Videos from the Lowy Institute, including our events which have hosted prime ministers, global media proprietors, leading intellectuals and writers, and the most influential world leaders of our generation.
The announcement of Australia’s preferred technology pathway for the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines has been described as the most significant shift in the country’s strategic outlook since the Second World War. Coupled with the forthcoming publication of the Defence Strategic Review, Australia’s national security environment is set for significant change. What is the future of Australian defence policy, Australia’s place in the region, and its relations with the United States and the United Kingdom? For this panel discussion, Sam Roggeveen, Director of the Lowy Institute’s International Security Program, spoke with Dr Charles Edel, Dr Lavina Lee and Justin Burke about the big decisions shaping Australia’s national security policy.
Dr Charles Edel is the inaugural Australia Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC. He previously taught at the University of Sydney, where he was also a senior fellow at the United States Studies Centre. Prior to that, he was a professor of strategy and policy at the US Naval War College and served on the US Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff from 2015 to 2017.
Dr Lavina Lee is a senior lecturer in the Department of Security Studies and Criminology at Macquarie University in Sydney. She is a member of the Council of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a nonresident fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.
Justin Burke is the 2022 Thawley Scholar in International Relations at the Lowy Institute and Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He is a nonresident fellow with the Institute for Security Policy at the University of Kiel in Germany. Justin is a PhD candidate in naval power at Macquarie University and was previously a journalist with The Australian and Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun.
The inaugural FDC Pacific Lecture was given by the Prime Minister of Samoa, Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa at Old Parliament House, Canberra on Monday 20 March 2023.
The Hon Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa is Samoa’s seventh prime minister and the first woman to be elected to the role. She was also the country’s first female cabinet minister and deputy prime minister. As the leader of the Faʻatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party, she became prime minister after elections in 2021. Prime Minister Fiamē was first elected to parliament in 1985 and was appointed to her first cabinet ministry in 1991, going on to serve in a range of portfolios including Education, Justice and Environment. From 2006 to 2012, she was the chair and pro-chancellor of the University of the South Pacific.
The FDC Pacific Lecture has been established with the support of the Foundation for Development Cooperation, which has also established the FDC Pacific Fellowship in conjunction with the Lowy Institute.
The Prime Minister was introduced by the Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Hon Pat Conroy MP. After her remarks, Prime Minister Fiamē spoke in conversation with the Lowy Institute's Executive Director, Dr Michael Fullilove AM.
Over the past decade, there has been more emphasis on gender in foreign policy and national security. What does this mean? Should foreign policy be a vehicle for the promotion of gender equality and how is that in Australia’s interest? How are women in foreign policy and national security leadership positions making an impact on the world stage? And are we witnessing a global backlash against women’s rights?
To mark International Womens Day the Lowy Institute hosted this event featuring researchers Jennifer Hsu, Jessica Collins and Meg Keen for a conversation chaired by Lydia Khalil to discuss these issues and offer their perspectives as women working in the field.
On 14 March 2023, Australian foreign policy expert and former Lowy Institute Executive Director Professor Michael Wesley launched his new book Helpem Fren: Australia and the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (MUP 2023). The book is the first comprehensive history of Australia’s RAMSI intervention, which was aimed at preventing the collapse of the Pacific Island state. Helpem Fren draws on still-classified official documents and more than 30 interviews to explore the motivations and dynamics behind the 14-year Pacific-wide mission — a project that cost more than $2 billion and involved thousands of soldiers, police and public servants from Australia and across the Pacific. RAMSI was remarkably successful in an age of disastrous interventions, yet its legacy has largely vanished from Australia’s public consciousness. Professor Wesley joined the Lowy Institute’s Pacific Islands Program Director Meg Keen, to discuss the challenges of interventions and development assistance in a Pacific that is more geopolitically contested than it has been for 70 years.
Michael Wesley is Deputy Vice-Chancellor International and Professor of Politics at the University of Melbourne. His research and writing focus on Australian foreign policy and the international affairs of Asia and the Pacific. Previously, he was Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University. He has also held positions as Executive Director of the Lowy Institute, Director of the Griffith Asia Institute at Griffith University, and Assistant Director-General for Transnational Issues at the Office of National Assessments. He has a PhD in International Relations from the University of St Andrews.
