Today Assistant Defence Minister and Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Alex Hawke MP, formally launched the Australia Pacific Security College in Canberra.
“The Australia Pacific Security College is a critical part of the Government’s Pacific Step-up. It will support the training of mid and senior level Pacific officials in skills, capabilities and areas of knowledge aligned with the 2018 Boe Declaration on Regional Security,” Minister Hawke said.
“The College will create a network of experienced security experts to act as a technical advice pool, supporting security policy development and implementation in Pacific Islands Forum countries.”
“And it will establish an active alumni network of security decision makers to strengthen networks across Pacific Island countries and agencies to facilitate closer collaboration on regional security issues,” he said.
Drawing on its wealth of expertise including in the Department of Pacific Affairs and National Security College, the Australian National University will deliver the College.
Professor Meg Keen will lead as College Director, together with an experienced team of dedicated staff from across the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific.
Minister Hawke also announced the appointment of former Chief of the Australian Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal (Ret’d) Mark Binskin AC, as inaugural Chair of the College’s Advisory Board.
The Advisory Board will consist of senior leaders from across the region and will provide strategic guidance and oversight of the College.
The College is an important element of the Government’s Pacific Step-up, and represents a tangible commitment to regional security through targeted capacity building.
Regional consultations with national and regional agencies in the Pacific are currently underway, with visits to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand already completed.