We live today in a globalised world, where news travels at the speed of light and threats move just as fast. We all know that the advent of digital technology has fundamentally changed the way we each work, eat, shop, and live. But it has also changed our societies and how we defend ourselves. Our nations — both separately and together—must operate in new ways to preserve our values and protect our people and allies in new battle spaces. This is the mission of the Jeff Bleich Centre for the US Alliance in Digital Technology, Security, and Governance.
For over a century, Australia and the United States have offered the world a model alliance that demonstrates how nations who trust each other can make one another stronger, more prosperous, and more secure. Alliances are not static, though, and new models are needed to meet new challenges.
To date, no nation or alliance has fully adapted to the fact that our greatest security threats reside not in land, sea, or air, but in space and cyber. New technologies have empowered hostile nations, organised crime networks, terror groups, and hacktivists with low cost, high-impact tools. The threats go beyond damage to grids, finance systems, etc. — they threaten things as basic as how we elect our leaders and govern ourselves, and how we will work with close allies.
If any two nations can chart the path forward, it is the United States and Australia. We have developed an unrivalled trust between nations, unparalleled technical sophistication, and an unflinching work ethic that says “she’ll be right.”
I am honoured that Flinders, with its focus on technology, its innovative scholarship, and its strong connections to defence leaders in both nations, will be its home. I am grateful to be part of this effort and committed to give all I have — including my own name — to advancing the success of its mission.