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: 
19 February – 2 March 2018
20–31 August 2018
25 June – 6 July 2018
National Security College, Level 3, Crawford Building #132 , 1 Lennox Crossing, ANU

The fee for this program is $11,650 (GST ex) for participating Commonwealth agencies and NSC Partners. The open rate is $14,000 (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

Brett MacDonald

Brett MacDonald joined the National Security College in April 2016 as Manager of Course Development and Delivery in the Executive and Professional Development team, on secondment from the Australian Federal Police. His career has included roles in adult education, human resource (HR) and project management, with over 25 years’ experience across a number of government agencies including Australian Tax Office, Defence and the Australian Federal Police.

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.

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‘The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and The Australian National University’

Updated:  21 June 2017/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator