Upcoming events

    • 19 May 2021
    • 12:15 PM - 2:30 PM (UTC+10:00)
    • Boathouse by the Lake, ACT
    Join waitlist


    Lessons for Australia’s FADT policy from COVID

    Senator the Hon. David Fawcett
    Chair 
    Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade


    Inquiry into the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for Australia’s foreign affairs, defence and trade

    Chair's Foreword

    The lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic are not primarily about health.

    The behaviour of nation states in response to COVID-19 has called into question assumptions about the extent of adherence to the global rules-based order—assumptions that have underpinned many aspects of Australia’s foreign affairs, defence and trade policy in recent decades.

    COVID-19 has also exposed structural vulnerabilities in some of the critical national systems that enable Australia to function as a secure, prosperous first-world nation. Many of these vulnerabilities are caused by supply chains that rely on just-in-time supply from the global market. In some cases, this is exacerbated by supply coming—in whole or substantial part—from companies that are subject to extrajudicial or coercive direction from some foreign governments.

    Decreased support for the norms of the rule-based order negatively affects collaboration and conflict resolution between nation states, as well as the efficacy of commercial relationships between companies throughout supply chains.

    A key lesson from COVID-19 is that returning to “business as usual” is not an option if Australia is to be resilient, remaining secure and prosperous in the face of future crises.

    Australia’s Strategic Update 2020 highlights that another zoonotic pandemic is only one of the potential crises facing Australia and our region that would disrupt “business as usual”. Unexpected or sustained disruption due to grey-zone, coercive, or military actions are likely to substantially degrade if not disable one or more of Australia’s critical national systems.

    Australia must identify the supply chains that underpin critical national systems and work with industry to reduce—if not eliminate—vulnerabilities and increase resilience. This will require changes to the Commonwealth’s procurement rules to specifically recognise the value for money that is inherent in partnerships with industry that create or expand sovereign capabilities which provide identified enablers for a critical national system. It will also require more whole-of-government strategic assessment, investment and diplomatic effort to increase resilience through trusted and transparent partnerships with like-minded nations.

    Australia, like much of the Indo-Pacific region has benefited from the global rules-based order which has underpinned increased security and prosperity. Poor outcomes from some key multilateral institutions has decreased engagement by some nations and there is evidence of authoritarian nation states seeking to influence global rules and standards away from the transparent, plural and democratic values that have informed global norms in recent decades. It is clearly in Australia’s national interests to work with like-minded nations to ensure that reforms to key multilateral institutions are effective and consistent with democratic values and the rule of law.

    COVID-19 has seen Australia respond effectively, including with novel approaches to governance—such as National Cabinet—and partnerships with industry that have placed strategic outcome over rigid adherence to established process.

    Responding to the lessons of COVID-19 identified in this report will require a similar commitment to whole-of-government, outcomes-focussed assessment and timely, funded implementation of novel solutions which will challenge the status-quo.

    Responding to the lessons of COVID-19 identified in this report will require a similar commitment to whole-of-government, outcomes-focussed assessment and timely, funded implementation of novel solutions which will challenge the status-quo.

    I thank the many witnesses who made submissions and took the time to give evidence to the Committee during this inquiry to ensure that Australia learns, responds and becomes more resilient.

    I commend this report and its findings to the reader and look forward to engagement by Government with the recommendations to keep Australia a secure, free and prosperous nation.

    Biography

    Senator the Hon. David Fawcett

    David served in the Australian Defence Force for over 22 years. An Army pilot, he flew helicopters and fixed wing aircraft and was the Senior Flying Instructor at the School of Army Aviation in Queensland.

    Graduating as an experimental test pilot from the Empire Test Pilots’ School (UK), he finished his full time career in Defence as the Commanding Officer of the RAAF Aircraft Research and Development Unit.

    Elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Wakefield (SA) in 2004, he served in the Parliament until 2007. David continued to fly as a test pilot and ran a small business working in the Defence and Aviation sectors prior to being elected to the Senate in 2010, 2016 and again in 2019. In the 45th Parliament, David was sworn as the Assistant Minister for Defence. David is currently the Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Chair of the Senate Standing Legislation Committee on Environment and Communications, and member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

    David’s experience in aviation has helped to facilitate change in Australia’s aviation policy and approach to aviation safety regulation. With tertiary qualifications in science and business administration, he is known for his evidence-based approach to policy development and oversight with a focus on outcomes that are in the national interest.

