The event featured a diverse line-up of panellists and keynote speakers, including Chief of the Defence Force General Angus Campbell, Wujal Wujal people from eastern Cape York, federal government department leaders, academics, analysts, politicians and young women from the Australian Signals Directorate's (ASD) work experience program for Year 10-12 students.
Reflecting the conference theme of 'Power, Security and Change', participants had the opportunity to share insights about:
Data analysis, privacy and national security
Indo-Pacific security dynamics
Nuclear deterrence, technology and security
Understanding the role of gender in countering terrorist threats
Security through community in eastern Cape York
Security challenges and the future of power
Making security decisions in a democracy
Defence and security professions of the future
Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at ANU, Professor Elanor Huntington, said, when threatened, one of the natural responses of the nation-state is to hunker down, and that is exactly the wrong response, given that Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) now provide the foundation for critical infrastructure, services, appliances, manufacturing, disaster response and cyber security.
'Humans are now part of a Cyber-Physical System in a way we've never been before,' she said. 'We're the squishy widget on the end.'
For Eileen Deemal-Hall, chief executive of Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council, 'everything we connect to is about Country'.
Co-leading a session with Lieutenant Colonel Tim Rutherford, Commanding Officer of the 51^st^ Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment, about collaboration in eastern Cape York, Ms Deemal-Hall said technology -- such as the tiny shire's innovative WiFi dome, a private wireless network -- is playing a crucial role in social cohesion and is supporting the community's social and economic development.
In another panel discussion, analyst from Indonesia's Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, Nava Nuraniyah, explained how the internet has become an important enabler, not only for terrorist propaganda but also for extremist socialisation through electronic dating and also as a permissible public space where women can bypass the traditional male gatekeepers.
In this more complex environment, state governments are re-assessing security approaches so that they can tap into all capabilities.
Deputy High Commissioner of the British High Commission in Canberra, Ingrid Southworth, outlined the United Kingdom's new national security doctrine, the Fusion Doctrine, which aims to combine and harness the UK's economic, security, technological, and military capabilities. She said this means using not just security and intelligence tools but also economic levers, regulation, international institutions and diplomacy.