Defence Minister to open Women and National Security Conference

Friday, March 31, 2017 — Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Penny Wong are amongst the high-profile speakers to take part in the inaugural Women and National Security Conference, hosted by The Australian National University (ANU) from Tuesday 4 April.

The two-day event, run by ANU National Security College, will have a strong focus on enhancing women's participation and leadership in national security across the public and private sectors.

Defence Minister Marise Payne will deliver the opening keynote address at 9am Tuesday 4 April.

Other speakers include:

  • Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC, Chief of the Australian Defence Force
  • Ms Frances Adamson, Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Mr Chris Moraitis PSM, Secretary,  Attorney-General’s Department
  • Dr Habiba Sarabi, Deputy Chair to High Peace Council & Senior Advisor on Women to the Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • Professor Valerie Hudson, George H.W. Bush Chair, Texas A&M University, and co-author of Sex and World Peace
  • Ms Gai Brodtmann MP, Member for Canberra
  • The Hon Ms Penny Wensley AC, former Australian Ambassador to the United Nations and Governor of Queensland
  • Professor Margaret Harding, Acting Vice-Chancellor, ANU
  • Ms Stephanie Foster PSM, Deputy Australian Public Service Commissioner
  • Ms Heather McIlwain, CEO, Chief Executive Women
  • Ms Gabrielle Louise McIntyre, Chef de Cabinet, Office of the President, UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals

A full program and further information on the conference can be found here -

Interested media can register their attendance by emailing



Ms Marina Tsirbas

Senior Executive Advisor and Conference Convenor

ANU National Security College
T: 02 6125 5452

Professor Rory Medcalf

ANU National Security College
T: 0417 799 278


WHAT: Women and National Security Conference

WHERE: QT Hotel, 1 London Circuit, Canberra

WHEN: Tuesday 4 April – Wednesday 5 April


For media assistance, email or contact Aaron Walker on the ANU media hotline on 02 6125 7979 or 0418 307 213.