Australian Outlook

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Australia in the World This Week

23 Jan 2019
By Allan Gyngell AO FAIIA and Dr Darren Lim

Allan and Darren interview Dennis Richardson, one of the most distinguished public servants in Australia’s history.

Dennis is the only person to have served in the following positions: Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister (Bob Hawke); Director General of Security (including during the 9/11 attacks); Australian Ambassador to the United States; and Secretary to both the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Defence.

Dennis and Allan both joined the then Department of External Affairs as graduates in 1969 and, as you will hear, much has changed, and much is still the same! Dennis offers his thoughts on a wide-ranging set of issues including the centralisation and securitsation of foreign policy, an assessment of the United States under Trump, the “economics versus security” debate in Australia, and what qualities political leaders need to be successful in navigating today’s complex world.

Allan Gyngell AO FAIIA is National President of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and an Honorary Professor at the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific.

Dr Darren Lim is a Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University.