The Department of Defence is a department of the Government of Australia charged with the responsibility to defend Australia and its national interests. Along with the Australian Defence Force (ADF), it forms part of the Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) and is accountable to the Commonwealth Parliament, on behalf of the Australian people, for the efficiency and effectiveness with which it carries out the Government's defence policy.
The head of the Department, who leads it on a daily basis, is the Secretary of the Department of Defence (SECDEF), currently Greg Moriarty. The Secretary reports to the Minister of Defence, currently The Hon. Linda Reynolds MP, following appointment by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in May 2019.
|Department of Defence|
|Formed||14 April 1942|
|Jurisdiction||Commonwealth of Australia|
|Annual budget||A$32.4 billion (2016/2017)|
|Parent Department||Australian Defence Organisation (ADO)|
Australia has had at least one defence-related government department since Federation in 1901. The first Department of Defence existed from 1901 until 1921. In 1915, during World War I, a separate Department of the Navy was created. The two departments merged in 1921 to form the second Department of Defence, regarded as a separate body.
A major departmental reorganisation occurred in the lead-up to World War II. The Department of Defence was abolished and replaced with six smaller departments – the Defence Co-ordination (for defence policy, financial, and administrative matters), three "service departments" (Army, Navy, and Air), the Supply and Development (for munitions and materiel), and Civil Aviation. The current Department of Defence was formally created in 1942, when Prime Minister John Curtin renamed the existing Department of Defence Co-ordination. The other defence-related departments underwent a series of reorganisations, before being merged into the primary department over the following decades. This culminated in the abolition of the three service departments in 1973. A new Department of Defence Support was created in 1982, but abolished in 1984.
The Defence Committee is the primary decision-making committee in the Department of Defence, supported by 6 subordinate committees, groups and boards. The Defence Committee is focused on major capability development and resource management for the Australian Defence Organisation and shared accountability of the Secretary and the Chief of the Defence Force.
The members of the Defence Committee are:
The Department of Defence consists of ten major organisational groups:
The Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) and the Secretary of the Department of Defence (SECDEF) jointly manage the Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) under a diarchy in which both report directly to the Minister for Defence and the Assistant Minister for Defence. The ADO diarchy is a governance structure unique in the Australian Public Service.
The Secretary of the Department of Defence (SECDEF) is a senior public service officer and historically the appointees have not come from military service.
|Term in office||Notes||Ref(s)|
|Captain Sir Muirhead Collins||KCMG, PVNF||1901||1910||9 years, 0 days||Pethebridge was acting Secretary 1906–1910|
|Brigadier General Sir Samuel Pethebridge||KCMG||1910||1918||8 years, 0 days||Trumble was acting Secretary 1914–1918|
|Thomas Trumble||CMG, CBE||1918||1927||9 years, 0 days|
|Malcolm Shepherd||CMG, ISO||1927||1937||10 years, 0 days|
|Sir Frederick Shedden||KCMG, OBE||1937||1956||19 years, 301 days|
|Sir Edwin Hicks||CBE||28 October 1956||5 January 1968||11 years, 69 days|||
|Sir Henry Bland||1 May 1968||1970||1 year, 361 days|||
|Sir Arthur Tange||AC, CBE||March 1970||August 1979||9 years, 92 days|||
|Bill Pritchett||AO||August 1979||6 February 1984||4 years, 189 days|||
|Sir William Cole||6 February 1984||15 October 1986||2 years, 251 days|||
|Alan Woods||AC||December 1986||31 July 1988||1 year, 243 days|||
|Tony Ayers||AC||1 August 1988||February 1998||9 years, 184 days|||
|Paul Barratt||AO||February 1998||31 August 1999||1 year, 211 days||Appointment terminated by the Governor-General on the recommendation of Prime Minister Howard.
Barratt fought the decision in the Federal Court, losing on appeal.
|Dr Allan Hawke||AC||21 October 1999||20 October 2002||2 years, 364 days|||
|Ric Smith||AO, PSM||11 November 2002||3 December 2006||4 years, 22 days|||
|Nick Warner||AO, PSM||4 December 2006||13 August 2009||2 years, 252 days|||
|Dr Ian Watt||AO||13 August 2009||5 September 2011||2 years, 23 days|||
|Major General Duncan Lewis||AO, DSC, CSC||5 September 2011||18 October 2012||1 year, 43 days|||
|Dennis Richardson||AO||18 October 2012||12 May 2017||4 years, 206 days|||
|Greg Moriarty||4 September 2017||Incumbent||1 year, 350 days|||
As part of the First Principles Review implementation, from 1 July 2015 the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) has been renamed as the Defence Science and Technology Group.
