Professional Development

Good policy-making requires good policy-makers. Strategic policy-making requires policy-makers capable of high-level strategic thinking. The Institute for Regional Security has, for nearly two decades, invested in the development of the young policy-makers who will provide such strategic thinking and leadership into the future.

The Institute’s professional development programs are led by its CEO, Chris Gardiner. Chris holds Master of Arts (International Relations), Master of Leadership and Management, and Master of Professional Ethics degrees, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Leaders and Managers ANZ and a Fellow of the Institute of Learning and Performance Asia Pacific.

Future Strategic Leaders Program

Our flagship activity is our Future Strategic Leaders Program (FSLP).

Early-career professionals from Government, the military, police and intelligence agencies, and industry are selected into a program that provides opportunities for individual development, and contribution to the work of the Institute. FSLP members work to shape and deliver our professional development events, ensuring that every development activity we design is informed by the interests and insights of current practitioners.

We ground the development work they undertake on ‘action learning’ which involves real security policy issues, and real program delivery responsibility.

Whilst our program draws individuals from numerous departments, agencies and organisations, FSLP can be delivered in-house for a Government Department or Agency.


“The learning materials were diverse and intellectually stimulating. The course on leadership was fantastic and really illuminating. Even though I work in the space, the course on policymaking was eye opening and I’ve really enjoyed the in‑depth policy discussions – the ability to learn from colleagues and experienced leaders in their fields allowed me to understand the conceptual and theoretical aspects but also realworld actions. The networks I’ve been able to develop are immensely valuable. I’d strongly recommend others in the early stages of their national security and foreign policy careers participate”.

Euan Moyle
Public Service

“The knowledge and skills acquired have been instrumental in navigating my initial challenges in the APS. The facilitation was exceptional, with comprehensive learning materials and proactive support from mentors. The resources provided were not only extensive but also tailored to encourage deeper exploration of specific interests. The policy workshops stood out as the most beneficial aspect of the program for me. They provided a realworld context where I could apply theoretical knowledge from the microlearning units. I wholeheartedly recommend the FSLP to anyone looking to advance in the fields of policy and security”. 

Olivia Nolan
Public Service

“As a former executive leader in the APS, the FSLP has been a breath of fresh air. It has allowed me to reset and test contemporary policy theories and gain a new appreciation for bringing diverse individuals to the table. I’ve been able to hear from respected policy professionals and create longterm connections with a network of likeminded individuals that I know I can go to throughout the course of my career. I’ve been able to understand meaningful leadership styles in delivering policy that’s both impactful and enduring. For those considering applying, I would highly recommend it”.

Rebecca Wakerman Powell
Consulting Manager (National Security)


Young professionals working in a security community – defence, intelligence, policing, defence industry – can submit policy ideas and, if selected, present them in The Institute’s annual TED-type public presentations ‘NEXT’.

Selected presenters are supported to refine their proposal and to prepare for their public presentation.

The proposal recognised as the best proposal may be developed and released as an Institute occasional paper and the author interviewed as part of digital promotion of their work.

Micro Learning Units

The Institute provides three online ‘micro’ learning units as part of its Future Strategic Leaders Program:

  • Leaders and Leadership
  • Strategy and Strategic Thinking
  • Policy Making and Security

These online units are available publicly. Individuals or companies interested in the units can contact the CEO at or register below.

For registered unit participants, login below.

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The Institute is an independent, not-for-profit, charitable organisation. It holds Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status under Australian Government regulations. It also holds the status of an Approved Research Institute (ARI) under such regulations. Donations to the Institute are tax deductible.

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