Updated 26 September 2018
PDF version [315KB]
David Watt and Nicole Brangwin
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security Section
This Quick Guide provides key internet links to websites
that relate to defence issues domestically and internationally.
Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade—considers defence-related
matters such as departmental annual reports and Auditor-General reports.
Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade—comprises two
committees: the Legislation Committee considers Bills referred by the Senate,
conducts the Estimates process and reviews departmental performance. The
References Committee deals with all other issues referred by the Senate.
The Defence portfolio
comprises a number of organisations that support the Australian Defence Force
(ADF) and the broader Defence organisation, including the following:
- Australian Signals
Directorate (ASD)—an independent statutory agency within the Defence
portfolio. ASD is Australia’s signals intelligence and information security
agency and provides services to the ADF and the Australian Government. It is
also the home of the Australian Cyber
Security Centre (ACSC).
Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG)—responsible for the
acquisition and sustainment of equipment for the ADF. The CASG website provides
information about Defence’s many acquisition and sustainment
- Defence Community
Organisation—supports Defence families on a range of matters, including
family support while ADF members are deployed overseas and family support
information for relocation, bereavement, childcare and children’s education.
- Defence Honours
and Awards—recognises the service of ADF personnel, veterans and Defence
civilians through the awarding of medals.
Honours and Awards Appeal Tribunal—an independent statutory body that
reviews appeals arising in relation to Defence honours and awards.
- Defence Housing Australia—manages
housing and related services for Defence personnel and their families.
- Defence People Group—includes
responsibilities for developing and maintaining people policy and culture such
as the ADF’s Pathway to
change initiative. Information is also available about Defence pay and conditions.
Reserves Support—provides information for Reservists and employers of
- Defence Science and
Technology (DST)—the ADF’s research and development arm; it aims to
enhance military and national security capabilities.
Security and Vetting Service—handles protective security matters for
- Defence Strategic
Policy and Intelligence Group—incorporates defence industry policy,
international policy, strategic policy, the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence
Organisation and the Defence Intelligence Organisation.
- Estate and Infrastructure
Group—has wide ranging responsibilities, including looking after
Defence estate, managing contracts for work on new facilities and environmental
management of Defence estate.
- Joint Capabilities
Group—formed in July 2017 to manage joint capabilities, projects and
sustainment; it incorporates the Australian Defence College, the Information
Warfare Division, the Joint Military Police Unit, Joint Health Command and
Joint Logistics Command.
- Joint Health
Command—responsible for the provision of health care to ADF members.
The ADF comprises three Services:
produced by Defence include:
Topical pages on the Department of Defence website are
white papers—from 1976 to 2016, including links to public consultation
- Defence UXO
(unexploded ordnance in Australia)—lists sites that are at risk of
contamination from UXOs such as ammunition, grenades, bombs, etc.
management—includes the Department of Defence’s environmental policies and
information about activities including per-fluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl
some information about military exercises involving the ADF.
- Freedom of Information—explains
the legislative framework around freedom of information requests and provides
access to documents released as a result of those requests.
- Global Operations—provides
information about current ADF deployments, including the number of personnel
deployed on each mission.
Issue Briefs—advisory briefs sent to the Minister for Defence by the
Department of Defence on relevant issues.
reports—reports from Commissions of Inquiry or Inquiry Officer Inquiries between
2006 and 2016 have been published on the Defence website.
force posture, the reorganisation of the Defence Organisation, accounting and
procurement review reports.
Other Australian Government sites
of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) assists veterans and their families in the
provision of pensions, health care, counselling, rehabilitation, home care
assistance, and many other services. DVA is also responsible for the following related
Civil-Military Centre (ACMC)—formed in November 2008, the ACMC focuses
on developing effective approaches to civil-military collaboration in conflict areas
and disaster management. Staff comprising the ACMC are drawn from various organisations,
including the Attorney-General’s Department, Department of Foreign Affairs and
Trade (Aid section), Australian Council for International Development, the ADF,
Department of Defence, Australian Federal Police and the New Zealand
an Honour—an Australian Government website that provides an easy
reference to Australia’s system of honours and awards, and protocols for the
use of Australian symbols such as the Australian National Flag and the Commonwealth
Coat of Arms. The website includes a database listing
Australia’s honours and awards recipients.
Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial hosts the Nominal Rolls for:
DVA hosts the Nominal
Rolls for the following conflicts:
- Second World
War—users can search around 1,117,400 names in the Second World War nominal
roll by service, service number, name, honours and place (birth and enlistment)
from 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945. This includes the details of 3,500
War—contains service details for more than 18,000 Australian personnel who
served in the Korean War from 27 June 1950 to 19 April 1956.
- Vietnam War—lists
service information for about 61,000 Australian military and civilian personnel
who served in the Vietnam War between 23 May 1962 and 29 April 1975.
Gulf War Nominal Roll—includes service details for 1,872 ADF personnel who
served in the Persian Gulf from August 1990 to September 1991.
Centenary—this Australian Government portal was established to
commemorate the Centenary of Anzac (2014 to 2018); it includes information
about commemorations and grants.
Portal—contains a wealth of information about the history of
Australians at war from the First World War to the Vietnam War.
Australian War Memorial
(AWM)—a combination of shrine, museum and archive, the AWM’s mission is ‘to assist Australians to remember, interpret and understand the Australian
experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society’. The AWM’s
website provides online searching of its collection, which includes war records,
the Roll of Honour and the Commemorative Roll.
Commonwealth War Graves
Commission (CWGC–United Kingdom)—an organisation that built and
maintains the cemeteries and memorials of the approximately 1.7 million Commonwealth
personnel killed during the two world wars. The CWGC website hosts archived
documents about the history of the organisation and a search function that
easily locates specific memorial sites and war graves.
Archives of Australia (NAA)—provides access to information about
service records held at the NAA. The NAA wartime service holdings date back to
the Boer War and include documents from the Australian Navy, Army and Air
Force, personnel records and case files, film footage and other defence-related
matters. The NAA also administers the Discovering Anzacs website,
which has a searchable map of Australia that enables the user to find lists of
people who served during the First World War and are associated, through birth
or enlistment, with particular towns and cities. Individual service records are
Project—hosted by the University of New South Wales Canberra, this site
contains an extensive database of information about individuals who served
overseas during the First World War.
Defence—strategic studies and education
Defence Force Warfare Training Centre—an education and training centre
primarily focused on the joint and combined operational environment.
Defence College—a joint professional education and training facility
for military officers that includes the Australian Defence Force Academy,
Australian Command and Staff College and the Centre for Defence and Strategic
Power Centre—Australia—the Royal Australian Navy’s maritime strategy
and historical research facility. The Sea Power Centre produces a number of
research publications including Working
Papers and the regular series Semaphore.
The Australian Army’s Land Warfare Studies Centre provides a
forum for debate and discussion on strategic issues relevant to the Army and
regularly produces publications such as Working Papers (hard copy) and
Army Journal. The Australian
Army History Unit develops policy for the preservation and promotion of
Army history through oral history, museum networking and primary materials
Power Development Centre (APDC)—provides strategic analysis and advice
to the Chief of Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. The APDC also
releases regular publications
such as Pathfinder and Working Papers.
Australian think tanks and
Air Power Australia—provides
research and analysis on air power ‘in the context of a modern integrated joint
national force structure’ and contributes to air power debates.
and Defence Studies Centre—an academic facility that conducts research
on strategic developments, Australian defence and Asia-Pacific security issues.
The Centre produces a variety of publications, including defence and strategic working papers and
commentary on key defence and security issues.
Defence Association (ADA)—a
self-described ‘public interest watchdog’ and ‘think-tank’ that advocates on
behalf of ADF members and veterans on a variety of defence-related issues. The ADA
is funded by membership fees and small donations from individuals and
Policy Institute (ASPI)—established in 2001 as an independent think
tank and partially funded by the Australian Government. ASPI produces analysis
and commentary, hosts key industry events and maintains a blog, The Strategist, which
covers a range of strategic and defence-related issues. ASPI also produces the annual
Defence budget review publication The Cost of
Directions International—a Perth-based independent research
organisation that produces regular publications on strategic issues from an
Indian Ocean perspective.
for Regional Security (formerly the Kokoda Foundation)—a think
tank with a mixture of private and public funding. Publications include the Security
Challenges journal, the Discussion
Papers series and the Regionalist
series of online papers, which feature contributions from prominent experts in
the field of regional strategic security.
Lowy Institute for
International Policy—an independent think tank that provides research
and analysis on a wide range of foreign affairs and strategic policy, defence
and security issues. Lowy produces a number of publications and promotes
debate and commentary on key issues via its blog, The Interpreter.
