A new defence and security program at The University of Western Australia will build on the State’s growing relevance to Australia’s defence strategic environment, using local expertise and perspectives on defence issues such as maritime security.
The Federal Minister for Defence Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds has announced a $1.3 million Defence Strategic Policy Grant for the UWA Defence and Security Program.
UWA’s Professor Peter Dean, a leading Defence Strategy academic, has been appointed to direct the new program, supported by a committee of experts, including several former Defence Ministers and eminent researchers.
Professor Dean said the program would collaborate with the Federal and WA Governments, industry and academics to identify new priority interests and areas of research as the program evolves.
“We will be working with stakeholders through a series of virtual and face-to-face roundtables, dialogues and events, over the three-year life of the grant funding,” Professor Dean said.
“We are also aiming to group together UWA’s significant defence-relevant policy and academic capabilities in a way that benefits Australia’s defence community.
“The UWA Defence and Security Program will deliver major strategic policy papers to Defence, and we will make recommendations to Government when our research shows ways in which Australia can further its strategic interests,” Professor Dean said.
UWA’s new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Amit Chakma, said that he hoped the new UWA Defence and Security Program would reorient Australia’s strategic policy discussions westward.
“I would like to thank the Minister for making the time to be with us today and for her splendid announcement that UWA has been awarded a Defence Strategy Policy Grant,” Professor Chakma said.
“Universities will play a vital role in ensuring Australia’s independence and resilience – across the board.
“New knowledge, universities’ stock-in-trade, is the currency of the future, creating the technologies and capabilities which underpin strategic flexibility and adaptability, change paradigms, and create new trajectories.
“The strongest defence a nation can have is a firm, well-founded belief in itself and its capabilities.”
The grant was announced on Monday during the Defence Minister’s public address hosted by the Perth USAsia Centre.