Maritime Security and the Indo Pacific

National Security College | Professional course
Maritime Security and the Indo Pacific


Australia’s maritime interests are under pressure. Many of these pressures can be considered in the context of the ‘maritime grey zone’ – ‘covert and unconventional methods’ that remain ‘below the threshold of conventional military conflict’ and aim ‘to achieve…gains without the penalties and risks of overt warfare’ (Goldrick, 2018, p.1). Explore these challenges and their implications for Australia and the Indo-Pacific. Engage with SMEs about the South China Sea, ASEAN, exclusive economic zones, people smuggling and weapons proliferation – and how Australia can best respond.

#132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU

A fee of $2,250 (GST ex) applies to this course for Commonwealth participating agencies and NSC Partners. The open rate is $2,700 (GST ex). 2020 Dates TBC

Course overview

Australia’s maritime interests are under pressure. The emergence of new naval capabilities in the Indo-Pacific, and erosion of the rules-based order, are particular challenges. Stresses are also being caused by migration, trade, resource exploitation, and transnational and serious organised crime. Many of these pressures can be considered in the context of the ‘maritime grey zone’ – ‘covert and unconventional methods’ that remain ‘below the threshold of conventional military conflict’ and aim ‘to achieve…gains without the penalties and risks of overt warfare’ (Goldrick, 2018, p.1). Explore these challenges and their implications for Australia and the Indo-Pacific. Engage with SMEs about the South China Sea, ASEAN, exclusive economic zones, people smuggling and weapons proliferation – and how Australia can best respond.

Scope and content

Develop your maritime time domain awareness and take the opportunity to focus on understanding ‘grey zone operations’ in this domain, including:
• Geopolitical dynamics in the maritime domain: strategic rivalry, competing claims and navigation, diplomacy and Australian interests, including in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean
• Australia’s domestic maritime security priorities: protection of sovereign rights in our maritime zones; our border, society and values; reliance on the sea for trade and critical infrastructure
• Australia’s maritime security architecture, assets, department/agency responsibilities
• Naval perspectives on maritime security
• International legal norms (the law of the sea) and maritime security
• Transnational security threats in the maritime domain: piracy, terrorism, proliferation, drug and people trafficking, and illegal fishing.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for staff working on maritime security issues, or those seeking a deeper professional understanding of this subject.

Course details

• Two-day non-residential, fully-catered program
• An ANU parking permit provided
• Course Timings: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Please click here to register or contact us at for further information.

The course was an excellent opportunity to develop and refine my thinking on maritime security, put the burning questions on my mind to a range of experts and build my networks with colleagues across government. It was an enriching, stimulating and very enjoyable course that was directly applicable to my current work.

Course convenor

Ms Sandra Bourke, Manager Course Design & Delivery

Sandra Bourke joined the National Security College in February 2018, on secondment the Home Affairs portfolio, as a Manager in the Executive and Professional Development team. Her career focus has been on intelligence, criminology and defence, in particular delivering and managing technology as an enabling capability for national security. Sandra’s career commenced in 1990 as a serving AFP Detective before moving into intelligence management positions at the former National Crime Authority and at the NSW Police. Between 1996 and 1998, Sandra also taught theoretical criminology part time at the University of Western Sydney (undergraduate). In 2004, Sandra helped establish and manage the first NSW Police Project Management Office. A highlight project was the establishment of the State Crime Command. This role led to broader PM experience in the private sector with a focus on technology. This included operational management at the Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism at Macquarie University (under Access MQ). Sandra is accredited as a Portfolio, Programme and Projects Office (P3O) Manager and as an Agile Scrum Master. In 2011, Sandra took up the position of Director, Air Force Improvement at Headquarters Air Command. In 2015, Sandra was transferred to Canberra under the Defence Executive Development program. She recently returned to the criminal justice sector, focusing on ICT capabilities for national security. Sandra’s academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Education and Government) from the University of Sydney and a Master of Social Science (Criminology) from Charles Sturt University. Sandra is currently enrolled in a Master of National Security Policy (Advanced) at the ANU NSC.

Course presenter(s)

Rear Admiral James Goldrick AO, CSC RAN (Retired)

Rear Admiral James Goldrick AO, CSC RAN (Retired) joined the Royal Australian Navy as a 15 year old Cadet Midshipman in 1974 and completed his full time service in the RAN in 2012. He completed a BA at UNSW in Kensington and graduated from the RAN College at the end of 1978. In addition to sea service as a junior officer around the world in units of the RAN and the Royal Navy, he commanded HMA Ships Cessnock and Sydney (twice), the Australian naval task group and the multinational maritime interception force in the Persian Gulf, the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) (twice – 2003-2006 and 2011-2012), Australia’s inter-agency Border Protection Command (2006-2008) and the Australian Defence College (2008-2011). He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of NSW at Canberra (ADFA) and a member of the Naval Studies Group formed in 2016. He is also adjunct in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University (ANU), where he teaches on maritime strategy and naval history at the Australian Command and Staff College and in other ANU programmes at both SDSC and the National Security College. He is a Professorial Fellow of the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources (ANCORS) at the University of Wollongong. He was a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford University in 2015 and is a non-resident fellow of the Lowy Institute for International Policy. He is a member of Australia’s Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal and of the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal. He was a member of the Minister’s Expert Panel supporting the development of the 2016 Australian Defence White Paper.

In addition to his BA, James Goldrick holds a Master of Letters degree from the University of New England. He was awarded a Doctorate of Letters (honoris causa) by the University of NSW in 2006. His books include: No Easy Answers: The Development of the Navies of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and Before Jutland: The Naval War in Northern European Waters August 1914-February 1915, and, with Jack McCaffrie, Navies of South-East Asia: A Comparative Study. He has edited or contributed to more than 40 other volumes of naval history and maritime strategy, as well as to academic and professional journals, such as the British Naval Review, the US Naval Institute Proceedings and IHS Navy International. He has just completed After Jutland: The Naval War in Northern European Waters June 1916-November 1918, which should be published by the US Naval Institute Press in 2018.

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.

Director Sea Power Centre - Australia, Captain Sean Andrews, RAN

Captain Sean Andrews is a Principal Warfare Officer and Under Sea Warfare specialist. He joined the RAN as a Junior Recruit in 1982 at the age of 16, qualifying as a sonar controller. Receiving a commission in 1990 as a Seaman Officer, and completing extensive sea service in Destroyers, Frigates and Patrol Boats, he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 2004. He assumed Command of the Australian-built Mine Hunter HMAS Yarra in 2006, for which he was awarded a Fleet Commanders Commendation. Captain Andrews is a graduate of the Australian Command and Staff College. He was selected to represent the RAN at the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, where he attended the Joint Advanced Warfighting School. He subsequently joined Joint Operations Command as the J33M in the global operations cell. It was during this period that he was embedded in the US 10th Mountain Division (light Infantry) as the Chief of Influence Targeting in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Captain Andrews returned to Australia and assumed duties as the Deputy Director Maritime Operations (N33), where he was awarded a Chief of Navy Commendation in October 2013. More recently, he has experienced a wide range of Navy and Joint postings. Highlights include postings as Directing Staff at the Australian Command and Staff College and Deputy Director in Contestability – Force Design.

Captain Andrews is reading his PhD at the University of New South Wales, and will submit his thesis in September 2018.

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