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Expert Panel and Community Consultation

Expert Panel

The Government appointed an external Expert Panel to support the development of the 2016 Defence White Paper and its Force Structure Review, and provide independent advice to the Minister.

The Expert Panel included:

Mr Peter Jennings, Executive Director of Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) - Chair

Peter Jennings commenced as Australian Strategic Policy Institute Executive Director on 30 April 2012. Prior to that he was the Deputy Secretary for Strategy in the Australian Department of Defence.

Peter's career has included extensive experience advising Government at senior levels; developing major strategic policy documents; conducting crisis management, and researching, writing and teaching international security.

Peter has previously held a number of First Assistant Secretary positions in Defence including First Assistant Secretary International Policy Division, First Assistant Secretary Coordination and Public Affairs and Secretary of the Defence Audit and Risk Committee.

Peter was for a number of years the Director of Programs at ASPI. He wrote and commentated widely on defence policy and international security, and taught postgraduate studies on terrorism at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).

In 2002-03 Peter was a Senior Adviser in the Prime Minister's office responsible for developing a strategic policy framework for Cabinet. Peter had previously been Chief of Staff to the Minister for Defence (1996-1998) and Defence adviser to the Federal Opposition (1990-1993).

In the Defence Department, Peter has also been the Deputy Director of the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (2002) and head of the Strategic Policy Branch (1998-1999). In late 1999 Peter was co-director of the East Timor Policy Unit, responsible for developing Australia's policy approaches to the international peacekeeping operation in East Timor. Following that, as an acting First Assistant Secretary, Peter was closely involved in developing the 2000 Defence White Paper.

Peter studied at the London Business School in 2000-2001 as a Sloan Fellow and was awarded a Masters of Science (Management) with Distinction. He has a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations from the Australian National University (1987) and a BA (Honours) in History from the University of Tasmania (1980-1984). He has been a Fulbright Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1985). Peter taught politics and international relations at the University of New South Wales/ADFA (1987-1990). He has written and published widely on defence and security issues.

Peter was awarded the Public Service Medal in the Australia Day 2013 Honours List for outstanding public service through the development of Australia's strategic and defence policy, particularly in the areas of Australian Defence Force operations in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rear Admiral James Goldrick (Ret'd)

James Goldrick is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales at Canberra (ADFA), as well as being an Adjunct Professor in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of the Australian National University.

He joined the Royal Australian Navy as a 15 year old Cadet-Midshipman in 1974 and retired from full time service in 2012. He is a graduate of the RAN College, the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program, the University of NSW (BA) and the University of New England (Master of Letters). He commanded HMA Ships Cessnock and Sydney (twice), the RAN task group and the multinational maritime interception force in the Persian Gulf (2002) and the Australian Defence Force Academy (2003-2006). As a Rear Admiral, he led Australia's Border Protection Command (2006-2008) and then commanded the Australian Defence College (2008-2011). August 2011 to March 2012 saw him acting in command of ADFA again.

He is currently a Visiting Fellow of the Sea Power Centre-Australia, a Visiting Fellow of the Lowy Institute for International Policy and a Professorial Fellow of the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security at the University of Wollongong.

James Goldrick has contributed to many international journals and books on both historical and contemporary naval subjects. His research interests include naval and maritime strategic issues and the development of naval capabilities in the Indo-Pacific, as well as world navies in the twentieth and twenty first centuries, with a focus on their response to changing technologies and operational challenges.

Professor Rory Medcalf, Head of College, National Security College

Professor Rory Medcalf began his tenure as the Head of the National Security College in January 2015. His professional background spans diplomacy, intelligence analysis, think tanks and journalism. Most recently he was the Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy from 2007 to 2015.

Prior to that, Professor Medcalf worked as a senior strategic analyst with the Office of National Assessments, Canberra's peak intelligence analysis agency. His experience as an Australian diplomat included a posting to New Delhi, a secondment to Japan's foreign ministry, and truce monitoring after the civil conflict in Bougainville. He has contributed to three landmark reports on nuclear arms control including the Canberra Commission and the Tokyo Forum. His earlier work in journalism was commended in Australia's leading media awards, the Walkleys.

