Shoal congratulates Graeme Dunk on rethinking Australian defence

Rethinking defence

Shoal congratulates Graeme Dunk, Head of Strategy at Shoal Group, on his role in the development and publication of the ‘Defence industry in national defence: rethinking Australian defence industry policy’ report. As a Senior Fellow in the Practice of Defence Industry Policy, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University, Graeme was a member of the Project Team responsible for the report, which included experts from the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) and The Australian National University.

The report argues that a new way of looking at the domestic industrial base is required. Instead of managing defence capability on a project-by-project basis, which is often driven by value for money and minimising project risk, a clear connection with strategic objectives is needed. “Put simply, industry needs to be considered as a national capability, rather than simply a means to produce individual military capabilities,” say Stephan Frühling and Graeme Dunk in their article about the report recommendations in the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s The Strategist. “Deep and adaptive industrial capabilities are critically important in a major conflict because they are what sustains a country’s ability when its forces need to be expanded, replaced and evolved.”

The report says that the problem we have in Australia is that the Department of Defence currently thinks about the Australian Defence Industry as a Fundamental Input to Capability. Without thinking of Australian defence industry as a system – capable of surging and mobilising in preparedness and during conflict – we do not have a sovereign defence capability fit for purpose. From insights and lessons learnt through researching the defence industry policy of five countries – Sweden, France, the UK, Israel, and Canada – they found that the factors that shape effective policy are:

  1. Fostering defence-civilian industry embeddedness
  2. Utilising a broad range of industry policy tools
  3. Ensuring formal and informal coordination between government and business
  4. Balancing competition and strategic relationships
  5. Leveraging international markets for scale.

Graeme has extensive knowledge of Australian defence industry, particularly sovereignty, strategy, and policy in defence. He is currently completing his PhD at the Australian National University, researching defence industrial sovereignty.

The report:

‘Defence industry in national defence: rethinking Australian defence industry policy’ report


Released on 18 December 2023, the report has gained traction across major media outlets in Australia. Read more:

ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, AiGroup: Australia’s defence industry is ill-prepared for major war (

Time for a rethink of Australia’s approach to defence industry | The Strategist (

Australia’s defence industry not prepared for Indo-Pacific war, Ai Group-ANU report cautions | The Australian

The importance of defence industry in national defence | The Canberra Times | Canberra, ACT

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