Succeeding on the front line: executive development program for middle managers (EL1 and equivalent)

National Security College | Executive program


This interactive and practical program will deepen participants’ understanding of the national security community and the range of strategic challenges it faces - now and into the future. Participants will gain insight into the issues and forces of change affecting the strategic environment; build lasting professional networks; and gain exposure to a diversity of views and critical thinking on how Australia’s national security future might best be framed.

Course date: 
14 February – 2 March 2022
8–19 August 2022
10–21 October 2022
The February iteration of this program will be fully online. All other iterations will be face-to-face.

$11,650 (GST ex) Partnering Government Agencies. $13,980 (GST ex) open rate

Course overview

This interactive and practical program will deepen participants’ understanding of the national security community and the range of strategic challenges it faces - now and into the future. Through expert presentations, facilitated workshops, and collaborative leadership discussions, participants will improve their ability to think critically, problem-solve creatively, and contribute to policy and decision making in national security. The immersive learning environment also enables participants to build important professional collaborative networks.

The program is designed for emerging leaders in the national security community and Executive Level 1 (EL1) or equivalent 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.

Past presenters for this program include: Professor John Hewson, Professor Rory Medcalf, Ms Margaret Twomey, Professor Richard Rigby, Professor RADM (RET) James Goldrick, Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza and others.

“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.”


Please click here to register or contact us at or on (02) 6125 2233 for further information.

All nominations must be completed in line with your organisation’s requirements and approval processes.

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. 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 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.

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Updated:  2 October 2022/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator