Defence and security provides the foundation of our nation’s sovereignty. In an era of rapidly evolving geopolitics this critical area of national policy sits at the forefront of government and public debates.
Once personified by the idea of geographical remoteness and the ‘tyranny of distance’ from the world’s economic and strategic centres of gravity, Australia is now enamoured by the power of proximity. We sit at the crossroads of the vast Indo-Pacific strategic system that forms the centre of strategic and economic competition in the modern age. Australia’s new geostrategic position brings both enormous opportunities as well as new risks to manage. This environment creates particular opportunities for Western Australia, as geostrategic issues require closer attention be paid to Australia’s western and northern approaches.
The UWA Defence and Security Institute (DSI) is focused on investigating Australia’s role in the Indo-Pacific. It will play a central role in helping to develop Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities in WA by working with local, state and federal governments, industry and business, research institutions and the community to help generate solutions towards a peaceful, prosperous and secure Australia and Indo-Pacific region.
The DSI is committed to serving as a hub for the university and the WA community, drawing together UWA academics and researchers with practitioners and partners across the State and the nation. With a focus on the dynamic Indo-Pacific region we leverage local perspectives and expertise on issues such as disruptive and converging technologies; defence industry; defence capability development and maritime security; Australia’s international and defence relations and regional security.
Drawing on UWA’s distinct geographical advantage as Australia’s Indian Ocean capital city, we support the production of vital perspectives that contribute to an effective defence and security ecosystem. In doing so the UWA DSI aims to:
- Assist the University in developing a defence research strategy.
- Increase the number of academics involved in research to address Western Australian, Australian and regional defence and security challenges.
- Develop UWA’s externally funded defence and security related research, including through collaborations across UWA, WA and Australia.
- Increase UWA’s impact on national defence policy, particularly in Indo-Pacific defence and security policy and issues.
- Play a lead role in WA defence partnerships to benefit the State and the Nation.
- Develop a sustainable defence and security educational model, both at degree level (including higher degrees by research) and for professional development courses that will include industry experience opportunities for students.