Australia’s national security community, and focuses on the capability and capacity of the community to address those challenges. You’ll have the opportunity to consider the roles and responsibilities of agencies, and to reflect on current and future challenges facing professionals working on security issues. The program covers federal and state responsibilities, the relevant whole-of-government architecture and processes, and the measures in place to support policy and crisis decision-making

“The National Security Executive Level 1 Development Program stands as one of the top two or three professional development experiences of my career. I walked away with a profound respect for my professional colleagues in the APS.”

Learning outcomes

You will leave the program with:

• a broad understanding of Australia’s national security strategic environment and
the forces of change affecting it

• a greater understanding of the national security challenges facing the Indo- Pacific region

• broad professional networks within the national security community

• insights from thought leaders and practitioners on national security
policymaking and emerging security challenges

• an enhanced understanding of the national security architecture, including the
capabilities, priorities and challenges of Australia’s national security

• an understanding of collaborative leadership in a multi-agency/jurisdictional

“This NSC EL 1 Development Program was one of the best constructed, high calibre, intensive courses I’ve undertaken as a professional working in the foreign affairs portfolio for nine years. It worked due to the excellent quality of presenters, the range and complementarity of subjects, the ability to share classified materials, and the dynamic, interactive nature of discussions that followed.”

Who should attend?

The program is designed for emerging leaders in the national security community and Executive Level 1 (EL1) officers working in both traditional and non-traditional national security agencies and departments. It will particularly benefit those who are involved in policy, strategic planning, capability development or coordination. State and territory government officers and private sector middle managers are encouraged to register. A minimum SECRET (NV1) security clearance is required to enrol in this program.

Program details

• Two week non-residential, full time

• Fully-catered program

• ANU parking permit will be supplied

• Limited on-campus accommodation is available for interstate participants (at participant cost).

• Course Timings: 8:30am - 5:00pm


If you are a public service officer, please nominate through your agency’s Learning and Development Manager. Please contact us at for more information.

“This course was thought-provoking, strategic and highly valuable to my work in international policy. It was without a doubt the best professional course I have ever attended and I feel like I actually learned more in those two weeks than I did completing my Master in International Relations!”

Course convenor

Mr Brad Fallen

Brad Fallen joined the National Security College as Manager, Executive and Professional Development in March 2018, on secondment from the Department of Home Affairs. Brad’s professional national security experience includes international relations, intelligence, Cabinet and ministerial decision-making, and policy development and delivery. As Senior Adviser International Cyber Policy in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) from 2014, Brad was part of the small team who delivered Australia’s 2016 Cyber Security Review and Strategy. He then implemented the Strategy for 18 months from the Office of the Cyber Security Special Adviser. Brad led PM&C’s National Security Committee Secretariat between 2011 and 2014, supporting Prime Ministers Gillard, Rudd and Abbott, and before this the Department of Defence’s Cabinet and Freedom of Information teams from 2008 to 11. He was Defence Adviser to the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, the Hon Bruce Scott MP, in 2000-01. Brad studied South Pacific history at the University of Queensland before joining the Department of Defence’s Graduate program in 1988. Brad’s career in Defence focused on Australia’s regional relationships, and included three years as First Secretary (Defence) at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby, and two years seconded to the New Zealand Government in Wellington.

Course presenter(s)

Professor Rory Medcalf

Professor Rory Medcalf has been Head of the National Security College at the Australian National University since January 2015. He has led the expansion of the College into policy engagement as well as education, executive development and research. His professional background involves more than two decades of experience across diplomacy, intelligence analysis, think tanks and journalism, including a formative role as Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute. In government, Professor Medcalf worked as a senior strategic analyst with the Office of National Assessments, Canberra’s peak intelligence analysis agency. He was also an Australian diplomat, with wide experience including a posting to New Delhi, a secondment to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, truce monitoring after the civil conflict in Bougainville and policy development on Asian security institutions. He has contributed to three landmark reports on nuclear arms control: the 1996 Canberra Commission, 1999 Tokyo Forum and 2009 International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament. His earlier work in journalism was commended in Australia’s leading media awards, the Walkleys. Professor Medcalf has been prominent in developing Australia’s relations with India. He has been Associate Director of the Australia-India Institute and Senior Research Fellow in Indian Strategic Affairs at the University of New South Wales. He is the founding convener and co-chair of the Australia-India Policy Forum, an influential informal dialogue between the two countries. He has been recognised as a thought leader internationally for his work on the Indo-Pacific concept of the Asian maritime strategic environment. Professor Medcalf was a member of the expert panel providing independent advice on the Australian Government’s 2016 Defence White Paper. His research areas include Australia’s security challenges, the further development of an Indo-Pacific concept of the Asian strategic environment, China-India relations, and prospects for maritime and nuclear stability in Indo-Pacific Asia, on which he has led projects funded by the MacArthur Foundation. He is currently chief investigator in a major two-year research project funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, examining the risks to nuclear stability from new submarine-detection technologies. Professor Medcalf is a member of the editorial boards of Asia Policy and the Australian Journal of International Affairs. He is a Non-resident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy with the Brookings Institution in Washington DC and retains affiliations as a Non-resident Fellow with the Lowy Institute for International Policy and the Seapower Centre of the Royal Australian Navy. Professor Medcalf also teaches the NSC’s National Security in the Indo-Pacific and National Security Policymaking courses. Visit his researcher profile.

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