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Australian Defence College

The Australian Defence College was established to meet the strategic needs of the Australian Defence Force for joint professional military education and individual training. This is achieved by delivering world class residential courses, distributed learning, research, seminars, professional journals and the contribution to the global online Professional Military Education community.

In addition to delivering joint professional military education and training, the Commander of the Australian Defence College acts as Defence’s education and training technical authority.

The Australian Defence College manages the Defence Registered Training Organisation. Commander of the Australian Defence College is the appointed Chief Executive Officer. The Defence Registered Training Organisation is responsible for providing nationally accredited training for the Defence workforce.

Australian Defence College Philosophy 

Our philosophy is to deliver the intellectual edge for our future force.

We do this by:

Joint education and training is a core Defence capability, and a critical strategic edge in all military organisations.

First and foremost, the ADC must deliver world class joint professional military education and training as one of the foundational elements of current and future Australian military capability. We must be cognisant of historical lessons while remaining future focused, and intellectually relevant to information-age warfare. We must produce intellectually resourceful military leaders with a profound understanding of the theory and practice of war. They must be imbued with the intellectual capacity, influence skills and confidence to apply that knowledge in a military, interagency and cross-cultural environment. Students and staff must also appreciate the value of character and its importance for ethical conduct in peace and war. This is regardless whether they are junior or senior leaders, in staff or planning appointments, on operations, or providing military advice on strategic policy options to the government of the day.

The ADC will energetically collaborate with external and internal organisations to bench mark our performance, support our international partners and contribute to Defence capability development.

Collaboration with VCDF, the Services, Defence People Group and Joint Capability Group, as well as our international partners is an important responsibility. We must ensure we meet the needs of the contemporary ADF that we serve, while also ensuring that the training and education needs of the future force are included in joint force design at the earliest stages. Engagement with foreign militaries and institutions will assist the college to remain well-informed of global JPME developments, and enable the professional development of foreign military personnel.

The ADC will advocate for professional mastery to nurture the desire in military and civilian personnel to achieve professional excellence.

Mastery of the profession of arms is a critical warfighting edge for the Australian Defence Force. We will not tolerate mediocrity, but rather will nurture ongoing professional discourse, research and scholarship, while embracing excellence in joint warfighting as the highest military virtue. In doing so, we build the intellectual edge in our people, while concurrently assisting to build an institutional intellectual edge for ADF and wider Defence activities. We will strive to be the ‘best of breed’ in global JPME institutions.

The ADC must lead Defence in efficient and innovative approaches to learning delivery and technology.

No institution that seeks to remain relevant can mark time. We must continually adapt our curriculum and its delivery to the needs of the Australian Defence Force and wider Defence enterprise. In doing so, we will collaborate broadly with a range of stakeholders on more effective learning approaches. This will be underpinned by a commitment to ongoing research into future warfare and strategic competition that is linked to providing world class joint PME. In doing so, the ADC should attract the best domestic and international students as well as the very best ADC leadership, instructors and staff.

MB Ryan
Major General
February 2020

This page was last updated on 3rd March 2020