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The National Security College would like to invite you to attend our inaugural Women and National Security Conference.

View the conference program


The conference will address the importance of enhancing women’s participation and leadership in national security-related policy and decision making, implementation and practice; women as actors and receivers of national security in the defence and security context, the gender based peace dividend, and Government and private sector priorities in the context of the Defence White Paper, Cyber Security Strategy and foreign policy, in this important field. It will be the first conference in Australia of this kind and scope, bringing together participants from the breadth of the national security communities in government, private sector, academia, the diplomatic corps and NGOs here and overseas. We anticipate a strong media presence.


Presenters will range across senior policy, academic and private sector roles. Those confirmed 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 & Senior Advisor on Women to the Chief Executive of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • Professor Valerie Hudson, George H.W. 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


  • Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC
    Chief of the Defence Force
  • Professor Margaret Harding, A/g Vice-Chancellor, ANU
  • 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
  • Dr David Kershaw, Chief Marine Division, DST Group

View the full conference program


Themes and topics  

Over the conference’s two days, senior and high profile national and international speakers will address in detail issues such as:

  • How to increase female participation in decision making and leadership in national security fields across public policy and practitioner, private sector and academic spheres.
  • Mainstreaming of gender and gender considerations in foreign and security policy.
  • Why the women peace and security agenda (UNSCR1325) matters and what Australia is doing about it. And possible US approaches in a President Trump era.
  • Women at the table as peace negotiators, builders and peacekeepers – drawing on lived experiences from conflicts and overseas deployments.
  • What do smart companies know about women and better decision making? Senior panels from the public and private sectors and across disciplines will share experiences, insights, best practice research and strategies on increasing women’s involvement.
  • What is Government, academia and defence industry’s plan to better harness women?
  • Media portrayals of senior women in national security
  • Women and violent extremism – ISIS.

View the full conference program


Attendee profile

The conference will be of particular interest to current and future decision makers. It will also appeal to policy makers and practitioners (public and private), academics and other experts drawn from the defence, foreign policy, aid, police, cyber, intelligence, and border/homeland security fields. We anticipate siginificant attendance for government departments such as Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Prime Minister and Cabinet, Office of National Assessments. Members of Parliament, ambassadors and senior diplomats, members of Chief Executive Women, the private sector and the broader academic community are also expected to be present.



Registration is closed.  For assistance please contact Conference Logistics on 02 6281 6624.
Please note onsite registrations will not be permitted.


Sponsorship opportunities

By sponsoring the Women and National Security Conference, you will have an excellent opportunity to:

  • enhance the profile of your government department, organisation or company
  • establish or renew professional networks
  • promote your key activities and reinforce your credentials.

If you are interested in discussing your sponsorship options for the Women and National Security Conference please download the sponsorship prospectus or contact the Conference Organisers, Conference Logistics.

Conference Sponsorship Prospectus (PDF)

Conference Logistics
PO Box 6150, KINGSTON ACT 2604
P:  +61 2 6281 6624     F: +61 2 6285 1336









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The National Security College acknowledges and thanks our conference sponsors and partners.




The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Governmment and ANU. Main image credits (L-R): iStock; UNFPA/Millat Horiria; AFGE on Flickr (crop); Expert Infantry on Flickr; UNFPA