Confronting and countering the threats from Espionage, Foreign Interference and Subversion

8th – 9th May 2019, Canberra


Across 8 and 9 May 2019, Safeguarding Australia will bring government and industry together to counter the threats facing all Australians. Safeguarding Australia will unite international and Australian experts to explore the issues in this space; considering the past, present and future of security response.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has warned that espionage and political interference by foreign powers is at unprecedented levels in Australia and poses a major risk to security.

Duncan Lewis, the Director-General of ASIO, told a Senate estimates hearing that he was concerned about escalating activities.

“Hostile intelligence poses a real and potential existential threat to Australian security and sovereignty,” Mr Lewis said. “The harm from this threat may not manifest for many years, even decades, after the activities occur. We are concerned about threats from wherever they emanate.”

 According to the Lowy Institute, foreign interference has not seeped into the Australian consciousness in the way terrorism has. In this year’s Lowy Institute poll, terrorism was cited as the No.1 “critical threat” facing Australians. Foreign interference ranked eighth – behind the US presidency of Donald Trump.

While the public has not recognised this growing threat, the Australian Parliament has. In June 2018, the Senate passed laws that amount to the most significant overhaul of Australia’s security and foreign interference laws in decades – creating new espionage offences, introducing tougher penalties on spies and establishing a register of foreign political agents.

Safeguarding Australia 2019 will focus on this and more over the one and a half days of plenary sessions, followed by two highly focussed immersive workshops offered as an elective - this is a programmed activity where all participants are actively engaged in analysing the issues and contributing to a good practice model for addressing it,  It would require some background and pre-reading for participants to get the best from the below immersive program

  • Developing the insider threat program - attendance at this workshop will provide insight into models for managing the insider threat and attendees will be able to consider the the application of the models to their work place and their security responsibilities.

  • Managing the Cybersecurity threat - attendance at this program will provide detailed insight into the threats to our cyber society with a focus on the threat from espionage and foreign interference and address the key approaches identified nationally and internationally by government and private sector security agencies

    Full program in development…..


Attendee Profile

Safeguarding Australia is the only high-level conference run by and for leading thinkers, policymakers and practitioners in the national security domain, working across whole-of-government at state and federal levels, including law enforcement and intelligence agencies, as well as engaging with corporate and private security practitioners and providers.

Past attendees and current bookings include:

  • Senior representatives from security, intelligence, military and law enforcement

  • Government Agency Security Advisers

  • Leaders and practitioners in cyber security

  • Corporate and business executives responsible for security and risk management

  • Critical infrastructure owners and operators

  • Engineers, scientists, technologists, researchers and academics