Defence and Security in the real world: Monash students attend ADFA Conference

Five Monash undergraduate students were selected to participate in the 2015 Security and Strategy undergraduate conference at the Australian Defence Force College in Canberra last month.

Monash students from Politics & International Relations in the School of Social Sciences heard presentations from a range of experts, including Rear-Admiral James Goldbrick, Mr. Chris McNicol (Department of Defence), Ms. Natalie Sambhi (Australian Strategic Policy Institute) and Mr. Greg Austin (Defence).

Defence and Foreign Affairs analysts, serving ADF officers and military analysts were on hand to deliver perspectives on a broad array of topics, including a real-time simulation of cyber-warfare presented by Greg Austin.

Nicholas Baldwin, Robert Gilchrist, Jake Humphreys, Benjamin Lee and Aiden Mocicka represented Monash at the ADFA conference.

“We conducted crisis simulations and cases, in which we become the policy makers and were faced with time-sensitive decision making,” said Nicholas Baldwin. “It was great fun and provided some real-life scenarios, through which we could compare our responses with the government’s actual policy implementation.”

For Aiden Mocicka, the highlights were, “We learned how to apply the content to practical – yet hypothetical – situations. I was able to appreciate just how complex and tense it must be for those working in Australian foreign affairs, defence, and security.”

Jake Humphreys said, “it was a fantastic opportunity for later-year undergraduates to discuss security issues facing Australia in the Asia-Pacific region with policymakers in domestic and foreign affairs, peers from other universities, and academics at the top of their respective fields.”

The five Monash participants said that they would recommend the conference to all students, particularly those with an interest in Australian defence and foreign policy.

Further information on the conference is available from the ADFA website.

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