20 & 21 May 2009, Hotel Realm, Canberra


PhD National Security Workshop

This workshop aims to continue previous efforts by the RNSA to build a network of PhD researchers and match PhD researchers with national security staff who may be interested in their work.

Abstracts and presentations

About the Workshop
The workshop will be held over two mornings during the Safeguarding Australia 2008 (SA 08) Conference in Canberra from 9.15am - 12.40pm each day.
Workshop delegates are also invited to attend the SA 08 Conference stream - "National Security Policy Research" - in the second half of both days.


Day 1 - Wednesday, July 23
9:00 Workshop registration
9:30 Workshop opened by Athol Yates, Outreach Manager of RNSA
9:35 Workshop organisation: Raymond Choo
9:40 20 x 3 minute presentations of candidate's research projects
11:00 Morning Tea
11:30 Writing research project description in terms of how it can impact policy or projects, and identifying SA08 Conference delegates who may be interested in students' work
12:40 Lunch and networking with SA08 Conference delegates who may be interested in students' work
Conference Research Update Stream (optional)
1:40 Joining the Conference Research Update Stream
3:10 Afternoon Tea and networking with SA08 Conference delegates who may be interested in students' work
3:40 Close of workshop


Day 2 - Thursday, July 24
10:00 Opportunities in national security following PhD completion, Professor Ross Babbage, Chairman of The Kokoda Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation committed to researching Australia's most difficult fututre security challenges. Professor Babbage is also Managing Director of Strategy International (ACT) Pty Ltd, a defence consulting and education service delivery organisation. He has, in addition, been appointed as a special advisor to the Minister for Defence on the new Australian defence white paper
10:30 Groups around themes to be formed to discuss issues of mutual interest
11:00 Morning Tea
11:30 Group discussions continue
12:00 Presentations from group work
12:40 Lunch and networking
Conference Research Update Stream (optional)
1:40 Joining the Conference Research Update Stream
3:10 Afternoon Tea and networking with SA08 Conference delegates who may be interested in students' work
3:40 Close of workshop

Abstracts & Presentations

Framework for mobile phone acquisition
Marwan Al-Zarouni, malzarou@student.ecu.edu.au

Terrorist organizations and Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) were early adopters of mobile phone based technologies and will continue to use such technologies to their advantage. The researcher's area of expertise is in the discovery and recovery of data from mobile phone handsets. Mobile phone handsets are used as means of instant communication and situational awareness. Mobile phones are also used as detonators for improvised explosive devices. The researcher will discuss some of the structures and technologies needed to be embraced by law enforcement and intelligence agencies in order to compete with terrorist organizations and TCOs in an increasingly mobile era.

Safeguarding Australia from Cyber-terrorism: A Proposed Cyber-terrorism SCADA Risk Framework for Australia
Christopher Beggs, Sinclair Knight Merz, cbeggs@skm.com.au

In theory terrorist groups are currently using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to orchestrate their conventional attacks. More recently, terrorists have been developing a new form of capability within the cyber arena to coordinate cyber-based attacks. This research examines the threat of cyber-terrorism against Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems (SCADA). The paper proposes a high level managerial framework that has been developed to measure and protect SCADA systems from the threat of cyber-terrorism within Australia . This cyber-terrorism SCADA risk framework forms the main basis of this research and has been validated and examined by an expert focus group.

Risk simulation frameworks for information infrastructure protection
Mark Branagan, Information Security Institute, Queensland University of Technology, m.branagan@isi.qut.edu.au

Protection of the critical information infrastructure (CII) requires risk management approaches that are suited to its particular complex structure, its complex interactions and diversified ownership and operational regimes. In particular, information security risk management forms a vital part of an all hazards approach. However, even where individual components of the CII may have reasonable risk management approaches this does not necessarily provide helpful views of risk in the CII as a whole. This work explores frameworks to provide a means of leveraging the work done by individual parts of the CII to an overall view of risk for the whole infrastructure.

