Climate Change: Implications for the National Security Agenda

National Security College | Professional course


Climate change, extreme weather events and environmental degradation all have clear implications for national security.

#132 Crawford Building, #132 Crawford Building, 1 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).

Course overview

Climate change, extreme weather events and environmental degradation all have clear implications for national security. They are altering the dimensions of national security central to a stable state, in particular human security, environmental security, maritime security and critical infrastructure. They are also adding a new dimension to traditional geopolitical concerns. These developments all contribute to a range of risks and challenges around how the public, community and private sectors think, plan and respond - both now and into the future.

Drawing on expertise from the Climate Change Institute (CCI) and the National Security College (NSC), this interdisciplinary and interactive two-day forum will enable participants to:

  • consider the science of climate change
  • understand the correlation, prevalence, patterns and impact of extreme weather events and environmental degradation
  • gain insight into how climate change intersects with Australia’s national security
  • examine the implications for the national security agenda now and into the future
  • engage with presenters and other participants to explore the risks and challenges from a range of perspectives including international and strategic policy development, Defence (preparedness, capability, interoperability and sustainment), and crisis and emergency response.

Scope and Content

Day one enables participant’s to consider the science of climate change and impact. Day Two provides participants with interactive opportunities to examine how climate change intersects with the national security agenda, now and into the future.

Who should attend?

This course is for public, private and community personnel at all levels involved in or requiring an understanding of the intersection between climate change, extreme weather events and environmental degradation, and national security.

This course is a professional development program that will stimulate new thinking about policy responses to the implications of climate change. It will be specifically beneficial for people engaged in planning for, or responding to, national security threats, environmental or energy crises, or future migration or mass people movements. It is designed for policy advisers, strategic and operational planners – and anyone who needs a better grasp of emerging security threats and major global changes that will impact Australia and the national interest.

Course details

• Two-day non-residential, fully catered program. • An ANU parking permit provided. • 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.

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)

Professor Mark Howden

Professor Mark Howden is the Director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University. He is also an Honorary Professor at Melbourne University, School of Land and Food. Mark’s work has focussed on how climate impacts on, and innovative adaptation options for, systems we value: agriculture and food security, the natural resource base, ecosystems and biodiversity, energy, water and urban systems. He has also developed the national (NGGI) and international (IPCC/OECD) greenhouse gas inventories for the agricultural sector and assessed sustainable methods of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

Mark has worked on climate variability, climate change, innovation and adoption issues for over 27 years in partnership with farmers, farmer groups, catchment groups, industry bodies, agribusiness, urban utilities and various policy agencies via both research and science-policy roles. Mark has over 390 publications of different types. He has been a major contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Assessment reports and various IPCC Special Reports, sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with other IPCC participants and Al Gore. Recently Mark sat on the US Federal Advisory Committee for the 3rd National Climate Assessment and he participates in several other international science and policy advisory bodies.

Dr Rebecca Colvin, Knowledge Exchange Specialist at the ANU Climate Change Institute

Dr Rebecca Colvin is the Knowledge Exchange Specialist of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University. Bec’s role with the CCI is to facilitate the strengthening of links between climate change researchers and end users of the research. In this space, Bec’s research interests include how people connect to each other to bridge disciplinary divides, and the social influences on decision-making. Before joining the CCI, Bec completed a PhD at The University of Queensland which explored ways of understanding social conflict about the environment through using the social identity approach to interrogate processes of stakeholder and community engagement.

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