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Defence White Paper 2009 - Biographies

Deputy Secretary Strategy: Mr Michael Pezzullo
Ministerial Advisory Panel: Professor Ross Babbage | Major General Peter Abigail (Ret'd) | Dr Mark Thomson
Community Consultation Progamme Panel: Stephen Loosley (Chair) | Arthur Sinodinos (Deputy Chair) | Mr Peter Collins AM QC | Rear Admiral Simon Harrington AM RAN (Ret'd) | Professor Tanya Monro

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Mr Michael Pezzullo

Michael Pezzullo took up the position of Deputy Secretary Strategy in the Department of Defence in January 2006. In this role, he was responsible for defence strategy and planning, force structure development, the strategic policy aspects of Australian Defence Force operations, Defence's international security relationships, and delivering national security programmes in areas such as export controls, counter-proliferation and Defence cooperation with other countries. He also oversaw the Department’s ministerial support and public affairs programmes.

Mr Pezzullo joined the Department of Defence as a graduate in 1987. He worked in Defence until 1992 in a variety of strategic policy and intelligence positions. He then transferred to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, where he worked in the International Division. In March 1993, he joined the staff of the Foreign Minister, Senator the Hon Gareth Evans QC. He remained in Parliament House until December 2001, including serving 5 years as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Kim Beazley MP.

In February 2002, he rejoined the Department of Defence as an Assistant Secretary in the Corporate Services and Infrastructure Group (now Defence Support Group). In March 2004, he was promoted to the position of Head Infrastructure. In July 2004, he was transferred into the newly formed role of Chief Of Staff Australian Defence Headquarters and Head of Coordination and Public Affairs Division.

Between February 2008 and May 2009 he led the Defence White Paper team and was also the principal author of the 2009 Defence White Paper.

Mr Pezzullo has a BA(Hons) in History from Sydney University. He enjoys being with his family, cricket and rugby league, and reading (anything on military history, strategy, international relations, intelligence, political biography and philosophy, for starters).
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Professor Ross Babbage

Professor Ross Babbage is Chairman of the The Kokoda Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation committed to researching Australia’s most difficult future security challenges. Professor Babbage is also Managing Director of Strategy International (ACT) Pty Ltd, a defence consulting and education service delivery organisation.

Professor Babbage has wide-ranging expertise in international security affairs. He has held several senior positions in the Australian Public Service, including Head of Strategic Analysis in the Office of National Assessments, and he led the branch in the Department of Defence responsible for ANZUS policy. Professor Babbage was Assistant Secretary, Force Development in the late 1980s, carrying responsibility for the analysis of all major defence capability proposals and the preparation of recommendations for the senior Defence committees and for Cabinet. From 1986-1990 he was Deputy Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University.

Through the 1990s, Professor Babbage worked with ADI Limited, Australia’s largest defence company. In the late 1990s he served as Corporate Executive Strategic Analysis, carrying primary responsibility for the company’s longer term thinking and planning. In 2000 he was appointed the inaugural Director of the Centre for International Strategic Analysis in Perth. In 2003 and 2004 he served as Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University. Professor Babbage has also served on the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London for a maximum six year term.

Professor Babbage has Bachelor and Masters degrees in economics from the University of Sydney and a PhD in International Relations from the Australian National University.

He is author of A Coast Too Long: Defending Australia Beyond the 1990s (Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1990), Rethinking Australia’s Defence (University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1980), Preparing Australia’s Defence for 2020 – Transformation or Reform? (Kokoda Foundation, Canberra, 2005) and Australia’s Future Underwater Operations and System Requirements (Kokoda Foundation, Canberra, 2007). Professor Babbage has also written extensively on Asia-Pacific affairs focusing, in particular, on medium- and long-term regional trends.
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Major General Peter Abigail (Ret'd)

Major General Peter Abigail (Ret'd) joined ASPI as Director in April 2005. Prior to that he spent 37 years in the Army. Following promotion to Major General in December 1996, he served in a range of senior leadership appointments in the Defence Organisation.

As Assistant Chief of the Defence Force (Policy and Strategic Guidance) and then Head Strategic Policy and Plans (Australian Defence Headquarters) (1996 - 1998) he was responsible for key aspects of Defence policy, military strategy and capability development.

As Deputy Chief of Army (1998-2000) he was responsible for managing the Army and its interaction with other Defence stakeholders. In his final appointment, as Land Commander Australia (2000-2002), he commanded all of the Army's operational forces, full time and reserves, including those that were committed to operations in East Timor, Bougainville and Afghanistan.

