ASEAN-Australia Defence Postgraduate Scholarship Program

Professor Gregory Raymond with Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs Director, Professor Toni Erskine, Professor Bina D'Costa, and ASEAN-Australia Defence Postgraduate Scholarship Program Students.

The ASEAN-Australia Defence Postgraduate Scholarship Program (AADPSP) is an innovative program that commenced in 2019, with its inaugural intake of Defence officials from Southeast Asia and Australia beginning a two-year Master of Strategic Studies in Semester 2.

Australia’s then-Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne announced the program in 2018 at the ASEAN Australia Special Summit, and The Australian National University (ANU) successfully bid for the contract. In announcing the program Senator Payne said:

“This program will be the first of its kind for ASEAN defence officials. It will see ASEAN’s and Australia’s best and brightest working together to share their experiences and develop their strategic thinking.”

“It will help us build our collective capacity to deliver sophisticated and effective regional defence cooperation in a dynamic regional security environment.”

“The scholarship exemplifies the new era in our partnership with ASEAN and strengthens Australia’s substantial and practical contribution to regional security and prosperity.”

Convened by Dr Gregory Raymond of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the ANU, the program aims to develop a strong network of ASEAN defence leaders personally familiar with each other and Australia, as well as to increase analytical capacity for understanding contemporary strategic affairs. It also aims to increase engagement between ASEAN future leaders and the Department of Defence, Australian Defence Force, Australian public service and wider community.

The program commenced in 2019 with Defence officials from Laos (LEUT Xayyaphone Chanthalaphone), Cambodia (MAJGEN Sam Sophea), Thailand (LCDR Kullmanoch Wanwarn), Vietnam (MAJ Luong “Murph” Ngoc), Malaysia (CDR Mazwan Bin Said), the Philippines (Ms Patricia Jison) and Australia (CDR Richard Donnelly).

As part of their Master in Strategic Studies, program participants take a special course called Defence Leadership in ASEAN, which focusses on issues of leadership in a Defence and ASEAN context. Students have the opportunity to attend guest lectures from a wide range of experts both in Australia and overseas. Additionally, the course members come together regularly for special briefings and roundtables on ASEAN defence and security topics.

In 2020 they have received briefings from a range of distinguished speakers, including Australia’s Deputy Head of Mission to ASEAN Ms Megan Jones, the Head of the National Security College Mr Rory Medcalf and Philippines journalist and author Mr Richard Heydarian. The group are expected to graduate at the end of first semester in 2021 and a new intake will commence in January 2022.