Professor Medcalf has been active in developing Australia's relations with India. He has been Associate Director of the Australia-India Institute and Senior Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales. He is the founding convener and co-chair of the Australia-India Roundtable, the leading informal policy dialogue between the two countries.

His current research areas include Australia's strategic and defence challenges, the further development of an Indo-Pacific concept of the Asian strategic environment, and prospects for maritime and nuclear stability in Indo-Pacific Asia, on which he is leading two major projects funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

Mr Mike Kalms, Partner, KPMG

Mike is the Lead Partner - Defence Industry at KPMG Australia and has over 20 years experience in a variety of private and public sectors roles in Australia, Europe and Asia. He has worked in capability development, political, advisory, strategy, mergers and acquisitions and general profit and loss leadership roles.

He has a strong general management and consulting resume in defence and defence adjacent sectors. His particular passion is working collaboratively with customers and stakeholders to deliver rapid performance improvement in the business and battlespace.

Specialties: Defence and industry collaboration; profit and loss management; team/business transformation; translation of customer requirements into capability; cultural change and leadership; business integration and growth.

Dr Andrew Davies, ASPI

Dr Andrew Davies has been with Australian Strategic Policy Institute since 2006. He has written extensively on ADF capability and force structuring issues, including platform options for air and maritime combat, industry issues, and decision-making in the Department of Defence. He has an ongoing interest in the future submarine and Joint Strike Fighter projects, and his work on both has made an important contribution to the public understanding of those projects here and abroad. Before joining ASPI, Andrew was a post doctoral fellow in physics at Melbourne University and the ANU. He then spent twelve years in the Department of Defence in the areas of capability analysis and intelligence.

Dr Stephan Frühling, Australian National University

Dr Stephan Frühling is Senior Lecturer in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University (ANU).

He was the acting and inaugural Director of Studies of the ANU Master in Military Studies program at the Australian Defence Force's Australian Command and Staff College from October 2011 to June 2012, and the Deputy Director of Studies until the end of 2013.

Stephan is a Managing Editor of the journal Security Challenges, and a Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council's Linkage Project on Australian Nuclear Choices, co-funded by the Australian Department of Defence, and the Discovery Project on Small Allies and Extended Nuclear Deterrence.

His publications include Defence Planning and Uncertainty: Preparing for the next Asia-Pacific war (Routledge, 2014), and A History of Australian Strategic Policy Since 1945 (Defence Publishing Service, 2009). He has published numerous articles in academic journals, including in Australian Journal of International Affairs, Comparative Strategy, Asian Security, Security Challenges and the RUSI Journal. He has also published policy papers with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, NATO Defense College and Lowy Institute for Public Policy.

Stephan's primary areas of research and publication include defence planning, Australian strategic and defence policy, nuclear weapons and ballistic missile defence, and strategic theory.

He was awarded a PhD in Strategic Studies from the ANU, a Masters of Arts in Defense and Strategic Studies from Missouri State University, and a Diplom (equivalent Bachelor with Honours) in Economics from Kiel University, Germany.

The Panel contributed valuably to the White Paper process through:

  • providing input to the analysis and drafting of the Defence White Paper documents;
  • leading a targeted consultation process with the Australian public and industry, and
  • providing independent views to Government at the request of Ministers.

Community Consultation

The 2016 Defence White Paper provided an opportunity for the Government to consult with the Australian community on important Defence policy decisions.

The Expert Panel, led by Peter Jennings, held consultation sessions in each State and Territory between July and November 2014.

In total, the Expert Panel met with more than 500 individuals at various community consultation and major industry events.

The consultation program elicited some 260 written submissions from the public, industry and other organisations.

The Panel has prepared a report, Guarding against uncertainty: Australian attitudes to Defence [PDF 1.7 MB]. The report sets out issues raised by the Australian community at meetings held around the country and in written submissions responding to the Defence Issues Paper [PDF 1.5 MB].