Civilian Leadership in Defence

Much has been made in recent years about the need for a ‘whole of government’ approach to the provision of national defence and regional stability. In contrast to the period before 1975, civilian leadership in both its political and administrative forms was not the subject of close study nor seen as a factor that impinged directly on the conduct of operations or in the pursuit of Australia’s sovereign interest abroad. Since the end of the Cold War and a series of structural reforms within both the Australian Defence Force and the Australian Defence Organisation, the role of the Prime Minister, Ministers for Defence, Assistant Defence Ministers and Departmental Secretaries has become more prominent and influential. This area of research will lead to the production of two major volumes. The first will cover the period 1901-1975 and the second the period from 1975 to 2015.