The 1st Division is the main formation of the Australian Army and contains the majority of the Army's regular forces. Its headquarters is in Enoggera, a suburb of Brisbane. The division was first formed in 1914 for service during World War I as a part of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). It was initially part of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) and served with that formation during the Gallipoli campaign, before later serving on the Western Front. After the war, the division became a part-time unit based in New South Wales, and during World War II it undertook defensive duties in Australia before being disbanded in 1945.
After World War II, the division remained off the Australian Army's order of battle until the 1960s, when it was reformed in New South Wales. In 1965 it adopted a certification role, determining the operational readiness of units deploying to Vietnam. It was re-formed in 1973 as a full division based in Queensland and in the decades that followed it formed the Australian Army's main formation, including both Regular and Reserve personnel. Throughout this period, the division's component units undertook multiple operations, mainly focused on peacekeeping in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Following the restructuring of the Australian Army under the "Adaptive Army" initiative, the 1st Division no longer had any combat units assigned to it, although the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment became a direct command unit in late 2017. The division is tasked with co-ordinating the Army's high-level training activities and maintaining the "Deployable Joint Force Headquarters" (DJFHQ). In the event of the Australian Army undertaking a large-scale land-based operation, the division would have further combat units force assigned to it and would command all deployed assets including those of the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force.Australian Defence Organisation
The Australian Defence Organisation (abbreviated as ADO and commonly referred to simply as Defence) is an Australian Government organisation that consists of both the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the civilian Department of Defence personnel supporting the ADF whose two purposes are to "defend Australia and its national interests" and "protect and advance Australia's strategic interests".Australian Maritime Defence Council
The Australian Maritime Defence Council is a policy and stakeholder advisory body in the defence portfolio of the Government of Australia. It was established on 25 February 1982 as the Australian Shipping and Defence Council. As of 2015, the council has 18 members which are appointed by the Minister for Defence. The Council provides "a forum in which senior Defence and industry stakeholders can exchange information on trends and matters of national maritime interest" and the Deputy Chief of the Navy is its Chair.Australia–Malaysia relations
Australia–Malaysia relations (Malay: Hubungan Australia–Malaysia; Jawi: هوبوڠن أستراليا–مليسيا) refers to bilateral foreign relations between Australia and Malaysia. Australia has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has a high commission in Canberra. Both Australia and Malaysia are members of the Five Power Defence Arrangements and often participate in military exercises together.Occasional issues such as perceived Australian influence in Southeast Asian affairs, as well as the detention and execution of Australian citizens in Malaysia, further complicate relations between the two nations.Bundall, Queensland
Bundall is a suburb of the City of Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. At the 2016 Census, Bundall had a population of 4,523.Corps of Staff Cadets
The Corps of Staff Cadets (CSC) is a corps of the Australian Army. It is ranked first in the Order of Precedence ahead of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps. The CSC is the corps to which all officer trainees, known as staff cadets, who attend the Royal Military College, Duntroon are allocated once they have completed their initial stage of training in III Class, known as Initial Cadet Training. Upon completion of this training, which lasts between six and eight weeks, the successful III Class cadets are welcomed into the Corps and presented with their Corps lanyard at what is known as the "Lanyard Parade". The name of the Corps of Staff Cadets is derived from the earliest history of the College, which was set up in 1911 to train officers to fill positions in the now defunct Staff Corps. Currently, however, following graduation, the cadet is promoted to the rank of lieutenant and allocated to a combat, combat support or combat service support corps, such as the Royal Australian Infantry Corps, Royal Australian Engineers, Royal Australian Armoured Corps, Royal Australian Corps of Transport, Royal Australian Artillery, etc.Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group
The Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group (SP&I) of the Australian Government Department of Defence is responsible for defence diplomacy, strategic policy, international security, and military intelligence co-ordination and advice to the Prime Minister of Australia, Minister for Defence, Secretary of the Department of Defence, and Chief of the Defence Force. The Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group is led by the Deputy Secretary for Strategic Policy and Intelligence and comprises three policy divisions and two intelligence agencies.
