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Vital national security summit shaping up to face the future

Safeguarding Australia 2017, the 14th national security summit will cover a variety of topics around the themes of innovation, leadership and diversity by connecting experts, exploring advances in research, analysis, and methods being applied to solve challenges in security, from government agencies to small businesses.

Announcing four international renowned security thinkers as part of our exciting line-up of speakers:

speaker1Babak Akghar, Professor of Informatics and Director of CENTRIC, Sheffield Hallam University, who has extensive, hands-on experience in development, management and execution of large international security initiatives, such as combating terrorism and organised crime, cyber security, public order and cross-cultural ideology polarisation.

speaker2Patrick Butor, Administrateur Général, French Ministry of Interior, will discuss his experience of working in Government in a city under attack and how it has shaped his outlook on security, highlighting the importance of individuals and companies — large and small — understanding security.
Mr Butor is also head of the French Delegation for TC292 Security and Resilience and Chair of Working Group 6 Protective Security, the purpose of which is to build relevant standards for public and private sectors to improve protective security in a globalised world where individuals and organisations commit deliberate acts that cause social and economic harm.

speaker3David Lake, head of the Phoenix Police Department’s Business and Economic Stability Team (BEST), a unit dedicated to using Economic Based Policing principles to detect, disrupt and dismantle attacks on the supply chain and commerce. Mr Lake, a 25 year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, is internationally recognised for his pioneering work in the field he named Economic Based Policing and has taught these techniques to police officers around the globe as well as hundreds of his peers in the United States.

speaker4Sanjana Bhardwaj, a social policy expert with over two decades of work experience in the field of sustainable development in the United Arab Emirates, Myanmar, Australia & India, will focus on protecting the vulnerable, especially children and women from the overtures of violent extremists.
She argues radicalisation and the dynamics of violent extremism affect men and women in different ways. Young men may appear to be more susceptible to joining such groups, but women serve as mothers, partners and friends of those radicalised and are increasingly being targeted or are choosing to serve as direct and indirect sources of support for violent groups.

“All the overseas speakers have been carefully selected to offer unique insights and differing points of view to generate critical thinking and practical solutions,” says Rod Cowan, a research fellow with the Research Network Secure Australia (RNSA) and convenor of its Safeguarding Australia 2017 National Security Summit.

“ As I have gone around the Middle East and Europe, the prevailing sentiment privately expressed seems to be that people working in security, law enforcement and intelligence no longer know what a win looks like. Having met or interviewed each of our overseas speakers, I can say they will bring not only intellectual depth but also a level of enthusiasm that is sorely needed in the security space right now.”
“ Be prepared to be challenged, as well. For example, Mr Lake’s well-founded views, based on real-world experience, are not only thought-provoking but also, at times, downright terrifying. I’ve seen him stun a roomful of 500 police officers from around the world.”
One issue that has come to the fore in researching next year’s event has been the importance of making security everyone’ s business.
“Mr Butor pointed out that the random nature of terror attacks means that anyone, anywhere, is a potential target,” says Cowan.
“But, it is far more than terrorism that is a threat to contemporary society, there is also cyber-crime and illicit trade, to name two significant issues affecting not only large organisations but also small businesses, especially those who service large organisations.”
Among the local presenters, Ms Kate Carnell, Federal Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, will talk about the need to educate and enable small business to face a range of security threats and risks, to avoid them becoming a victim or unwittingly becoming a weak link.

Drawing on Mr Cowan’s 35 years of experience interviewing and writing on security issues, some sessions have been designed to engage experts in conversation to generate debate and knowledge sharing. Called ‘In Conversation’ sessions, Cowan will interview four or five participants around various themes aiming for a diversity of points of view.

“Too often, panels are awful, because panellists shy away from the intended topic, or avoid disagreeing with their co-panelists. The result is often a somewhat bland experience for all involved. By engaging in an interview format, everyone should be comfortable sharing their viewpoint,” says Mr Cowan. “In fact, inviting the right people and facilitating discussion in the right way can result in the most enlightening sessions you’ll ever see at a conference.”

The audience, too, will be given ample opportunity to participate and share ideas.
“Audience participation can often be as valuable as the presentations themselves and interactions with other attendees can reveal some surprising insights,” says Mr Cowan. “While the talks will provide new ideas, they’re by their very nature one-directional; by getting people in the audience to share unique, personal, and insightful conversations you take the whole event to a new level.”

Mark your diary now for:
Safeguarding Australia 2017 National Security Summit:
Security at a Turning Point — Innovation, Leadership and Diversity
on 3rd & 4th May 2017 in Canberra.

To register for early bird discount, please visit: www.safeguardingaustraliasummit.org.au

Draft program will be updated early in the new year.

Safeguarding Australia is Australia’ s premier national security conference series. The annual summit is organised by the Research Network for a Secure Australia (RNSA) www.rnsa.org.au an Australian Research Council funded research cooperative