The security risks of Australia’s language disadvantage

Author: Jessie Storey, University of Queensland

On September 10 2001, the US National Security Agency (NSA) intercepted intelligence of two Arabic messages sent between individuals with ‘terrorist connections’. On September 11 2001, two planes hijacked by terrorist group Al Qaeda flew into the Twin Towers in New York City, killing nearly 3000 people. On September 12 2001, the messages were translated, one day too late.

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The future of ‘unprecedented’ events

Author: Krystal Ha, University of Melbourne

When COVID-19 swept across the globe many described it as ‘unprecedented.’ It seemed out of the blue, with the idea of widespread lockdowns, extensive hotel quarantine programs and travel bans alien to all Australians. In government, it was the same — still reeling from bushfires across Australia, the state and federal governments scrambled from one extreme crisis to the next. However, the possibility of a pandemic has been glaring in our faces for decades.

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Preparing young people for an uncertain future

Author: Alexi Heazle, Australian Crisis Simulation Summit

There is no doubt that Australia is entering a new era of heightened national security concerns. The Black Summer bushfire season highlighted inadequacies in climate-security thinking and disaster response policy in Australia. Although lessons were learned by the Coalition government, demonstrated in its relatively effective response to containing the spread of COVID-19, the widespread impacts of the pandemic were virtually impossible to predict.

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