Governing the interface between licit and illicit trading activities at Australian maritime ports
Russell Brewer, Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University, russell.brewer@anu.edu.au

The Australian Customs Service (Customs) assumes an indispensable role in national security, particularly when it comes to safeguarding Australia 's borders from various external threats. The unlawful importation of illicit drugs is one such threat that represents a significant risk to the integrity of Australia 's maritime border and exemplifies many of the enforcement challenges facing Customs in today's globalised trading environment. Contemporary criminological scholarship has identified the emergence of a new regulatory paradigm within Australian law enforcement more generally, characterised by decentralised, ‘at a distance' forms of governance. This transformation is apparent in the case of maritime border security, where the policing/gate-keeping function historically assumed by Customs has become dispersed amongst a network of external private third parties (e.g. stevedores and shipping carriers) whom have been harnessed in the furtherance of law enforcement objectives. Accordingly, this paper examines the framework under which private parties operating within the Australian maritime environment are regulated by Customs. More specifically, this research will investigate how the nature, quality and governance of these regulatory partnerships impact upon Custom's ability to effectively undertake risk profiling, drug screening and containerised sea cargo examinations.

Hi-Tech crime problems across Taiwan-China Strait
Yao-chung Chang, Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University, lennon.chang@anu.edu.au

My research will focus on hi-tech crimes occurring to companies (private sector) and governments (public sector) in China and Taiwan . Through interviews with police officers, prosecutors, cybercrime experts, and those in charge of information security problems in government agencies and companies, the research will identify important cybercrimes in those companies and government agencies.

Additionally, the research will try to examine the laws and regulations that Taiwan and China are now using in combating cybercrimes, in order to see their compliance with the international trends. In terms of the special political situation between Taiwan and China , the research will try to identify if there are possible substitute ways for both countries to build up workable cooperation.

Furthermore, the research will also analyse the possibility of building up an information sharing system between the public and the private sectors, and try to find a balance between the conflict of security and profit. Finally, the research will propose some feasible recommendations for both countries in combating cybercrime.

Exploring the evidence base of counter-terrorism strategies in western democracies with a view to informing legal, political and operational policies
Susan Donkin, ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS), s.donkin@griffith.edu.au

Governments around the world continue to invest vast sums of money in an effort to win the “war” against terror, yet, due to its sensitive nature, are rarely required to provide high quality scientific evaluation evidence on the effectiveness of counter-terrorism strategies. These methods should not be immune to scrutiny; especially as recent research has shown that certain counter-terrorism interventions may even increase the probability of terrorism.

The proposed research will review a number of counter-terrorism responses, such as control orders, with the aim of determining their effectiveness. Drawing on research from other disciplines, their implementation and efficacy will be evaluated using an evidence-based framework. Cross-jurisdictional comparative analysis will highlight and examine the convergence and diversity of approaches.

Australia and Catastrophic disasters
Michael Eburn, Faculty of Law, Monash University, meburn@une.edu.au

This research builds upon work done by COAG, ASPI and the International Red Cross. The thesis will consider Australia 's legal preparedness for sending and receiving international disaster assistance following a catastrophic natural disaster.

It will be argued that the Commonwealth has the Constitutional authority to legislate to manage a disaster of national significance and to do so would facilitate the receipt of international assistance should that be required. Comprehensive Commonwealth law would be consistent with an ‘all hazards' approach and would allow the response to natural disasters to be in line with the response to a ‘National Terrorist Situation'.

The War on Terror discourse in Australia : interrogating our counter-terrorism strategy & reinstating marginalised alternatives
Kathleen Gleeson, School of Social Science & International Studies, University of New South Wales, kathleen.gleeson@student.unsw.edu.au

This research project explores the processes by which Australia 's discourse of counter-terrorism has become popularly understood as the only legitimate method of response to the threat of terrorism. In problematizing the narrow-sightedness of the Howard Government's counter-terrorism strategy, the thesis uncovers voices and choices relating to counter-terrorism that have been marginalised since the outset of the War on Terror. As such, this project seeks to show firstly how Australians have been led to believe that the realm of possible action in dealing with the threat of terrorism is limited, and secondly that a number of alternative, more just and more effective strategies and possibilities exist in actuality.

