ASEAN - Australia Defence Postgraduate Program renewed

ASEAN group 2024
AADPSP 2024 cohort with SDSC lecturers at the welcome reception.

By Olivia Wenholz

In February the Bell School welcomed a new cohort of students into the Master of Strategic Studies, including seven scholars from South East Asian countries, participating in the ASEAN – Australia Defence Postgraduate Program (AADPSP).

Senior members of the Defence community and Ambassadors from ASEAN nations attended the reception, to welcome the cohort, and also to celebrate the renewal of the contract for the delivery of the program.

Bell School has delivered the ASEAN – AU Defence PG program since 2019, and last month we were delighted to hear that we have successfully secured the contract to continue to deliver the program for a further 5 years.

As Gabrielle Parker from the International Policy Division of the Department of Defence explains,

the program brings together emerging defence and security leaders from ASEAN and Australia. It is an essential component of Defence’s regional cooperation program, and our extensive cooperation with ASEAN in the defence space.

“The program fosters a shared understanding of regional security and a greater appreciation of how our countries can work collaboratively to overcome common security challenges. “

The seven outstanding ASEAN students commencing this year come from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. They were selected by the Defence Department in their home country, as well as the Australian Defence Department, to study a Master of Strategic Studies at ANU.

Each cohort participates in an 18-month program which is run annually, so there is a six-month overlap between cohorts, which really helps to build bonds and networks between cohorts, and embeds a feeling of community among the program alumni.

Participants in the program commence their Australian stay with a bridging course introducing them to academic standards and approaches at ANU. Then the program gets into full swing in February with the start of Semester 1 and Orientation Week festivities on the ANU campus in Acton, in the city centre of Canberra.

Program Convenor Dr Greg Raymond recalls, “we started the AADPSP program in 2019 and 2020 amidst fire, hail and a pandemic. But five years later it’s going stronger than ever. The course convenors for the Master of Strategic Studies really value the different perspectives that students in the ASEAN program bring to the discussions in class”.

Bell School Director, A/Professor Julien Barbara adds,

This program is perfectly matched with the Bell School’s strengths. It demonstrates our reach into the region and our capacity to bring people together.

We are delighted to have the opportunity to learn from our international masters students, and to forge friendships and networks in the region, with our ASEAN neighbours, through their participation in this excellent program. Welcome!