The theme for the second day of Raising Peace’s ANZAC weekend (Sunday April 24) was “Alternatives to Australia’s security narrative”.
Mainstream discussion of the nation’s security is usually limited to talking about defence and the best ways of ‘defending’ Australia, militarily. The most recent manifestation of this approach to security has been the announcement of the AUKUS pact in September 2021. The organisers of Raising Peace see this as a misleadingly narrow perspective that stops people from considering other ways to achieve security. We will challenge this securitised view and explore alternatives.
The AUKUS agreement deserves particular attention because it has so very many questionable aspects. Whether or not it is the most appropriate way to defend Australia is just one. There are alternative ways to defend Australia, some advocated by those closely associated with the defence establishment.
The role of the media in promulgating the narrow, militaristic view of security is a factor that helps it to persist. There is a need for an alternative narrative.
A more objective view of Australia’s security would give much sharper focus to what is, in reality, its greatest threat – that threat being the coming climate crisis.
Our discussion aimed to broaden understanding of the notion of ‘national security’, seeking answers to the question “Where does Australia’s true security lie?” We were delighted to have a very distinguished panel for this event, moderated by Dr Keith Suter:
Cheryl Durrant Councillor, Climate Council
Ass Prof Jake Lynch Chair, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney University
Dr Hannah Middleton Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition
Dr Albert Palazzo Adjunct Professor, University NSW-Canberra