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Australia in the World: Ep.21 Interview with Rebecca Skinner

11 Jun 2019
By Allan Gyngell AO FAIIA and Dr Darren Lim
Rebecca Skinner, Assistant Secretary at the Australian Department of Defence. Source: Defence Website

In episode 21 of the Australia in the World podcast, Allan and Darren bring us a special interview this episode with Rebecca Skinner, associate secretary of Australia’s Department of Defence, and therefore one of the most senior women working on Australia’s national security.

It is a wide-ranging conversation that covers topics including the nature of the Associate Secretary role, civil-military relationships inside the department, the never-ending question of reform, gender issues, and contrasts between private and public sector organisations. Allan and Darren also pose big picture questions on the disrupted strategic environment and how to better integrate Australia’s national security community. On the lighter side, the $400 ashtray from the TV show “The West Wing” and (perhaps) its Australian equivalent — a flute — also come up.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

Our thanks go to AIIA intern Charlie Henshall for his help with audio editing, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music, and Martyn Pearce for technical assistance in setting up this episode.