Energy: Implications for Australia’s National Security

National Security College | Professional course


Emerging energy trends have important implications for political, economic, commercial and military realms. With heightened geostrategic tensions, oil price wars, the rise of renewables and climate concerns, these trends increasingly sit at the intersection of the exercise of national power and international security

#132 Crawford Building, 1 Lennox Crossing, ANU

The fee for this course is $1,300 (GST ex) for Commonwealth participating agencies and NSC Partners. The open rate is $1,600 (GST ex).

Course overview

Australia takes secure supplies of energy for granted. But how secure is our energy, and what are the implications for our country of energy supply shortages or barriers? Australia’s significant dependence upon imported fuel represents a vulnerability and the security of access to markets as a producer of energy (gas and uranium) is a critical national interest.

This course provides a critical understanding of contemporary energy security – its various conceptualisations, relationship to other forms of security and embeddedness in the modern economy. In particular, you will consider energy as a tool of statecraft and what that means for Australia. You will explore the current energy landscape in terms of markets, governments, businesses and international institutions and look at how new technologies may impact patterns of trade and alliances.

Scope and Content

Participants will explore contemporary energy security challenges and the implications for national and international security. Energy security will be considered from the perspective of diverse states and their divergent paths to secure it. This will include critical case studies such as the Iran nuclear deal, Russia’s gas pipeline diplomacy, the US shale revolution, Saudi Arabia’s oil price war, growing energy demand in the Asia-Pacific and Elon Musk’s batteries in South Australia.

This course will focus on the essentials and key questions national security practitioners frequently ask:

• What are the emerging trends in energy security and how do they impact regional and international security?
• What does the global energy production and supply landscape currently look like? And what are the implications for geopolitics?
• What are the key current issues for facing Australia’s national energy security policymakers?
• What are Australia’s energy supply or production vulnerabilities? And what are the implications of these vulnerabilities for national security? Are the risks to which we are currently exposed tolerable – or not? • How do different states and regions approach energy security, and how can global case studies illuminate this?

The course will address firstly the global picture – the international agenda and evidence base, including relevant case studies – and then bring the focus back to Australia. It will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to contribute to the interdisciplinary debates on energy security.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for practitioners in the Australian national security community, in the public and private sectors, who would benefit from an improved awareness of the relevance of energy to national security debates and priorities.

Course details

• One day non-residential, fully-catered program.
• An ANU parking permit will be supplied.
• Course Timings: 8:30am - 5:00pm


Please contact us at for further information and to obtain the registration form.

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)

Dr Jennifer Hunt

Dr. Jennifer S. Hunt is a lecturer in the National Security College and a research associate at the US Studies Centre. Publishing on comparative national security policy in the US, Australia, and the Arab Gulf, her research portfolio examines the intersection between defense, energy, and economic security issues.

Dr. Hunt holds a PhD and Master’s Degree in International Security from the University of Sydney. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (USA) where she was captain of the Women’s Sabre Fencing team.

From 2011-2012, she was a visiting researcher at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, Oman. As part of her research and consulting practice, Dr. Hunt also attended the World Economic Forum in Abu Dhabi, and studied Arabic at the Qasid Institute in Jordan.

Prior to joining the NSC, Dr. Hunt was based at the University of Sydney US Studies Centre, the Centre for International Security Studies, and Sydney Business School. She has been student-nominated for teaching awards across security studies, business and politics departments.

Along with her academic areas of specialisation, Dr. Hunt also publishes on applied research methods. Together with Dr. Zina O’Leary, Workplace Research: Conducting small scale applied research, was published by Sage in 2016.

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