You are warmly invited to the launch of Defence Industry in 'National Defence': Rethinking the Future of Australian Defence Industry Policy.

You are warmly invited to the launch of

Defence Industry in 'National Defence': Rethinking the Future of Australian Defence Industry Policy

Building the Australian defence industry is critical for our national security in a geopolitically contested era. But our current paradigm for defence industry was built in a different era, and needs to be updated to reflect our contemporary environment.

This report examines how Australia should reframe defence industry policy by drawing lessons from five peer countries: Sweden, France, the UK, Israel and Canada.

While facing different strategic circumstances, their experiences illustrate how the possession of an independent but internationally linked defence industry is itself an asset during a period where the risk of major conflict is rising.

Their experiences offer pertinent lessons for Australia. This report identifies several factors that shape effective policy, argues that a fundamental rethink of Australian defence policy is required, and offers five recommendations.


  • Innes Willox, CEO, Australian Industry Group
  • Professor Brian Schmidt, Vice-Chancellor, ANU
  • Kate Louis, Executive Director, Defence Council, Australian Industry Group
  • Professor Stephan Frühling, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU
  • Chaired by Professor Helen Sullivan, Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific.



  • DATE: Monday 18 Dec 2023 
  • TIME: 10 - 11am
  • VENUE: Cinema, Kambri Cultural Centre, The Australian National University, 153 Tangney Rd, Acton, ACT 2601.

The launch will be followed by morning tea.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Scholars, graduate students, policymakers and practitioners working in the fields of Defence and Strategic Studies.

SHARE: You are very welcome to share this invitation with your colleagues and networks in industry government, the APS and academia.


REGISTER: Please register your attendance here, no later than Wednesday 13 December 2023.


This event is cohosted by the Australian Industry Group (AIG) and the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at ANU.

Image: HMAS Arunta and Naval Ship Management personnel on board the ship during its docking scheduled refit at Garden Island Defence Precinct, Sydney. Credit: Defence Imagery, LSIS Susan Mossop.

Event Speakers

Innes Willox, CEO, Australian Industry Group

Innes Willox

He joined AIG in ‘08 as Director of Government Affairs and became CEO in '18. He has served as Australian Consul General to Los Angeles and was Chief of Staff to the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Alexander Downer. Previously a journalist at The Age as Chief of Staff (Melb) & Chief Political Correspondent (CBR).

Professor Brian P. Schmidt

Professor Brian P. Schmidt, AC FAA FRS

Vice-Chancellor, ANU
Brian Schmidt is one of Australia's most eminent scientists. Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, he spent most of his academic career as an astrophysicist before becoming VC. He makes a significant contribution to public debate via media, and through bodies incl. the PM’s National Science & Technology Council.

Kate Louis, AIG

Kate Louis

Executive Director, Ai Group Defence Council
Kate joined AIG in 2017 following an extensive career in the Department of Defence gaining experience in Defence capability development, acquisition, contestability and industry policy, finishing as First Assistant Secretary of the Defence Industry Policy Division.

Stephan Frühling

Professor Stephan Frühling teaches and researches at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of The Australian National University and has widely published on Australian defence policy, defence pl

Helen Sullivan is a public policy researcher, teacher, advisor, and senior university leader.





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Related academic area

Event speakers

Innes Willox
Professor Brian P. Schmidt, AC FAA FRS
Kate Louis