Program Overview: Days 1 & 2:
Wednesday, 8 May & Thursday, 9 May

Safeguarding Australia 2019 will commence with broad ranging presentations of the current threats to Australia’s national security.  It will consider the nature of the threats, capability of threat actors, the damage they may do to Australia and our strategic response.

Leading off over the two days will be a national assessment from invited international guest speakers, key government representatives and the intelligence and policing agency representatives with their perspectives of the current threats, the extent and risk associated with the specific threats from espionage, foreign interference and terrorism as well as contributions from leading academics.

Day 1 - Wednesday 8 May

The Threat from Espionage

  • Exploring the rise in the espionage threat to Australia’s national security and our national response — First Assistant Director-General, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)

  • Integrity and the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme — Lucinda Atkinson, Assistant Secretary, Attorney-General’s Department

Opening key presentations will examine the Espionage Act, the impact on the prevention of espionage, its implications for law enforcement and the responsibilities of holders of national security information to protect it from espionage. 


  • Protecting the Private Sector from the espionage threat through effect security controls –- Pierre Pasinetti, Vice President Security, Thales France

Pierre will address the espionage and terrorist threat to business and present the security management approach of multinational corporations who produce and manage the capabilities required for security, defence and telecommunications.  Participants will gain insight into the strategy, policies and operations that protect our air travel, satellites, banking, defence technology and advanced computing such as Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing.


  • Reducing the Threat to Defence Industry — Celia Perkins, First Assistant Secretary, Defence Security & Vetting Services

Celia will expand on the theme of the current threat to defence industry and the actions taken by Defence Security and Vetting Service (DS&VS) to reduce the threat


  • China's Adventurism and Threats to National SecurityClive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University

One of Australia’s best-known public intellectuals, Clive published “Silent Invasion” outlining China’s interference in the political discourse in Australia, through the use of tied funding, covert and overt acts of interference.


Academic input complements the discussion of the threat of Foreign Interference and looks to the nature of our society in responding to the threat.  It identifies the issues that we need to consider and how we can ensure that we respond to inappropriate actions by foreign powers who attempt to undermine our way of life.



Cyber Panel Discussion

  • Cyber protection through co-operative researchRachel Falk, CEO, Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre

The nature of the threats to our security in cyberspace are addressed and the current and potential responses are considered in both the government and private sector.  A failure of cyber security practice and safeguards endangers our whole community ranging from the theft of strategic planning and innovative science to attacks on critical infrastructure.  A failure of cyber security will allow threat that disrupt our society and lead to loss of capacity and lives.

The panel will address the key issues in cyber security from public sector, private enterprise and academia and the comprehensive mitigation strategies that must be addressed to provide Australia with an adequate cyber security program.

Panellists - Nigel Phair, UNSW Canberra Cyber, Ben Doyle, CISO Thales, Helaine Leggat, Sladen Legal and Nicholas Cheatham, Australian Cyber Security Centre


The Threat from Terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism Panel

  • The Challenges of Keeping our Border SecureActing Commissioner, Justine Saunders APM, Australian Border Force (ABF)

  • The policing response to violent extremismAssistant Commissioner Ross Guenther, Counter-Terrorism Command, Victoria Police

  • Reflections on terrorism: The Continuing Rise of Hate CrimesNick Kaldas, Adjunct Professor, University of Western Sydney

  • The Resurgent Right — Dr Kristy Campion, Australian Graduate School of of Policing and Security, Charles Sturt University

    Panel Discussions

    The Panel will address their perspective’s on the violent extremism the key issues and processes that must be addressed and suggest future pathways to address the issues.

    Explores the changing nature and current status of the terrorist and violent extremist threat to Australia and the globe, the continuing rise of right wing extremism, the national response and future potential issues, hearing from experts, who provide their insights and commentary on counter-terrorism policy, legislation, operations and strategy.

  • Panellists – Peta Lowe (Department of Juvenile Justice, NSW Department of Justice) Dr John Coyne (ASPI) Dr Isaac Kfir (ASPI) Dr Clark Jones (ANU)



Day 1, Wednesday, 8 May Evening

  • Introduction by Stephen Loosley AM, Board Member, Australian-American Leadership Dialogue.

  • The Security Challenges of Espionage and Foreign Interference

Conference Dinner Keynote — Daniel E. Payne, Director, U.S. Defense Security Services (DSS)


Day 2, Thursday 9 May

Protecting Australia from Foreign Interference and the Espionage Continuum

With the recent unprecedented and sophisticated hack of Australia’s major political parties and at the heart of our democracy by undoubtedly a major state actor, Elizabeth will present on the recent Russian influence campaign to disrupt the U.S. presidential election and will address the pressing issue of foreign interference through media manipulation on national sovereignty.


  • The Application Of Stylometric Analysis to Fake News: The Statistical Analysis Of Language Variations for Identity. How to exploit variations in writing style to identify people online— Dr David Kernot, Defence, Science & Technology


  • Counter Intelligence to protect our people and information — Nick Pietrowicz U.S State Department

  • Cyber aspects of Counter Intelligence — Ryan Pardee Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Counter intelligence Division (CD) is a division of the National Security Branch of The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that protects the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage.



Final Remarks & Roundtable Discussions

Lenin wrote  “What is to be done?” — we must ask ourselves the same question. This session, involving all participants, will identify a number of key issues that can be taken forward to government as recommendation from the Summit to address the policies and programs in response to the threats.

Considerations for public and private co-operation for national security — recommendations to government*



Day 2 Afternoon —

  • Immersive Workshops — Cybersecurity – Defeating the foreign and domestic adversaries

    —- Insider Threat – People and the culture of security

  • Technology Surprise Forum — The Technology Surprise Forum will seek to highlight a range of high impact future technologies that will likely influence the Australian National Security landscape over the next 5 to 10 years

  • National Security, Science & Technology Forum — The forum will provide participants with a valuable overview of state-of-the art case studies, modelling tools and research projects in areas covering cyber-security, bio-security, biometrics, forensics, social influence, and protective structures and materials. Threats to national security may include terrorist attacks, malevolent and insider attacks, and military threats to personnel or infrastructure