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About CDSS
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The Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies (CDSS) is the senior educational institution of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). CDSS delivers high quality programs in strategic defence policy and planning, leadership and management, and security issues of global, regional and national importance. CDSS is responsible for providing Australian and overseas participants with the knowledge and skills required to operate at the strategic level in a complex and modern security environment

The principal course conducted is the Defence and Strategic Studies Course (DSSC) - the senior course in Australia for senior military officers and other Government officials engaged in national security issues.

Course Outcomes: The objectives of the DSSC include enhancing the ability of Course Members to:

  • provide timely and effective advice to Government
  • apply military power to achieve strategic objectives, and
  • develop and sustain military capability to meet national objectives

Course Participants: The course is aimed at senior military and civilian officers with the potential for further advancement and who are in or likely to move into strategic command, planning and decision-making roles. The course generally consists of between 42-46 Course Members, half of which come from other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, North America and the Middle East, particularly those that share Australia's interests. They add an important dimension to the consideration of the complex international issues that face decision-makers in the strategic, defence and security spheres.


Mr Ian Errington, AM, CSC

Mr Ian Errington, AM, CSC

Mr Ian Errington, AM, CSC Ian was born in Perth, Western Australia, in 1957 and joined the Australian Regular Army in 1974. He graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea, in 1980 and was allocated to the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery. Ian transferred in 1986 to the Australian Intelligence Corps where he was employed initially in security and counterintelligence roles. He underwent training in the United States as a strategic intelligence analyst and, subsequently, specialised as a Southeast Asian analyst working in both the Defence Intelligence Organisation in Canberra, and in the US Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C.

Ian is a 1992 graduate from the Australian Command and Staff College, is an Advanced Indonesian linguist, and has a Master of Defence Studies degree from the University of New England. His honours and awards include the Conspicuous Service Cross, the Group Bravery Citation, and he is a Member of the Order of Australia. Ian has been awarded the Australian Service Medal (Irian Jaya) and the Australian Active Service Medal (Iraq and Afghanistan). He is also a recipient of the US Legion of Merit.

Ian commanded the 1st Division Intelligence Company and the Defence Intelligence Training Centre. He has also enjoyed a wide range of staff appointments including as ADC to the Chief of Army, Staff Officer to DGCPM-A, SO1 Intelligence Plans at JEPS, and as Chief of Staff of Coastwatch Division in the Australian Customs and Border Protection Command. Ian's senior command and staff appointments include Head of the Australian Defence Staff in Jakarta (2006-2009), and Senior Advisor to the Iraqi Armed Forces Commander (2005). Ian was assigned from 2011-12 to the Headquarters, International Security Assistance Force - Afghanistan as the Deputy J2, responsible for Coalition intelligence plans, analysis, and production. He also supervised the development and operations of the Commander ISAF Red Team, the NATO Intelligence Collaboration Group, as well as the Theatre Civil-Military program.

Ian has broad experience in wider Departmental, whole of government, and diplomatic settings. He was a long-term member of Defence International Policy Division - as Army Attaché Jakarta and HADS Jakarta, as Director General Pacific and East Timor, and as Director General Southeast Asia. His work at Customs Head Office in Canberra and with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at overseas Posts has provided him enhanced exposure to, and appreciation of, national interests, challenges, and priorities.

Ian is married to Debbie, a DFAT officer, and they have two beautiful daughters - Hayley (26) and Kellie (20). Ian and Debbie's diverse interests include travel, bushwalking, running, cooking, and maintaining their garden.