    David is a strong advocate for initiatives that would lead to a more effective and efficient national defence force, including the development of a sustainable defence industry capability. His extensive and widely respected policy understanding has led to a number of appointments, including Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

    As Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services in the 44th Parliament, he led an inquiry into the educational and professional standards of the financial advice industry. This body of work has been a catalyst for significant legislative and industry-led reforms in the finance sector.

    Having lived in Asia, the UK and across Australia, David is proud to call South Australia home. He is a keen sailor and is married to Lorna and together they have two adult daughters.

    Authorised by Senator the Hon David Fawcett, Liberal Party of Australia, Adelaide, SA.

    • 25 Aug 2021
    • 12:15 PM - 2:30 PM (UTC+10:00)
    • Boathouse by the Lake, ACT
    Join waitlist

    Due to the ongoing uncertainty with COVID-19, we can only take a limited number of registrations.  Please register on the waitlist and we will offer spots according to the current guidelines closer to the time (on a first in first served basis).  Those on the waitlist not offered a spot will be offered priority for the next lunch. Inquiries: info@williamsfoundation.org.au

    Air Vice-Marshal Steve Roberton, DSC, AM


    AVM ‘Zed' Roberton is a Category A Fighter Pilot who joined as a direct entry pilot trainee after completing a Bachelor of Science at Queensland University. AVM Roberton flew fighter tours at Number 3 Squadron RAAF Williamtown and an exchange flying F/A-18s with the United States Marine Corps.

    He completed joint staff tours and Command and Staff College before deploying for Operations Slipper and Falconer; for which he was awarded a Chief of Air Force Commendation.

    AVM Roberton commanded Number 75 Squadron for three years before leading the RAAF’s transition to F/A-18F Super Hornet. He commanded Number 82 Wing at RAAF Amberley and completed the UK's Higher Command and Staff College in 2012. He returned on promotion as Director General Aerospace Development.

    AVM Roberton was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012 and commanded the inaugural Air Task Group 630 on Operation OKRA, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. He took command of Air Combat Group in 2015 and went on to assume the Air Commander Australia role in May 2017. Following completion of his time as Air Commander in July 2019, AVM Roberton has assumed the role of Head Force Design in VCDF Executive.

    AVM Roberton is married to Libby, and together they enjoy triathlons, yoga and surfing with their three children: Isabella, Corey and Ben.


    • 16 Sep 2021
    • 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM (UTC+10:00)
    • National Gallery of Australia, ACT
    Join waitlist
        

    With the ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19, Williams will proceed with planned events noting there may be last minute adjustments to the program and numbers.

    To assist manage numbers, we ask participants to register their interest to attend on the waiting list.  Closer to the event attendees will be offered a place depending on numbers permitted and on a first in basis.  

    If you have any questions please contact us on info@williamsfoundation.org.au

    More details will be available shortly

    • 20 Oct 2021
    • 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM (UTC+11:00)
    • Alastair Swayn Theatre, Brindabella Conference Centre, Building 35, Brindabella Business Park
    Register

    Financial members are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Sir Richard Williams Foundation.

    AGM documents will be made available in October: 

    • Formal Notice of the 2021 AGM
    • Agenda
    • Draft 2019 AGM Minutes
    • Proxy Voting Form
    • Special Resolution COVID-19 Membership Adjustment
    • Special Resolution Membership
    • Constitution
    • Audited Financial Report 2020/21
    • Strategic Outlook 2022-2024
    • Membership and Activities Overview 2020/21
    Proxy Forms

    Proxy forms from current financial members will be accepted until COB Tuesday 27 October 2020. 

    2021 Board Elections

    Board nominations will close on 5 October.  Board nomination forms will be sent out to members in September 2021.   

    Venue and COVID Safe Guidelines

    Alastair Swayn Theatre Map

    Upon arrival, we ask that all attendees scan the QR codes located in the room to ensure they are contactable if COVID tracing is required.

    Please download the COVID Safe Plan and Maximum Capacity requirements under the current restrictions in place by the ACT Government.


    • 01 Dec 2021
    • 12:15 PM - 2:30 PM (UTC+11:00)
    • Boathouse by the Lake, ACT
    Join waitlist

    Due to the ongoing uncertainty with COVID-19, we can only take a limited number of registrations.  Please register on the waitlist and we will offer spots according to the current guidelines closer to the time (on a first in first served basis).  Those on the waitlist not offered a spot will be offered priority for the next lunch. 

    We apologise for this inconvenience and appreciate your continued support during these challenging times.

