Australian Financial Review Journalist joins ACSS as Mentor

Tom McIlroy is a political reporter with The Australian Financial Review, covering federal Parliament and taxation. He has worked as a newspaper journalist in Melbourne, regional Victoria and Canberra, writing for mastheads including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times and The Houston Chronicle, from Washington DC. He is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and RMIT University. 

Head of DFAT International Security Division Joins the ACSS

Ms Gorely is Australia’s inaugural Ambassador for Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation.  She leads Australia’s international advocacy on global arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament.  Ms Gorely is a senior career officer with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently First Assistant Secretary, International Security Division. 


Ambassador for Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation for Australia. DFAT First Assistant Secretary – International Security Division. Former Australian Ambassador to the Philippines & ACSS Mentor

Ms Gorely most recently served as the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines.  She has also previously served overseas as Deputy High Commissioner to New Zealand and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, with earlier postings to Sweden and Denmark.  In Canberra, Ms Gorely has served as Corporate Counsel and head of the Corporate Legal Branch; Assistant Secretary, WTO Trade Law Branch and Director, International Law Section.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Melbourne.

ACSS Mentor: Virginia Haussegger AM

Virginia Haussegger AM is Chair of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, at the University of Canberra’s Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis (IGPA), and Chief Editor of BroadAgenda, Australia’s leading research based Gender Equality blog.

An award winning journalist and social commentator on women, power and leadership, Virginia’s views on gender, inclusion and diversity are widely published. Her extensive media career spans 30 years, in which she has reported around the globe for primetime current affair programs on Channel 7, the 9 Network, and ABC TV. She anchored the ABC’s flagship TV News in Canberra from 2001-2016. Her book ‘Wonder Woman: the myth of ‘having it all’, was launched in a live broadcast at the National Press Club.


Chair of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation. Award winning jouChair of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation. Award winning journalist. ABC TV News Anchor 2001 – 2016. Passionate advocate for women’s rights and gender equity & ACSS Mentor

As a passionate advocate for women’s rights and gender equity, Virginia served six years on the board of UN Women Australia, where she hosted numerous International Women’s Day events. In 2017 she was commissioned by DFAT to facilitate the Australian and Philippine Governments co-hosted event ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment’ in Manila, at ASEAN 2017.

In 2014, Virginia was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), for her “significant service to the community, particularly as an advocate for women’s rights and gender equity, and to the media”. Last year Virginia was named 2019 ACT Australian of the Year.

A leading communications strategist and gender equality advocate, Virginia has worked across Commonwealth departments on the design and delivery of bespoke masterclasses on strategic communication; media insights; presentation skills; and women’s leadership.

Virginia is Patron of the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre. She has served on a number of boards and committees including: the Snowy Hydro SouthCare Trust; Our Watch, Media Advisory Committee; Women in Media, Canberra; and served for six years as a Board Director on the ACT Government’s Cultural Facilities Corporation. She is founding Director of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, which she established in 2017 within the Faculty of Government, Business and Law, at the University of Canberra.

ACSS Mentor: Richard Rowe PSM

Richard Rowe PSM is a Special Counsel with Lexbridge Lawyers. Richard has enormous breadth and depth of experience across public international law having worked in this field for over four decades, particularly during his career in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was the Department’s Senior Legal Adviser with overall responsibility for the International Legal as well as the Corporate Law areas. He was also Head of the International Organisations and Legal Division and the Pacific Division in the Department.

He has been Ambassador to Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and he also served in senior positions in Australian Missions in New York, Geneva, Noumea, London and Hanoi.


Special Counsel with Lexbridge Lawyers. Former Ambassador to Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Former Head of the International Organisations and Legal Division and the Pacific Division in DFAT.

His principal fields of interest are international criminal law, international humanitarian law, the law of the sea, the Antarctic Treaty System, treaties law, international dispute settlement and negotiation skills and practice, in both a bilateral and multilateral context.

He has been the Head of the Australian Delegation and a representative to many international conferences and negotiations in these subject areas. 

He is a member of the National International Humanitarian Law Committee of the Australian Red Cross and Chair of the ACT’s ARC IHL Committee. 