The Group has existed in various forms since the Cold War within the Department of Defence with responsibilities for defence policy, strategy, intelligence, and international policy. It has been known as the Defence Strategy and Intelligence Group, the Defence Strategy Executive, the Defence Intelligence and Security Group, the Defence Intelligence, Security and International Policy Group, and the Defence Intelligence Group. The current SP&I Group was established on 8 February 2016 as a key recommendation of the First Principles Review of the Australian Defence Organisation, integrating all policy, strategy and intelligence functions of the Australian Government Department of Defence.The Deputy Secretary for Strategic Policy and Intelligence can be seen as the Australian combined equivalent of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy of the United States Department of Defense.Department of Air
The Department of Air is a former Australian federal government department. Created on 13 November 1939 following the outbreak of the Second World War, it assumed control of the administration and finance of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) from the Department of Defence. Following the war its functions were expanded to include responsibility for air defence as well as the organisation and control of the RAAF. The department was abolished by the Second Whitlam Ministry on 30 November 1973 when the single service departments were once again amalgamated, with its role assumed by the Air Office within the Department of Defence.Department of the Army (Australia)
The Department of the Army was an Australian federal government department. Created on 13 November 1939 following the outbreak of the Second World War, it assumed control of the administration and finance of the Australian Army from the Department of Defence. The department was abolished by the Whitlam government on 30 November 1973 when the single service departments were once again amalgamated, with its role assumed by the Army Office within the Department of Defence.Department of the Navy (Australia)
The Department of the Navy is a former Australian federal government department created on 13 November 1939 to replace the Navy Office within the Department of Defence, after the outbreak of the Second World War.
The department assumed control of the administration and finance of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from the Department of Defence. The department was abolished by the Whitlam government on 30 November 1973 when the single service departments were amalgamated, with its role assumed by the Navy Office within the Department of Defence.Enoggera Barracks
Enoggera Barracks (also known as Gallipoli Barracks) is an Australian Army base in the northwestern Brisbane suburb of Enoggera in Queensland. It was officially established in the early 20th century when the area was used for field training, although the area was used by military units as far back as the mid-19th century. Since then it has been developed into a modern military base, which is now home to units of the 7th and 11th Brigades as well as the headquarters of the 1st Division and the 16th Aviation Brigade.Imperial Japanese Navy Technical Department
The Imperial Japanese Navy Technical Department (艦政本部, kansei honbu, Short form: 艦本 kampon / Kanhon) was the externally operating division of the Ministry of the Navy of Japan responsible for the administration of naval vessel construction. From 1923 onward, it took on the role of a research institution for the research and development of naval technologies and engineering. This included studying and investigating existing western naval technology, developing and overseeing Japan's domestic shipbuilding and arms industries, and training officers to become naval engineers and inspectors. The bureau was dismantled along with the naval ministry in November 1945 after Japan surrendered to the Allies at the end of World War II.Paul Dibb
Paul Dibb AM (born 3 October 1939) is an English-born Australian strategist, academic and former defence intelligence official. He is currently emeritus professor of strategic studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre which is part of the Australian National University.He was the head of the National Assessments Staff (the predecessor to the Office of National Assessments) from 1974 to 1978, the director of the Joint Intelligence Organisation (the predecessor to the Defence Intelligence Organisation) from 1986 to 1988, and the head of the Defence Strategy and Intelligence Group with the rank of Deputy Secretary in the Department of Defence from 1988 to 1991. Dibb is also known for his contribution to Australian defence strategy through writing the 1986 Review of Australia’s defence capabilities, known as the Dibb Report, and being the primary author of the 1987 Defence White Paper. From 1965 to 1984, Dibb worked for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, tasked with gaining intelligence and recruiting KGB and GRU agents in Canberra.Procurement programme of the Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Australian Navy, although a significant force in the Asia-Pacific region, is nonetheless classed as a medium-sized navy. Its fleet is based around two main types of surface combatant, with limited global deployment and air power capability. However, in 2009, a white paper, Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030, was produced by the Australian government which set out a programme of defence spending that will see significant improvements to the RAN's fleet and capabilities.Robogals
Robogals is an international student-run organisation that aims to inspire, engage and empower young women to consider studying engineering and related fields. Its primary activity is interactive, engineering based workshops for girls aged between 8-18 (depending on location). Robogals has chapters at 31 universities across Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Kenya, South Africa, New Zealand, and the Philippines. These chapters fall into three regions - Robogals Asia Pacific, Robogals EMEA (Europe, Middle East, & Africa), and Robogals North America.Robogals also run a range of other activities around this central theme. Past events have included a robotics competition (2008), a mass robot dance that attracted significant media coverage (2009), a robot artwork exhibition, science fair (2010), the Robogals Science Challenge (2012-) and the Robogals Challenge in the UK (2015-).