Entering the second year of the Russia–Ukraine conflict the Lowy Institute hosted a a conversation with two compelling speakers about what 2023 will bring. Retired Australian Army Major General Mick Ryan has become a globally recognised commentator on the military campaign in Ukraine, while Ukrainian-born journalist Zoya Sheftalovich (POLITICO) has recently returned from Europe, where she covered President Zelenskyy’s visits to London and Brussels. The conversation was chaired by Sam Roggeveen, Director of the International Security Program.
Major General (Ret’d) Mick Ryan is a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute. He spent 35 years in the Australian Army. His operational service includes deployments to East Timor, Iraq and southern Afghanistan. His book, War Transformed: The Future of Twenty-First-Century Great Power Competition and Conflict, was published in 2022.
Zoya Sheftalovich is a contributing editor for POLITICO, currently based in Sydney. She is also a regular commentator on the Ukraine war for ABC News 24.
On 23 January 2023, philanthopist and tech founder Bill Gates took part in a special in-person event with Lowy Institute Executive Director Dr Michael Fullilove. They spoke about global health, pandemic preparedness, food security and climate change.
Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of Breakthrough Energy. He co-founded Microsoft in 1975, growing the company into a global leader in business and personal software. In 2008, Gates shifted focus to the Gates Foundation’s work on increasing opportunities for the world’s most disadvantaged people. Through the Foundation, he has spent more than 20 years working on global health and development issues including pandemic prevention; disease eradication; maternal, newborn and child health; agricultural development; and water, sanitation and hygiene. In 2010, he co-founded the Giving Pledge to encourage the wealthiest families and individuals to publicly commit more than half their wealth to philanthropic causes and charitable organisations during their lifetime or in their will.
On 2 December 2022, the Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, will address the Lowy institute in a speech titled, “How a strong Europe can contribute to a more secure world”. In the address, Ms Marin will speak about Finland’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Europe’s broader security priorities. After her remarks, she will speak in conversation with Executive Director Dr Michael Fullilove and take audience questions.
Sanna Marin was appointed Prime Minister of Finland on 10 December 2019. She has been actively engaged in politics since 2006. In 2015, she was elected to Parliament and has been a member of the Grand Committee, Legal Affairs Committee and Environment Committee. Ms Marin is the third female Prime Minister of Finland and the youngest prime minister in Finland’s history.
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the first woman and first African to hold the office of Director-General of the World Trade Organization. She is an economist and international development professional with more than 40 years of experience, including as a Managing Director at the World Bank. She has twice served as Nigeria's Finance Minister (2003–06 and 2011–15) and also served as the country's Foreign Minister in 2006. In 2021, Time magazine recognised her as one of the world's most influential people.
The annual Lowy Lecture is the Lowy Institute’s flagship event, at which a prominent individual reflects on Australia and the world. Past Lecturers include German Chancellor Angela Merkel; UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson; US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan; Lowy Institute Chairman Sir Frank Lowy; and several Australian prime ministers including Prime Minister John Howard, who delivered the inaugural Lowy Lecture in 2005.
The 2022 Owen Harries Lecture was delivered by the Lowy Institute's 2022 Distinguished Fellow for International Security Sir Lawrence Freedman, one of the world’s most respected military strategists. Sir Lawrence's Harries Lecture, titled ‘Inhumane War?’, discussed Moscow's assumption that Kyiv can be forced to capitulate by attacks on its citizenry and infrastructure even when Russian forces have been pushed back in the land battle. The Lecture was followed by a Q&A session moderated by Lowy Institute Director of Research Hervé Lemahieu.
Sir Lawrence Freedman is Emeritus Professor of War Studies, King's College London. Elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1995 and awarded the CBE in 1996, he was appointed Official Historian of the Falklands Campaign in 1997. In 2003, he was awarded the KCMG. In June 2009, he was appointed to serve as a member of the official inquiry into Britain and the 2003 Iraq War. He has written widely on international history, strategic theory and nuclear weapons issues, as well as commenting on current security issues. Among his books are Strategy: A History (2013) and Command: The Politics of Military Operations from Korea to Ukraine (2022).
Since 2013, the annual Owen Harries Lecture has honoured the significant contribution made to the international debate in Australia and the United States by Owen Harries, who was a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute.
The Distinguished Fellowship for International Security is supported by the Australian Department of Defence’s Strategic Policy Grants Program.