Why Australia Needs a Radically New Defence Policy

Event details

ANU Public Lecture Series

Date & time

Thursday 27 September 2018


The Auditorium, Australian Centre on China in the World Building, 188, Fellows Lane Acton, ACT 2601


Paul Dibb, Dr Richard Brabin-Smith AO, Brendan Sargeant & Dr Toni Erskine


Mitch Clyne

Australia faces a potentially dangerous strategic outlook, which requires radical changes to the country’s defence policy. For the first time since the Second World War, there is now the prospect of a potential adversary—with whom we do not share values—operating in our neighbourhood and capable of threatening us with high intensity conflict.

This public lecture chaired by Professor Toni Erskine, the Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs will discuss the following key defence policy issues:

Emeritus Professor Paul Dibb will analyse Australia’s deteriorating strategic outlook, how China is threatening our strategic space, why the US is becoming a less reliable ally, and why we need to become more self-reliant.

Honorary Professor Richard Brabin-Smith will focus on why defence warning time has now dramatically shortened because of the potential threat from China’s military capabilities, and will examine the consequent implications for the ADF.

Honorary Professor Brendan Sargeant will explain the crucial need for a much more imaginative strategic policy that strengthens Australia’s ability to handle defence crises. He will argue for a significantly increased defence budget.

VIDEO of the panel event is available on Youtube and also on the ‘Video’ tab on this event page.

TRANSCRIPTS of all 3 presentations are available on our website:

IMAGES from the event are on the ‘Gallery’ tab on this event page.

AUDIO of the event is available on Soundcloud.

Updated:  27 November 2022/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team