The organisation is predominately run by university student volunteers, including at the global headquarters in Melbourne, Australia with the Leadership Team of Robogals based around the world.
Robogals is funded through the support and partnerships with key engineering related companies around the world such as: Beck Engineering, Telstra, Modern Teaching Aids, Worley Parsons, ACA, Department of Defence (Australia) and AbiGroup.
Robogals' achievements have been recognised on an international level with the awarding of an Anita Borg Change Agent Award by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. Robogals founder Marita Cheng was named the 2012 Young Australian of the Year.Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force, called the Commonwealth Naval Forces. Originally intended for local defence, the navy was granted the title of 'Royal Australian Navy' in 1911, and became increasingly responsible for defence of the region.
Britain's Royal Navy’s Australian Squadron was assigned to the Australia Station and provided support to the RAN. The Australian and New Zealand governments helped to fund the Australian Squadron until 1913, while the Admiralty committed itself to keeping the Squadron at a constant strength. The Australian Squadron ceased on 4 October 1913, when RAN ships entered Sydney Harbour for the first time.The Royal Navy continued to provide blue-water defence capability in the Pacific up to the early years of the Second World War. Then, rapid wartime expansion saw the acquisition of large surface vessels and the building of many smaller warships. In the decade following the war, the RAN acquired a small number of aircraft carriers, the last of which was decommissioned in 1982.
Today, the RAN consists of 48 commissioned vessels, 3 non-commissioned vessels and over 16,000 personnel. The navy is one of the largest and most sophisticated naval forces in the South Pacific region, with a significant presence in the Indian Ocean and worldwide operations in support of military campaigns and peacekeeping missions. The current Chief of Navy is Vice Admiral Michael Noonan.Royal Military College, Duntroon
The Royal Military College, Duntroon, also known simply as Duntroon, is the Australian Army's officer training establishment. It was founded at Duntroon, in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, in 1911 and is located at the foot of Mount Pleasant near Lake Burley Griffin, close to the Department of Defence headquarters at Russell Hill. It is comparable with the United Kingdom's Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the United States Military Academy at West Point. Duntroon is adjacent to the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), which is Australian Defence Force's tri-service military academy that provides military and tertiary academic education for junior officers of the Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Australian Navy.Section (military unit)
A section is a military sub-subunit. It usually consists of between six and 20 personnel and is usually an alternative name for, and equivalent to, a squad. As such two or more sections usually make up an army platoon or an air force flight.
However, in the French Army and in armies based on the French model, a section is equivalent to a platoon.Tactical assault group
A Tactical Assault Group (TAG) is an Australian Defence Force special forces unit tasked with responding to counter-terrorism incidents in Australia on land and maritime environments and also with conducting overseas special recovery operations.At present there are two tactical assault groups based on opposite sides of the country. As such they are individually identified as being either TAG East, based in Sydney or TAG West, based in Perth. Both groups are structured to conduct offensive domestic counter-terrorist operations focusing on direct action and hostage recovery.Each assault group maintains a short notice capability to conduct military operations beyond the scope of State and Federal Police Tactical Groups. These aims are achieved through various highly specialised skill sets, niche capabilities and supporting Australian Defence Force (ADF) units such as those from the Special Operations Engineer Regiment and 171st Aviation Squadron.
Australian Defence Force Military of Australia
Australian Defence Force Military of Australia
Category:Royal Australian Air Force
Militaries of Asia
|States with limited recognition|
|Dependencies and other territories|