Thinking the Unthinkable: Could Australia ever contemplate nuclear weapons?

Professor Hugh White, and Professor the Hon Gareth Evans

Event details


Date & time

Wednesday 30 October 2019


Lecture Theatre 1, Hedley Bull Building (130), corner of Garran Road & Liversidge Street, ANU


Professor Hugh White, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre; Professor Gareth Evans, ANU Chancellor


Yanhong Ouyang

John Gee Memorial Lecture

Professor Hugh White’s latest book How to Defend Australia has raised some challenging questions. One of them is whether there could be circumstances under which Australia might in future think about getting nuclear weapons. This clearly raises many grave issues - above all strategic and moral issues. In this 2019 John Gee Memorial Lecture, Professor White explores these questions further, in the light of the debate which his book has provoked.

The lecture will be chaired, and subsequent discussion initiated, by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans, Chancellor of The Australian National University and former Australian Foreign Minister, who has been a leading international voice in favour of both nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

The lecture honours the life and work of Dr John Gee AO who served with distinction as an Australian diplomat in a number of countries, but whose greatest contribution was in the field of disarmament, where he had a particular interest in chemical weapons, including his pivotal contribution to the establishment and successful operation of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

About Dr John Gee AO

Dr John Gee AO (1944 - 2007) — After a period as a Commissioner on the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq following the first Gulf War, he became Deputy Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague, serving there until 2003. In recognition of his achievements, Dr Gee was made a member of the Order of Australia in January 2007. He leaves behind a legacy and a memory of a great Australian.

This event is presented by the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, and the National Security College, at The Australian National University.

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