Intellect and innovation for warfighting capability.

The Postern Association – Framework (Part 4 of 4)

November 2nd, 2016 by Clare O'Neill


Thanks for the feedback so far on the Postern Association – it’s been a great response! We are very excited about the prospect of gathering the intellectual and innovative minds from around our Army at the DEF[X] in December in order to sketch out the workings of the Postern Association for 2017 and beyond.

Firstly, if you would like to get involved with the Postern Association and shape the association’s future, then please sign-up to the DEF[X] in December. A Postern Association planning group will be held at the DEF[X] and we would like as many future thinkers in the room as possible. Even if you don’t consider yourself a ‘future thinker’, feel free to register and just absorb the conversation and networks. If you can’t make the DEF[X] then you also don’t need to miss out – let us know your thoughts by commenting on this post or emailing

While the Postern Association has a blank canvas for its future activities, you may be interested to read more about the general structure, governance, vision, goals and code of conduct that frame the Postern Association. Here they are:


The Postern Association is an Australian Army Association being generated by serving personnel of all rank levels. The focus of the Postern Association is to build a network of leaders and thinkers who actively strive, seek and support each other’s pursuit of professional mastery. The Association provides an informal and self-organised network for professional development, regardless of where a member sits within the chain-of-command. While the Association is not part of the traditional chain-of-command, the Association nests professional development goals with existing Australian Army initiatives in order to avoid duplication of effort. The Postern Association doses not profess to be a panacea but it does aim to help strengthen Army’s multi-layered approach to intellectual mastery.


Think of the Postern Association like an Army Sporting Association (and the Postern Association does in fact abide by the same governance procedures as our sporting associations). This means that the Postern Association sits outside the chain-of-command but has chain-of-command approval. The Association is run by a volunteer Management Committee and reports to the Postern Association President.


The Postern Association is a network of Australian Army leaders and thinkers who strive to ‘be better tomorrow than what we are today’. The Association uses the foundation of our past to seek team professional mastery for the challenges of the future.  In this way, the Postern Association acts as a mechanism for the Australian Army to stay at the leading edge of our profession, ensuring we do not professionally drift from the endless pursuit of professional mastery.

(Of note, the Postern Association team has already tried to live by the vision of using the ‘foundation of the past’ by studying the Organisation and Statutes of the Militarische Gesellschaft, as outlined in The Enlightened Soldier, while writing the Postern Association Constitution).


  • Empower and inspire the future generation of military leaders to actively seek professional development. Help normalise and strengthen the culture of self-initiated and team professional development through mechanisms outside of the chain-of-command, while equalling supporting initiatives within the chain-of-command.
  • Create a cadre of intelligent and innovative minds, regardless of rank, seniority or speciality. Provide mentorship and connections into service, joint, national and international professional development organisations. Actively debate ideas and concepts through the professional and collaborative framework of the Association.
  • Provide professional development opportunities to underpin critical thinking, innovation and an adaptive action mentality to help strengthen our intellectual capability for future challenges.

Code of Conduct

  • Strive to be ‘better tomorrow than what you are today’. While the nature of war remains steadfast, the character of war evolves. Professional mastery is therefore an endless endeavour in pursuit of the ever-changing character of war and warfare.
  • Seek knowledge and understanding about the history and future of our profession of arms. Use the past as a foundation to see further into the future.
  • Support the team to be ‘better tomorrow than what we are today’. The profession of arms is an inclusive team event – always – therefore every member of the Association will actively help support the mastery of each other within a professionally respectful environment.

Lastly, here is the Constitution if you want to read the details in full.

Wrap up

That’s the general framework for the Postern Association – the rest is a blank canvas. It would be great to see you at the DEF[X] in December 2016 where we will be mapping out the Association’s future. You can register for the DEF[X] here. In the meantime, join the discussion and share your thoughts on:

  1. What ideas do you have for the future of Army’s professional development?
  2. What can we learn from the past?
  3. What can we learn from others?

What next?

We want your help with the Postern Association so register here for the Association’s first activity of DEF[X] Australia and to join the Association’s planning group for 2017. You can also send your thoughts to We thank everyone in advance for their passion and ideas, and we look forward to hearing from you.


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1 Comment on "The Postern Association – Framework (Part 4 of 4)"

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Hi team, this really is a good idea and I honestly look forward to what this can produce. I think that a group that sits parallel to the chain of command direction may just be the tonic that sorts fact from fiction. I would like to see the first agenda item, point of discussion, being a critical review of who we are? By that I mean what and where do we see the organisation heading in the future. We need to strip away the rhetoric and deeply examine who we are and what do we want each of us to… Read more »