The last couple of months have demonstrated how important it is to be prepared for a crisis. As the next generation of Australia’s leaders, students need to be prepared to tackle the challenges of the 21st Century and diffuse the inevitable crises Australia will face in our increasingly contested region.

In September 2020, sixty of Australia’s future national security leaders will gather online for a 5 day national security Summit. The program will centre around three intense, realistic and challenging crisis simulations. It will also include a national security careers and networking day, and televised, interactive panel discussions with the people and institutions who play a key role in shaping national security discourse in Australia.  

The Strategic Defence Studies Centre, Hedley Bull Building, ANU Campus

In an effort to mitigate the risk posed to students by COVID-19, the Summit will be headquartered at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, with delegates participating in the comfort and security of their own homes. Delegates will participate in the Summit via teleconferencing and live streaming technologies, a Summit mobile app, and through our advanced crisis simulation software – used by NATO, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Army.

Throughout the program, delegates will have an opportunity to develop practical knowledge and skills, network with potential employers and make connections with people who have similar passions and career ambitions. The ACSS delegate application process will ensure students with leadership potential, an interest in Australia’s national security future and career aspirations to join Australia’s strategic policy workforce are selected to attend.

The nation’s capital provides unique access to leading figures in Australia’s national security space. We are excited to have Admiral (Ret.) Chris Barrie, AC, Former Chief of the Australian Defence Force on board as Patron of the ACSS. We are continuing to engage a group of esteemed individuals from all levels of politics, the defence force, government departments, the diplomatic core and academia to mentor attending delegates.

By inviting participation from the public and private sector in the Summit, we will provide recruiters with an opportunity to spot talent and spruik opportunities for graduates. Drawing on the ANU’s extensive network, we hope to provide delegates with an opportunity to build connections within Australia’s national security industry and expose them to potential career opportunities. Delegates will leave the ACSS empowered and inspired.

We aim to have the ACSS become an annual event. Future opportunities for the Summit involve greater engagement from other universities, international participation, and expansion of the scale of the event, both in length and number of delegates.

This student-led initiative has been founded by a dedicated team of ANU students who are passionate about Australia’s security future. It has been generously supported by the ANU and its academics.

We intend for this to be a Summit of national significance.

ACSS 2020 HQ will be held at the Australian National University in Canberra