Women and national security

Crawford School of Public Policy | National Security College

Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 04 April 2017 to Wednesday 05 April 2017


QT Hotel, 1 London Circuit, Canberra, ACT


Senator The Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Defence; Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs; plus many more.


Chris Farnham

Research has shown the security and equality of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and that increasing gender diversity in decision-making leads to better results. Over two days, this conference will tackle important themes such as enhancing women’s participation and leadership in national security policy decision making and practice, and the national security benefits of drawing on experience and best practice findings. This will be done in a context of putting gender front and centre in the development and implementation of security and foreign policy.

The conference will link theory and concept with lived reality and contemporary practice, drawing on experiences from overseas deployments and recent conflicts. Individual sessions will address topical issues such as the use of force, women during armed conflict, women as peace-builders and their post conflict role (including UN Security Council Resolution 1325). There will be a particular focus on Australia’s national agenda, including female participation in implementing the Government’s Defence White Paper and Cyber Security Strategy. It will also look at how academia and the defence industry plan to better harness women’s skills/expertise. Panels of senior women will share their experiences and insights on leadership in national security across all themes.

Presenters will range across, senior policy, academic and private sector roles. They will include:

  • Senator The Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Defence
  • Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Ms Frances Adamson, Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Mr Chris Moraitis PSM, Secretary, Attorney-General’s Department
  • Dr Habiba Sarabi, Deputy Chair to High Peace Council and Senior Advisor on Women to the Chief Executive of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • Professor Valerie Hudson, George HW Bush Chair, Texas A&M University, Fullbright Distibguished Chair at ANU, and co-author of Sex and World Peace
  • Ms Gai Brodtmann MP, Member for Canberra
  • H.E. Menna Rawlings CMG, British High Commissioner
  • Dr David Kershaw, Chief Marine Division, DST Group
  • Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC
  • Chief of the Defence Force
  • Professor Margaret Harding, A/g Vice-Chancellor, ANU
  • Ms Sabra Lane, Program Host, ABC Radio AM
  • Mr Chris Jenkins, CEO of Thales
  • Ms Stephanie Foster PSM, Deputy Australian Public Service Commissioner
  • Ms Heather McIlwain, CEO, Chief Executive Women
  • Ms Gabrielle Louise McIntyre, Chef de Cabinet, Office of the President, UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals
  • Mr Alan Ryan, Executive Director, Australian Civil Military Centre
  • Ms Rachel Noble PSM, Deputy Secretary & Deputy Comptroller-General, Immigration and Border Protection Portfolio
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‘The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and The Australian National University’

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