Analysing analytical products: Theoretical influence on the efficacy of intelligence
Kirsty Martin, ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing & Security (CEPS), Griffith University, k.martin@griffith.edu.au

In a context of threat and uncertainty we are increasingly seeing debate about the potential consequences of standardisation in the intelligence process in regards to data collecting and data entry, information-sharing, analysis and dissemination. Whilst uniformity in process and product would increase the evaluative capacity of organisations, there are fears that the innovation and intuitiveness in the intelligence ‘tradecraft' will be lost: a paradox of uniformity versus innovation. I intend to explore the variety of paradigmatic approaches utilised by analysts and the subsequent impact of such conceptual and theoretical frameworks on the efficacy of analytical products.

An Anticipatory Police Intelligence Model for Terrorist Incident Prevention: An Exploration of Worldviews of Counter Terrorist Intelligence to Develop a Model for use by Australian Police
Simon O'Rourke, Edith Cowan University, sorourke@student.ecu.edu.au

This research is designed to meet the following objectives:

  1. Enhance the ‘identification-capture-analysis' of critical data prior to a terrorist incident.
  2. Examination of intelligence models/systems used by agencies charged with prevention of terrorist incidents.
  3. Review the capability of these systems to adapt, as terrorist methodologies evolve in response to police/intelligence activities.

My research seeks to enhance the intelligence capability of Australian policing agencies, in recognising and identifying data regarding those individuals who pose a threat to the community, before they can commit a terrorist act.

Religious Toleration and Social Inclusion in Australia
John Shellard, School of Humanities , College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University, john.shellard@anu.edu.au

My research looks at the problem of religious intolerance in the Australian context particularly in relation to Islam and asks whether the current arguments, systems and institutions are capable of providing social inclusion and cohesion into the future. It assesses the arguments for toleration made by early political thinkers such as Locke, Bayle, J.S. Mill, and more recent liberal and communitarian discussions of the tolerant and just society. In light of these arguments, it analyses the legal and social structures that currently exist in Australia and their ability to deal with the unique set of problems of religious intolerance and social cohesion that Australia faces.

A comparative analysis of national security policy development in developing and developed countries using the Triple Helix between university-industry-government
Christopher Vas, Centre for Educational Development and Academic Methods, Australian National University, Christopher.Vas@afp.gov.au

Universities, industry and governments in the national security arena – how do they interact with each other and under what auspices? How do these interactions influence the shaping of national security policy process? Does this level of interaction within developed countries differ from approaches used by rapidly developing economies like China ? Is a similar impact on policy processes experienced?

The research will use qualitative research methodologies and in depth case studies of research partnerships and collaborations. This will include government funded research, national security research centre partnerships and will also analyse research undertaken by think tanks in the national security arena.

Security Networks in the Field of Counter-Terrorism in Australia
Chad Whelan, Criminology, Deakin University, chad.whelan@deakin.edu.au

This thesis examines the internal dynamics of security networks in the field of counter-terrorism in Australia . Based on an adaptation of the methodological framework developed by John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, this thesis takes a multi-disciplinary perspective to the study of network forms of organisation. The framework, which Arquilla and Ronfeldt use to understand the internal dynamics of netwar and counter-netwar, is modified in this thesis through the integration of literature from the fields of organisational, criminological, and security studies. The adapted framework is designed to take account of the organisational, cultural, doctrinal, technological, and relational dynamics of counter-terrorism networks. Drawing on interviews with members of security and law enforcement agencies, the thesis empirically assesses the utility of this framework in understanding the internal dynamics of security networks in the field of counter-terrorism.




Last Years Sponsors

Dinner Sponsor

Satchel Sponsor id

Networking Drinks Sponsor

Official Publication

Australian Defence Business Review

Supporting Publication


trade exhibits:


Program chair : Athol Yates, Australian Homeland Security Research Centre, Tel 02 6161 5143, Email athol.yates@homelandsecurity.org.au
Sponsorship: Keanne Stephenson, Tel 02 9420 2020 or 0412 472 766, Email keanne.stephenson@homelandsecuritygroup.com.au