Richard is an Honorary Professor in the College of Law at the Australian National University, a member of the Advisory Board of the Australian National University’s Centre for International and Public Law and a Senior Fellow (Law Masters) at Melbourne University Law School. He teaches ‘international law and international relations’ courses at both Universities. 

ACSS Mentor: Professor Rob McLaughlin

Professor Rob McLaughlin is Professor of Military and Security Law at UNSW Canberra, and Professor at the Australian national Centre for Oceans Research and Security. Prior to taking up this appointment he was on the faculty of the College of Law at the Australian National University, and from 2012-2014 he served as the inaugural Head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s Maritime Crime Program (for which he continues to regularly consult).


Professor of Military and Security Law at UNSW Canberra, Professor at the Australian National Centre for Oceans Research and Security, Former Head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s Maritime Crime Program, Former Director of Operations and International Law in the Department of Defence

Before becoming an academic, Rob served in the Royal Australian Navy for several decades as both a Seaman officer and a Legal officer. He served in surface units and submarines, and deployed to East Timor, Iraq, and on maritime border protection operations. As a lawyer, he served as Fleet Legal Officer, the Strategic Legal Adviser, Director of the Naval Legal Service, and Director of Operations and International Law in the Department of Defence. In a reserve capacity he continues to serve as an Assistant Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force. He holds degrees in history, law, and international relations, and earned his PhD at Cambridge. His research areas are law of the sea, maritime law enforcement, the law of armed conflict, and national security law.

ACSS Mentor: Professor John Blaxland

John Blaxland is Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies. He is a former Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales, and the first Australian recipient of a US Department of Defense Minerva Research Initiative grant examining great power contestation in Southeast Asia.


Former Australian Defence Attaché to Thailand and Myanmar, Professor of International Security & Intelligence Studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre & ACSS Mentor

He has extensive experience in crisis response activities including as the principal intelligence staff officer (S2) for the Australian infantry brigade deployed to East Timor in September 1999, as an intelligence exchange officer in Washington DC, and as Director Joint Intelligence Operations (J2), at Headquarters Joint Operations Command. In addition he was Australia’s Defence Attaché to Thailand and Myanmar. A lead author in the three-volume official history of ASIO, John was also commissioned recently to write a multi-volume history of the Australian Signals Directorate.

John teaches undergraduate courses “STST3003: Honeypots and Overcoats: Australian Intelligence in the World” and New Colombo Plan “STST2020: Southeast Asia’s Security Choices”.

ACSS Mentor: Lyndal Curtis

Lyndal Curtis is an award winning journalist who has covered federal politics for nearly 30 years for the ABC, Sky News and commercial radio.  She has served as Political Correspondent for ABC Radio News, Chief Political Correspondent for ABC Radio Current Affairs (AM, The World Today, & PM) and as Political Editor for ABC News24.  She spent two years as Bureau Chief for Sky News at Parliament House.  Lyndal also spent five years as the State Editor of the ACT ABC News.  


Award Winning Journalist & Former ABC Chief Political Correspondent

She has covered a wide range of policy areas in her career including economics, taxation, industrial relations, foreign affairs, industry and agriculture policy as well as reporting on significant and history-making political events over the last three decades.

She is now consulting about media and politics, works occasionally presenting on ABC Radio Canberra, has co -hosted a podcast about law, sport and politics and is running the world’s smallest photography business. Lyndal is joining the ACSS as a mentor.

Former Ambassador and High Commissioner Joins the ACSS

James Batley joined Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs in 1984. In the early part of his career he was posted to Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. From 1997-1999 he was Australia’s High Commissioner to Solomon Islands. During this time he also served two terms as the senior Australian civilian member of the Bougainville Truce Monitoring Group and the Bougainville Peace Monitoring Group.


Former Australian Ambassador to East Timor Former Australian High Commissioner to Fiji Former Australian High Commission to Solomon Islands Distinguished Policy Fellow at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific & ACSS Academic Consultant

From 1999-2002 he was the head of Australia’s diplomatic mission in East Timor, becoming Australia’s first Ambassador to East Timor following that country’s independence in 2002.

