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Women in International Security Seminar: Making it in the Military

Lieutenant Colonel Clare O’Neill and Wing Commander Hannah Jude-Smith

When: Thursday 24 May, 5:00-6:30pm

Where: Seminar Room 3, Ground Level, Hedley Bull Building (130), Corner of Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU

Among the many ways in which graduates can engage in the practice of international security, serving in the armed forces stands out as a front-line option. This special seminar features two speakers who are alumni of ANU’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre’s Masters of Military and Defence and Studies Program. Both were also distinguished graduates of Professor Daniel Marston’s ‘Art of War’ Program at the Australian Command and Staff College. In an interactive seminar, the speakers will address questions including: why did they decide on a career in the armed forces? How did they go about pursuing their career paths? What do their jobs entail? How do they combine academic learning with combat and command experience? What are some of the key challenges they face? To what extent are some of these challenges gender-specific?

Lieutenant Colonel Clare O’Neill is a Royal Australian Engineer with command, staff and training experience in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Republic of Korea and Papua New Guinea. She holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours Class 1) and Master of Arts (International Relations), and achieved Chartered Professional Engineer status through Engineers Australia in 2009. Clare has been the Chief of Army Scholar and a Fulbright Scholar at Georgetown University. She has been awarded commendations from the Chief of Defence Force, Vice Chief of Defence Force, Commander Joint Task Force 633 and Deputy Chief of Army; and the Secretary of Defence Prize for excellence in strategic thinking in 2016. Clare is the Founder of Grounded Curiosity, Defence Entrepreneurs Forum Australia and Postern Association, and member of the Australian American Young Leadership Dialogue and Military Writers Guild (Associate).

Wing Commander Hannah Jude-Smith is currently the Commanding Officer of 87SQN, the Royal Australian Air Force’s Intelligence Squadron. Since completing intelligence officer training in 2003, she has had multiple deployments to the Middle East and Afghanistan. Hannah’s experience include developing the concept of operations for intelligence to enable Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, and providing air intelligence to ADF and coalition air assets. Her leadership, analysis and innovation in these roles have been recognized with commendations from the Chief of Air Force and Commander of Joint Task Force 633 (Iraq). Hannah was awarded the Commander in Chief’s Medal on graduation from the Australian Defence Force Academy. She also holds a Master of Arts (International Relations) from Deakin University and was awarded the Governor General’s Prize on graduation from the Australian Command and Staff College in 2017.

This Career Features Seminar is the second of the ‘Women in International Security: Theory and Practice’ Seminar Series 2018-19, jointly sponsored by the ANU Gender Institute and the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. Consisting of research, career development, and policy dialogue seminars, this series showcases the work of prominent women in the fields of international security. For more information, contact the Series Convenor, Professor Evelyn Goh at

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