    If you have any questions please contact us on info@williamsfoundation.org.au


Past events

08 Apr 2021 Conference: Next Generation Autonomous Systems
25 Feb 2021 Errol McCormack Lunch Series: The Australian Defence Force’s Current Operational Commitments - LTGEN Greg Bilton AO, CSC
01 Dec 2020 Errol McCormack Members' Lunch with AIRCDRE Chris Westwood (Ret'd): Characterising the 5th Gen Air Battle Space
28 Oct 2020 Annual General Meeting
20 May 2020 Errol McCormack Lunch Series
26 Feb 2020 Errol McCormack Lunch Series: Air Marshal Warren McDonald, AM, CSC
12 Nov 2019 Williams Foundation Lunch: Advanced Attack Helicopters in the Amphibious Role with LtGen George J. Trautman
24 Oct 2019 Seminar: The Requirements of Fifth Generation Manoeuvre
22 Oct 2019 2019 Annual General Meeting
07 Aug 2019 Williams Foundation Lunch: Coalition Warfighting and Pacific AOR Interoperability with LTG Michael Oates (Ret'd)
16 Jul 2019 Williams Foundation Lunch: Royal Australian Navy: Future vision and Headmark 2022 with VADM Michael Noonan AO RAN, Chief of Navy
07 May 2019 Williams Foundation Members Lunch: Modernising the ADF in a time of Accelerated Warfare - Major General Kathryn Toohey, AM, CSC
11 Apr 2019 Seminar: Hi-Intensity Operations and Sustaining Self Reliance
12 Feb 2019 Williams Foundation Lunch: 5th Generation Workforce with AIRCDRE Geoffrey Harland AM, CSC, DSM
13 Nov 2018 Williams Foundation Lunch: Experiences of an Australian CAOC Director during Operation Okra with Air Vice-Marshal Stephen Meredith, AM, DSM
30 Oct 2018 2018 Annual General Meeting
23 Aug 2018 Seminar: The Imperative for an Independent Deterrent: A Joint Strike Seminar
07 Aug 2018 Williams Foundation Lunch: Australian Defence Industry Small, Medium Enterprises; Plan Jericho Innovation and Opportunity
08 May 2018 Williams Foundation Lunch with Air Commodore Joe ‘Vinny’ Iervasi, AM: Air Warfare Centre — Jericho in Action
22 Mar 2018 Seminar: The Requirements of High Intensity Warfare
13 Feb 2018 Williams Foundation Lunch: Air C2: Lessons from OKRA - Air Commodore Robert Chipman, CSC
31 Oct 2017 2017 Annual General Meeting
23 Aug 2017 Seminar: A New Approach, and Attitude, to Electronic Warfare In Australia
02 Aug 2017 Williams Foundation Lunch: Joint Integration: A Practioner's Perspective - VADM David Johnston AM, RAN
19 Jul 2017 Williams Foundation Lunch: Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Lunch with Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC Chief of the Defence Force
20 Jun 2017 Williams Foundation Lunch: A Learning Curve for the Swiss Air Force
11 Apr 2017 Williams Foundation Seminar: Air / Sea / Land: Integrated Force 2030
15 Feb 2017 Williams Foundation Lunch: Air Vice-Marshal Mel Hupfeld AO, DSC
25 Oct 2016 2016 Annual General Meeting
04 Oct 2016 Williams Foundation Lunch: Connecting the ADF: Challenge or Opportunity? Three decades of insights and lessons learned
13 Sep 2016 Williams Foundation Members Lunch: 'Jericho - an Update'
23 Aug 2016 Williams Foundation Members Lunch: 'Where to with CASG' with Kim Gillis
10 Aug 2016 Williams Foundation Seminar: New Thinking on Air-Sea
17 Mar 2016 Williams Foundation Seminar: New Thinking on Air-Land
23 Feb 2016 Williams Foundation Dinner with Lt Gen Christopher Bogdan, United States Air Force
16 Feb 2016 Williams Foundation Members Luncheon: Air Vice-Marshal Warren McDonald, AM, CSC - RAAF Air Mobility
08 Sep 2015 Williams Foundation Members Luncheon: RADM Tony Dalton Romeo Introduction into Service
06 Aug 2015 RAAF Plan Jericho Half Day Public Seminar
10 Jun 2015 Williams Foundation Dinner with Chief of Air Force
03 Jun 2015 LVC Seminar
17 Apr 2015 Symposium: Integrating Innovative Airpower
15 Apr 2015 Williams Foundation Members Luncheon: AIRCDRE Steve "Zed" Roberton AM
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