From 2004-2006 he served as the leader of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) and from 2007-2009 he was Australian High Commissioner to Fiji (and Permanent Representative to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat).

In Canberra Mr Batley worked in a range of senior positions including Deputy Director-General of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

He is currently a Distinguished Policy Fellow in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University in Canberra. Mr Batley is working closely with our team, providing assistance with the development of one of our crisis simulations. We are very grateful for his continuing support.

ACSS Mentor: Professor Donald Rothwell

Professor Donald Rothwell is one of Australia’s leading experts in International Law with specific focus on the law of the sea; law of the polar regions, use of force and implementation of international law within Australia. Professor Rothwell’s insights have been invaluable to our crisis team, specifically for our writers working on a simulation involving Antarctica. He is the author of 24 books and over 200 book chapters and articles including, with Tim Stephens, the influential and respected academic text, The International Law of the Sea (2nd ed, 2016).



The 3rd edition of International Law in Australia (2017) co-edited with Associate Professor Emily Crawford, revives a publication that last appeared in 1984 and brings together some of Australia’s most eminent international law jurists, practitioners and scholars to assess contemporary developments for Australia and international law.

Major career works include The Polar Regions and the Development of International Law (CUP, 1996), and International Law: Cases and Materials with Australian Perspectives 3rd (CUP: 2018) with Kaye, Akhtarkhavari, Davis and Saunders.

Rothwell is also Co-Editor of the Australian Year Book of International Law and Editor-in-Chief of the Brill Research Perspectives in Law of the Sea. From 2012-2018 he was Rapporteur of the International Law Association (ILA) Committee on ‘Baselines under the International Law of the Sea’. He has taught a range of courses including Law of the Sea, International Dispute Resolution, International Law and Use of Armed Force, International Humanitarian Law, Military Operations Law, and Public International Law.

Rothwell was previously Challis Professor of International Law and Director of the Sydney Centre for International and Global Law, University of Sydney (2004-2006), where he had taught since 1988. He has acted as a consultant or been a member of expert groups for UNEP, UNDP, IUCN, the Australian Government, and acted as advisor to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

In 2012 Rothwell was appointed an inaugural ANU Public Policy Fellow, and in 2015 elected as Fellow to the Australian Academy of Law. He is a regular media commentator on international law issues and has written over 100 opinion comments, including for all of the major daily newspapers in Australia and ABC Online ‘The Drum. His media interviews have included ABC TV 7.30, ABC Radio ‘AM’ and ‘PM’, ABC Radio National ‘Breakfast’, ABC News 24, Al Jazerra (TV), BBC, and the Voice of America.

Professor Rothwell’s insights are invaluable to the team, specifically for our writers working on a simulation involving Antarctica. His guidance will ensure the simulations are realistic and completed to the highest possible standard. We are so excited to welcome him to the team

ACSS Lead Academic Consultant: Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza

Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza is a senior lecturer at the ANU College of Law working in the fields of Australian National Security Law and Australian Public Law. Dr Dalla-Pozza has been an ardent champion of the ACSS since its conception. She is providing the ACSS team with a combination of logistical and academic assistance, particularly in the development of the simulations. She ​has an interest in crisis simulation development, ​particularly after helping to prepare a team of ANU students to attend a national security crisis law simulation held at Georgetown University in Washington DC in 2018.



Dom’s PhD focused on the process by which the Australian Parliament enacted counter-terrorism legislation between 2001 and 2006. Her primary research now deals with the process by which Australian National Security Law is made. She is particularly interested in the work done by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

In 2015 she presented work on the way in which the Australian Parliament made counter-terrorism law in the post-Howard era at a workshop on Deliberative Constitutionalism at the Faculty of Laws University College London. In early 2020 Dom was a Visiting Researcher at the Center on National Security and the Law at Georgetown doing some research on oversight of national security oversight mechanisms .

A distinctive feature of the approach Dom takes to legislative process is her use of ideas drawn from deliberative democratic theory as a core theme in her work. One of her main aims as a researcher is to continue to bring together ideas from the disciplines of political science and law to provide a richer understanding of the law- making process.