Strategic and Defence Studies Centre

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Group.png Strategic and Defence Studies Centre  
(Think tankWebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
HeadquartersAustralian National University, Canberra, Australia
Membership• Hugh White
• Paul Dibb
• Joan Beaumont
• Chris Barrie
• Daniel Marston
• David Horner
• Garth Pratten
• Thomas Millar
• Brendan Taylor
• Stephan Frühling
• Evelyn Goh
• Andrew Carr
• John Blaxland
• Brendan
• Robert O'Neill Sargeant
• Desmond Ball
Security think-tank at Australian National University

The Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) is a university-based institute that is situated in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University.[1] It is Australia's oldest-established centre for the study of strategic, defence and wider security issues and a leading regional think tank on these topics. The centre was established in 1966 by Professor T.B. Millar, then a senior fellow at the ANU's Department of International Relations, in order to "advance the study of Australian, regional, and global strategic and defence issues".[2] The current head of SDSC is Brendan Taylor. Previous Heads include Emeritus Professor Paul Dibb and Professor Hugh White, who both was also the Deputy Secretary for Strategy and Intelligence of the Department of Defence.


The key priorities of the SDSC are to contribute to the national public debate on strategic, defence and wider security issues [...], foster regional dialogue and interactions on security questions [...], publish top quality scholarly research [and] deliver high-quality undergraduate and graduate teaching[3]


To do so, the SDSC publishes the peer-reviewed Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence[4] as well as the SDSC Working Papers.[5] Additionally, it attracts highly regarded speakers (both from academia and the defence community) in its seminar and conference program. It awards high-performing PhD students with the Sir Arthur Tange PhD Scholarships in Strategic & Defence Policy (named in honour of the former Australian Secretary of Defence) and outstanding postgraduate students with the T.B. Millar Scholarship.

The SDSC staff gives frequent lectures and seminars for other departments within the ANU and other universities, as well as to various government departments. The centre has also assisted Australia's major defence training institution, the Australian Defence College, with the strategic studies sections of its courses. Members of the Centre provide advice and training courses in strategic affairs to the Australian Department of Defence and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The SDSC, furthermore, delivers the Graduate Studies in Strategy and Defence Program and is host of the Boeing Library.

The staff of the SDSC has established professional links with other Australian and overseas universities and centres specialising in strategic and security issues as the Centre aims to foster an enhanced pattern of liaison through the exchange of ideas, personal contacts and, where appropriate, joint projects. The scholars at the SDSC do also provide expert commentary on important defence issues to the Australian and overseas media.

Notable faculty

Current staff include Hugh White, Paul Dibb, Joan Beaumont, Chris Barrie (former Chief of the Defence Force), Daniel Marston, David Horner, and Garth Pratten.[6]

Many thanks to our Patrons who cover ~2/3 of our hosting bill. Please join them if you can.