Book Launch | Beyond Combat: Australian military activity away from the battlefield


Adams Auditorium, Building 111

UNSW Canberra at ADFA

Northcott Drive, Campbell, ACT

5.30pm to 7.30pm

Please join us for the launch of Beyond Combat: Australian military activity away from the battlefields. The book will be launched by Catherine McGregor AM.

Beyond Combat has been written to embrace the history of all that militaries achieve away from the battlefield that is central to the lives of the individuals within these services – in the words of the two editors: “the assumption that militaries and the individuals within them do nothing but fight, or prepare to fight, denies the sheer breadth of activities undertaken by these institutions” (Dr Tom Richardson and Dr Tristan Moss). 

There is a lot more to military life than war. From an army nurse’s letters home during the First World War, military families in Southeast Asia during the Cold War and recovering air force war dead to educating Papua New Guinean forces and the experiences of LGBTI soldiers, Beyond Combat is a wide-ranging examination of military operations away from the battlefield.  

With contributions from historians and military personnel, including Christina Twomey, Noah Riseman, Shirleene Robinson and Clare O’Neill, Beyond Combat reveals important aspects of military history too often overlooked.


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Catherine McGregor AM.

Catherine McGregor is a freelance writer broadcaster and author. She is a graduate of the Royal Military College Duntroon from which she graduated with Honours in History and was awarded the CEW Bean Prize for Military History. She attended the Changing Character of War Programme at Oxford University and holds postgraduate degrees in War Studies and Military History. She served as an officer in the Australian Regular Army and the Royal Australian Air Force for over three decades. Her service included operational deployments overseas including operational command in Timor Leste. She is a Tetum linguist. 

Catherine was a strategic advisor and speech writer to every Chief of the Army from 1999 until 2014. She subsequently served in as Director of Research and Analysis for the Chief of Air Force. She was awarded the Order of Australia in the Military Division in the Australia Day Honours list in 2012. 

Catherine is one of Australia’s most highly regarded cricket writers and commentators. She has written for News Limited and Fairfax on cricket including two Ashes tours of England. She is currently retained as a cricket commentator and writer by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She will lead their television coverage of the 2017-18 Ashes series in Australia. Catherine has written two highly acclaimed books on cricket and is a current player and coach. She serves on the board of Grassroots Cricket and Stand Tall4 PTSD, charities with a cricket focus. She was seconded to the Cricket Australia selection panel to select the Prime Minister’s XI in 2013 and 2014. 

Catherine has also written widely on politics and global security issues for News Limited and has appeared as regular guest on the Drum 7-30 Report and Lateline on politics and national security. 

Catherine is Australia’s most prominent transgendered woman. Catherine's personal story of gender transition is compelling and inspiring. Her life was the subject of stage production Still Point Turning at the the Sydney Theatre Company in 2018.

She is a speaker of enormous range, not only does she share her inspirational personal narrative, Catherine also speaks with authority on the impact of disruptive technology on your work force, global geopolitics and Australian culture and politics. Audiences also warm to her unique insights into Test cricket and the most famous players in the global game.