Peter retired from the Army in 2003 and formed a private company, Peter Abigail & Associates Pty Limited, specialising in strategic consultancy services before taking up his position as Director.
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Dr Mark Thomson

Mark began his career as an academic working in theoretical physics. As a scientist he held research and teaching posts in Australia and the United Kingdom.

In the mid-1990's Mark joined the Department of Defence and commenced work in the Force Development and Analysis division scrutinising capability development proposals. Over the next five years he held a diverse range of jobs in the department that saw him working on budget management, organisational change and force development. In this period, he was deployed on operations as a Civilian Truce Monitor to Bougainville in 1997, and as Political Military Adviser to the INTERFET Commander in 1999.

In 2002 Mark joined the newly formed Australian Strategic Policy Institute as inaugural director of the Budget and Management Program. Mark's research touches on a wide range of issues including Australia's defence and security budgets, links between strategy and force structure, the internal management of the Department of Defence and defence industry. Mark participated in the government’s review of ADF Recruitment and Retention in 2005-06 and was member of the Defence Industry Policy Review team in 2006-07.
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Community Consultation Progamme Panel

Mr Stephen Loosley – Chairman

Mr Stephen LoosleyStephen Loosley is a former Senator and ALP National President. He holds First Class Honours degrees in Politics (UNSW, 1976) and the Law (UTS, 1997) and serves as a Councillor on the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

While a Senator, Stephen served as Chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. He is currently Chairman of the Committee for Sydney, and also serves on the Boards of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue, the Partnership Executive Committee of the NRL, Thales Australia and European Australian Business Council.  He is a Member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London) and a Fellow of the Centre for International Legal Studies (Salzburg).

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Mr Arthur Sinodinos AO – Deputy Chair

Arthur SinodinosArthur Sinodinos was Chief of Staff to Prime Minister John Howard, from October 1997 until December 2006 when he became a Senior Director with Goldman Sachs JBWere.  He currently works for the National Australia Bank as Regional General Manager – Business and Private Banking.  
Arthur joined the Department of Finance in 1979 as a graduate recruit and moved to the Treasury shortly afterwards. He was Assistant Secretary, Labour Markets Branch (1992-1994), Acting First Assistant Secretary, Economic Division (1993-1994 Budget to January 1994), and Assistant Secretary, International Finance and Development Branch (1994-1995).

Arthur was awarded the Order of Australia in 2008.
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Mr Peter Collins AM QC

The Hon. Peter Collins AM QCPeter Collins was an ABC-TV journalist and practiced at the NSW Bar prior to his election to the NSW Parliament in 1981. During his 22 year Parliamentary career, he held several portfolios including Health, the Arts, Attorney-General and Treasurer, after which he was Leader of the Opposition.

Peter is a Director of HOSTPLUS, Chairman of the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare and St John Ambulance (NSW) and serves on the boards of Macquarie Generation and Workers Compensation Insurance Fund Investment Board (NSW).

Peter has maintained an active interest in Defence matters throughout his life and has been an officer in both Army (1964-9) and Navy (since 1975) Reserves. He deployed to IRAQ in 2007 and currently holds the rank of Commander.
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Rear Admiral Simon Harrington AM RAN (Retired)

Rear Admiral Simon Harrington AM RAN (Ret'd)Rear Admiral Simon Harrington retired from the Navy in 2002 after nearly 40 years service.  A Communications specialist he mostly worked in personnel, operations, and force development billets. He commanded the Frigates Canberra and Adelaideand the Naval College at Jervis Bay.  Promoted to Rear Admiral in 1997 he became Support Commander (Navy). 

Read Admiral Harrington’s final posting was Defence Attaché in Washington.  In 2003 he was appointed to the Repatriation Commission in Veterans’ Affairs for 3½ years.  In November 2007 he was appointed to the Council of the Australian War Memorial.

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Professor Tanya Monro

Professor Tanya MonroProfessor Tanya Monro is a leading research scientist at the University of Adelaide who works closely with Defence and industry.

Professor Monro is a Federation Fellow and the Director of the Centre of Expertise in Photonics. From 1998 to 2004, Tanya worked at the University of Southampton, UK. Prior to this she completed a PhD at the University of Sydney, for which she received the Bragg Gold Medal for the best physics PhD in Australia. Her research focuses on developing new classes of optical fibres. Tanya has published more than 300 papers and in 2008 was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year.

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