Richard Williams Foundation—an ‘independent research
organisation whose purpose is to promote the development and effective
implementation of national security and defence policies as they impact on
Australia’s ability to generate air power appropriate to its unique geopolitical
environment and values’. The Foundation produces papers and commentary on
strategic air power issues.
International think tanks and
(United States)—a non-profit public policy organisation that produces a range
of publications on relevant national security issues.
Endowment for International Peace (United States)—formed in 1910, Carnegie
is a self-described ‘global network of policy research’ that centres on
international affairs, defence and security.
Center for Strategic
and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA; United States)—established in 1983 as
an independent, non-profit public policy research facility, the CSBA produces studies and briefs on
national security and strategic defence planning matters.
Center for Strategic and
International Studies (CSIS; United States)—a think tank focusing on
international relations and global security issues. CSIS produces a wide range
of publications and commentary to inform public and private decision makers
about key defence and strategic issues.
(United Kingdom)—a think tank that provides a forum for discussion in the areas
of energy, environment and resources, economics, international security and
international law. Key publications include International
Affairs and The World
Institute (The Netherlands)—provides analyses and training and
promotes public debate on international issues, including security and
Council for Security
Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP)—established in 1993, CSCAP is a
non-governmental organisation involving strategic studies centres from 21
nations in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, and the Pacific
Islands Forum Secretariat.
Institute for Security Studies (France)—set up in 2002 as an autonomous
agency to provide analysis on foreign, defence and security policy issues to
the European Union and its member states. Its core mission is ‘to assist the EU
and its member states in the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security
Policy (CFSP), including the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as well
as other external action of the Union’.
International Centre for
Defence and Security (Estonia)—specialises in foreign policy, defence
and security research.
Crisis Group (ICG)—an independent, non-profit, non-government
organisation that deploys field analysts in key locations around the world and
develops reports and briefing papers on crises at those locations. These
reports and briefing papers lend support to the ICG’s high-level advocacy
efforts on appropriate response mechanisms to various crises.
for Strategic Studies (IISS; United Kingdom)—founded in 1958 as an
independent organisation that focused on arms control and nuclear deterrence
issues. The IISS assesses the capacity of foreign armed forces and provides
research and analysis via a number of key publications, including the Armed Conflict Database (subscription) and Survival: Global Politics
and Strategy. The IISS’s flagship annual publication, Military Balance,
(since 1961) summarises trends in military developments by country and region.
(United Kingdom)—provides in-depth analysis and reports on key defence,
security and industry issues. Jane’s offers a wide range of products via
(United States)—established over 60 years ago as an international think tank to
provide research and analysis on a wide range of public policy issues,
including defence and international relations. RAND (and its subsidiary, RAND Australia) produces special reports and undertakes
detailed commissioned studies such as Australia's
Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise: Preparing for the 21st Century and Australia’s Submarine
Design Capabilities and Capacities.
Royal United Services
Institute (RUSI; United Kingdom)—a think tank founded in 1831
that specialises in defence and security issues. RUSI Australia has chapters located in each
state and territory.
S. Rajaratnam School of
International Studies (RSIS; Singapore)—originally established in 1996
as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, RSIS focuses on security and
international affairs studies in the Asia-Pacific region. RSIS produces a range
of publications including monographs, working papers, policy briefs and papers,
Peace Research Institute (SIPRI; Sweden)—established in 1966 to conduct
research and analysis and advise stakeholders on arms control and conflict
issues. SIPRI’s military
expenditure database provides data on 171 countries going back to 1988. The
SIPRI website also feature databases
on multilateral peace operations, arms transfers and arms embargoes.
Foreign defence agencies and information
Budget Office (United States)
of Defense (United States)
Technology and Logistics (United States)
Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (United States)
Agency (United States)
Studies Institute (United States Army War College)
Commanders’ area of responsibility (United States):
of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces
Accountability Office (United States)
National Security Council (United
Aerospace Defense Command (Canada and United States)
Department of National
Ministry of National Defense
Pertahanan Republik Indonesia (Indonesia–no English version)
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence (New Zealand)
National Defense (Republic of Korea)
Guinea Defence Force
Ministry of Defence (Germany)
des Armées (France)
Ministry of Defence (Denmark)
Ministry of Defence
of Defence (Sweden)
Ministry of Defence (United
Treaty Organization (NATO)
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