Upcoming events

    • 14 Feb 2023
    • 11:45 AM - 2:00 PM
    • Boathouse by the Lake, ACT

    Advancing Aeronautics Technology to Pace Emerging Threats

    Tom Jones will speak on the emergence of 6th generation aircraft systems; Networking of systems and the keys to coalition-JADC2; and Digital transformation and its impact on acquisition, engineering, advanced manufacturing and skilling the workforce.

    Thomas (Tom) H. Jones

    Corporate Vice President and President, Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems

    Thomas (Tom) H. Jones is corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman’s Aeronautics Systems sector, a premier provider of military aircraft, autonomous systems, aerospace structures and next-generation solutions with major operations throughout the United States, including California, Florida, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah.

    Previously, Jones was sector vice president and general manager of Airborne Sensors & Networks division for Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems sector. In this role, Jones had leadership responsibility for division operations, including a wide range of C4ISR capabilities with a focus on evolving to multi-function sensor capabilities for U.S. and global customers.

    Prior to that, Jones was sector vice president and general manager for Advanced Concepts and Technologies, also at Mission Systems. He led the development of advanced systems solutions and for providing technical discriminators to support future business captures. Additionally, he was responsible for strategic planning, activities and operations, including shaping customer research and development, advanced architectures and technologies, advanced research relationships with independent laboratories and universities; managing intellectual property and technology partnerships, foundry development, enterprise collaboration for continuous innovation; and ensuring the incubation of advanced concepts.

    Jones’ prior roles within Northrop Grumman include sector vice president and general manager for Advanced Concepts and Technologies for the former Electronic Systems sector and vice president of the company’s Undersea Systems business unit in Annapolis, Maryland. Prior to joining Northrop Grumman in 2011, Jones served as director of The Boeing Company’s Marine Systems department in Anaheim, California, with responsibility for a wide variety of high technology, undersea systems solutions and services for government and commercial customers. Prior to that, Jones served in a variety of roles of increasing responsibility at Rockwell International and Boeing.

    Jones earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Kansas State University and took additional doctoral-level coursework at the University of Southern California. He has been active in a variety of community organizations, including church, parochial schools, YMCA and youth soccer coaching. Jones served as the Chairman of the Corporate Program Management Council from 2013 through 2015.

    Northrop Grumman is a technology company, focused on global security and human discovery. Our pioneering solutions equip our customers with capabilities they need to connect, advance and protect the U.S. and its allies. Driven by a shared purpose to solve our customers’ toughest problems, our 90,000 employees define possible every day.

    The Williams Foundation thanks Northrop Grumman for sponsoring this lunch.

    • 23 Feb 2023
    • 12:15 PM - 2:30 PM
    • Boathouse by the Lake, ACT
    Join waitlist

    Punish, deny or retaliate: Australia’s evolved approach to deterrence in the 21st century

    Major General Mick Ryan, AM (retired)

    Mick spent 35 years in the Australian Army and had the honour of commanding soldiers at multiple levels. His operational service includes deployments to East Timor, Iraq, and southern Afghanistan, and he also served as a strategist on the United States Joint Staff in the Pentagon.

    Mick has a bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies from the University of New England and is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force School of Languages. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a graduate of the USMC School of Advanced Warfighting. In 2012, he graduated with distinction from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies.

    Mick has a long-standing interest in military history and strategy, advanced technologies, organizational innovation, and adaptation theory. He was inaugural President of the Defence Entrepreneurs Forum (Australia) and is a member of the Military Writers Guild. He is a keen author on the interface of military strategy, innovation, and advanced technologies, as well as how institutions can develop their intellectual edge. He has contributed to several books, including Strategy Strikes Back (2018), Why We Write (2019), On Strategy (2020) and To Boldly Go (2021) and the forthcoming With Great Power (2023). Mick has also authored major reports on military strategy, training and education that include the Ryan Review (2016) and Thinking About Strategic Thinking (2021).

    On 27 February 2022, Mick retired from the Australia Army. In the same month, his book War Transformed was published by USNI Books. He is a strategy consultant, heading his own company called Mick Ryan Solutions Pty Ltd. He is also a writer, having been published in publications such as The Economist and Foreign Affairs, and is a columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald and ABC Australia.

    Mick is an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, and a non-resident fellow of the Lowy Institute in Sydney.

    His next book, White Sun War, will be published in 2023 Casemate Books. It is a fictional account of a war over Taiwan.

    • 30 Mar 2023
    • 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
    • National Gallery of Australia, ACT

    Williams Foundation Conference

    Sharpening the Edge of Australia’s National Deterrence Capability

    30 March 2023

    National Gallery of Australia

    DRAFT Program 


    The aim of the March 2023 seminar is to explore what deterrence means to Australia and its interests in the context of being a globally respected, responsible, non-nuclear weapon capable middle power.

    It will consider all national means that contribute to deterrence - diplomatic, economic and military - and discuss the limits to deterrence as a national strategy. In doing so, it will examine what a characteristically Australian deterrence looks like, balancing the need for a defensive posture and the ability to strike into the broader region, and the implications for the national industrial base.


