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The Australian National University

Introduction to Australia's National Security Challenges and Policy-Making

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This highly interactive one-week program will introduce you to the responsibilities and operation of the national security community and provides a grounding in the wide range of security challenges facing Australia. You’ll explore how different departments and agencies contribute to the whole-of-government effort and gain insights into the impact of national security challenges on your own workplace.


The program stresses the importance of leadership and collaboration across the the community and introduces you to the legislative and governance frameworks underpinning national security.


Who will benefit from this program?

Officers working within national security agencies and departments who are involved (or likely to be involved) in policy, strategic planning, capability development or coordination will benefit from participation in this program. Because of the breadth of the program and its introductory focus, there is benefit also for officers from agencies and departments associated with particular issues related to national security.

This program is open to EL1, APS6 and experienced APS5 officers (or equivalent). State and territory officers are encouraged to nominate. While there is no minimum security clearance required, participants will be expected to maintain the confidentiality of information covered during the program.

Program details


1 week non-residential
Fully-catered program
ANU parking permit will be supplied
The fee for this program is $3,200 (GST exclusive) for Commonwealth participating agencies and NSC Partners. The open rate is $3,900 (GST exclusive). Please contact us for information about becoming an NSC Partner organisation.

Dates and venue

  • 6 - 10 March 2017
  • 1 - 5 May 2017
  • 17 - 21 July 2017
  • 16 - 20 October 2017

National Security College, Crawford Building #132, 1 Lennox Crossing, The Australian National University


Please contact us to obtain the nomination form and submit this, in line with individual departmental requirements and processes, to Nominations close two weeks prior to the commencement of the course.


Program approach

The program is delivered as an intensive and interactive one week program. Through facilitated discussion, the program identifies relevant issues facing the participants and their agencies. A range of learning approaches are employed, including discussions, guest speakers, syndicate exercises, review and reflection time as well as a hypothetical discussion exercise. Speakers are drawn from a range of state and Commonwealth agencies, academia and industry with significant expertise and practical experience in their presentation fields.

Syndicate exercises

Syndicate discussions culminate in a hypothetical exercise that provides a practical component to the strategic and thematic perspectives from discussion sessions. The syndicate discussions provide participants with an opportunity to draw out key themes from presentations and consider practical questions for national security policy making and implementation. The hypothetical activity uses a reality-based scenario to draw on the program content and the experience of participants to examine practical implications and the policy context of national security decision-making.


Outcomes you can expect from your participation

The program will enable participants to:
•examine Australia’s national security processes and arrangements
•recognise how your work, and that of your department or agency, relates to the broader national security priorities
•outline how the national security community is addressing challenges and issues for Australia’s national security, and
•establish collaborative networks and professional relationships across the national security community.



“The program included a surprising mix of very engaging and relevant content, and was a great opportunity to question how security priorities are established and how whole of government approaches to security relate to participants' roles and agencies. Workshop and small group sessions were a real highlight."

“The program is fantastic, providing a framework for understanding the most important global and regional issues of our time, and how they impact Australia. It really helped me to understand the different –but inter-related –areas of government responsibility, and how my role as a public servant fits within that.”

(Participants –Introduction to Australia’s National Security Challenges & Policy-Making)


Download the Flyer.

Updated:  29 March 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/ Page Contact:  Web administrator, National Security College