About us

Our governance

Dr Garth Pratten – Acting Head of Centre

Dr Garth Pratten is Acting Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. An historian by training, he has had a varied career having worked for the Australian Army’s Training Command and the Australian War Memorial, and taught at Deakin University and in the War Studies Department at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Dr Pratten was a member of the research staff for the Official History of Australia’s Involvement in Southeast Asian Conflicts and is currently contributing to the Official History of Australian Peackeeping and
Post-Cold War Operations.

In 2010, while working for the British Ministry of Defence, Dr Pratten deployed to Afghanistan as part of the team compiling the war diary for ISAF’s Regional Command South. Dr Pratten’s interest in the conduct of military operations has led him to conduct field work in France, Belgium, Libya, Malaya, Singapore, Turkey and Cyprus. In April 2006, Dr Pratten was awarded the Australian Army’s CEW Bean prize for his PhD thesis, the book of which - Australian Battalion Commanders in the Second World War - was runner up for the Templer Medal in 2010.

Professor Evelyn Goh - Director of Research

Dr Joanne Wallis - Director of Studies

Dr Andrew Carr - Director of Outreach and Engagement

Professor Brendan Sargeant - Acting Head, Military and Defence Studies Program

Former Heads of SDSC are a highly esteemed group of leading thinkers and educators who enjoyed distinguished careers in public service and academia. Learn more about our Former Heads of Centre.

Our mission

The Strategic & Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) is Australia’s largest body of scholars dedicated to the analysis of the use of armed force in its political context. As a leading international research institution specializing in strategy and defence, SDSC has a three-part mission:

To provide ‘real world’-focused strategic studies that is research-based, research-led and world-class. Our primary expertise within the broad field of Strategic Studies consists of three related research clusters: Australian defence, military studies, and Asia-Pacific security. Our scholarship in these areas is intended to be recognized internationally and of value to the Australian policy community; To prepare and educate the next generation of strategic leaders – military, civilian and academic – in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region by providing world-class graduate and undergraduate programs in strategic and defence studies; and to contribute toward a better-informed standard of public debate in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region using high-quality outreach and commentary on issues pertaining to our core areas of expertise.

Our vision

Founded in 1966, the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre is proud to be counted among the earliest generation of post-World War II research institutions dedicated to the analysis of the use of armed force in its political context. The Centre seeks to build upon our achievements over the past half century, and to play a leading role in shaping international strategic studies, policies and debates. Within the next decade, SDSC aims to position itself as the leading university-based institution for research, education, and outreach in strategic and defence issues in the Asia-Pacific region. In a fluid and fast-changing strategic milieu, we will invest in the strategic development of our research and teaching programs in order to play a leading role in defining Strategic Studies for our age. Our goal is to shape the areas of scholarship and policy-making which will inform the leadership of the Asia Pacific, and equip strategic planners and analysts to be bold and innovative in addressing the challenges of the future.

Updated:  26 May 2020/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team