    For a decade, the Sir Richard Williams Foundation seminars have focused on building an integrated 5th generation force. In air power terms, the ADF force structure substantially ‘locked in’ for the near to medium term, there is now a need to prepare for the next generation of technology.

    However, new thinking is required to ensure the ADF can fight tonight as well as being prepared for the future. Air power history suggests there will be a highly innovative phase (Generation 5.5) before we get to the next transformative change. But where will that innovation come from? And can we afford to wait for the next generation to arrive?

    Emerging geo-strategic, economic, and demographic trends continue to impact the environment in which Australian air power must raise, train, sustain and operate, demanding an increasingly sophisticated and balanced approach to the development of technology, workforce, policy, and process. As covered in previous seminars, this will involve the increased influence of space and cyberspace.

    While technology will continue to drive the development of air and space power, a focus on technology alone is not enough to win in strategic competition. It will require an approach which is able to make best use of Australia’s geography, a relatively small but highly skilled population, existing and new partnerships, and creative thinking to provide credible options and choices at the lowest possible level of political risk.

    In 2023, the theme of the seminars will therefore shift focus towards the challenges and opportunities in an Australian context, and through an air power lens exploring the following themes:

    • Shaping the force for high end deterrence and action;
    • Articulating the case for modern asymmetric force;
    • Survivability in terms of people, basing, platforms, communications and networks;
    • Novel technology ‘pathways’ to fielded capability (from requirements, through acquisition to operations); and
    • Affordability in the context of a global economic challenges.

    These themes will necessarily drive the exploration of future technologies at various maturity levels, including for example quantum and nano technologies; laser and other-directed energy technologies; propulsion systems; and AI.

    This will also be necessary to identify national vulnerabilities, including the need to understand the environment (physical and virtual); how to generate scale and mass; the dependency on space (particularly for PNT); logistics writ large (fuel, basing, supply chains, planning etc); workforce trends and data dependency and interdependencies.

    The Seminar

    The April seminar will focus on deterrence from first principles and explore the strategic need while paving the way for the September seminar, which will get into the detail with the ‘Future Requirements of a National Deterrence Capability.

    The opening session will introduce deterrence in strategic terms and provide an update in the context of emerging Government policy and international arrangements such as AUKUS. It will examine the importance of balancing a fundamentally defensive posture with the need to strike across domains and with purpose into the broader region.

    The middle session will introduce industry partners and the need for a broader perspective of Defence industry as an integrated part of the deterrence apparatus. It will also examine the need for alignment with international partner policies, concepts, and force structures in the spirit of both interchangeability and interoperability.

    Finally, Service Chiefs are invited to offer their perspectives on the emerging challenges, priorities and opportunities in the context of a characteristically Australian deterrence concept.

    Industry Perspectives

    Industry participants are invited to contribute to the discussion about deterrence in terms of either policy, process, technology, infrastructure, and workforce, or a combination of all. The intent is to promote industry as being more than simply a fundamental input to capability but more as an essential element of national power.

    Topics for industry consideration are:

    • Workforce Management and Development
    • System Readiness
    • Training System Effectiveness & Mission Rehearsal
    • Communication and Network Resilience
    • Decision Superiority
    • Future Technologies
    • Basing, Logistics & Supply Chains

    Dress: Business attire or dress of the day

    The Williams Foundation thanks our sponsors








    • 25 May 2023
    • 12:15 PM - 2:30 PM
    • Boathouse by the Lake, ACT

    • 31 Aug 2023
    • 12:15 PM - 2:30 PM
    • Boathouse by the Lake, ACT

    • 28 Sep 2023
    • 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
    • National Gallery of Australia, ACT

    Williams Foundation Conference

    Program: details will be available soon.

    • 30 Nov 2023
    • 12:15 PM - 2:30 PM
    • Boathouse by the Lake, ACT

Past events

28 Nov 2022 Errol McCormack Lunch: National Security at Faster than 5x the Speed of Sound - Steve Walker, Lockheed Martin
09 Nov 2022 Williams Lunch: Timely Perspectives on Indo-Pacific Security, ADM Phil Davidson, USN (ret.)
26 Oct 2022 2022 Annual General Meeting
28 Sep 2022 Conference: Enhancing the Lethality and Survivability of the Integrated Force
31 Aug 2022 Errol McCormack Lunch Series: Dr Miles Apperley, ANSTO
01 Jun 2022 Errol McCormack Members Lunch: The Contribution of F-35A to Australian Air Combat Power
24 Mar 2022 Conference: Accelerating the Transition to a Networked, Integrated Force
02 Mar 2022 Errol McCormack Lunch Series: CDRE Andrew Quinn RAN
01 Dec 2021 Conference: The Requirements of a Sovereign Defence Space Capability
23 Nov 2021 Errol McCormack Lunch Series: The ADF’s Strategy - Where is the force going? Where are the gaps? What are the priorities? AVM Steven ‘Zed’ Roberton, DSC, AM
18 Nov 2021 Errol McCormack Lunch Series: The ADF’s Strategy - Where is the force going? Where are the gaps? What are the priorities? AVM Steven ‘Zed’ Roberton, DSC, AM
05 Oct 2021 Annual General Meeting
19 May 2021 Errol McCormack Lunch Series: Lessons for Australia’s FADT policy from COVID with Senator the Hon. David Fawcett
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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