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Future Strategic Leaders Congress

January 14th, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

Future Strategic Leaders’ Congress

Interested in behind-the-scenes information on strategic affairs in our region? The Future Strategic Leaders’ Congress, run by the Institute for Regional Security (IFRS), is one of the few opportunities for military junior leaders to engage directly with senior national security leaders, industry heads, and leading thinkers around a central, strategic theme. Critical strategic issues are discussed in an off-the-record fashion, representing a professional development experience like no other. Set in the informal environment of ANU’s Kioloa Coastal Campus, the weekend retreat consists of seminars, hypotheticals and workshops.


The purpose of the Future Strategic Leaders’ Congress is to:

  • Enable Future Strategic Leaders to meet and network with senior national security decision makers.
  • Foster the professional development of Future Strategic Leaders through seminars, workshops hypothetical/s and informal discussions.
  • Facilitate networking of Future Strategic Leaders with their professional colleagues in other organisations.
  • Foster the development of esprit de corps amongst Future Strategic Leaders.


  • Location – Australian National University Kioloa Campus (South Coast of NSW – half an hour north of Batemans Bay).
  • Timings – held twice yearly over a weekend from 1700 Friday to 1300 on the Sunday.
  • Fees – include two days’ accommodation, meals, drinks and program materials. Costs are usually in the ballpark of $550 for individuals, $490 for IFRS financial members, $250 for full time civilian students, and there are sometimes a number of positions reserved for Defence.
  • Attire – casual civilian attire to maintain an atmosphere of informality.
  • Accommodation – shared accommodation onsite at the ANU Campus (included in the cost).
  • Chatham House Rule – participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

Check out the IFRS website for further details and watch-out for an announcement on the first 2016 Young Strategic Leaders’ Congress.

 Previous themes

As an insight into the topics, previous congress themes have been:

  • From the Suburbs to Syria: Countering Radicalisation and Terrorism
  • Australia’s Role in Addressing Global Nuclear Security Challenges
  • Australia’s Strategic Partnership with Indonesia: Respecting Differences and Aligning Interests
  • The Future of the Indo-Pacific and Australian Regional Diplomacy “Solving future challenges through engagement”
  • Resource Security – Vulnerabilities of a Globalised Democracy
  • Intelligence and Australia’s National Security – Future Challenges in a Global Domain
  • Security Challenges of New Media – A Double Edged Sword
  • Securing Digital Australia: Whole of Nation Approaches to the Cyber Challenge
  • Australia’s Place in 2030: Regional Power or Pretender?
  • Looking in: Examining Australia’s National Resilience to 2030
  • Protecting our borders: Future Challenges in a Globalised World
  • China’s Strategic Future: Planning Options for the Western Allies
  • Future Security Strategy for the Western Pacific
  • Key Issues for the National Security Statement and the New Defence White Paper
  • Strategy for Winning the Long Struggle Against International Terrorism: Key Factors for Success

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