Diplomats in the security front line: Tim Fischer gives Dean Jaensch Lecture

Tim FischerWith recent events in Paris, the Hon Tim Fischer’s topic for Thursday’s Dean Jaensch Lecture, ‘Security of Australia: the role of DFAT, Diplomats and Defence Attachés’, is all too pertinent.

The former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, who also has ambassadorial experience, will speak on the crucial role of our diplomats to reveal some of their secret tactics, and to describe how much they can – and have – achieved for Australia’s interests.

“Curiously enough, our ambassadors and defence attachés are more frontline and vital in the 21st century than ever before,” Mr Fischer said.

Mr Fischer points to the engagement of diplomats in recent European crises.

“There was the fast-moving action of the US Ambassador to France after the apprehension of the gunman on the Brussels-Paris train; now we see the swift action of Australia’s Ambassador in the wake of the terrorist violence in Paris,” he said.

“In times of crisis, diplomatic staff have a vital role, not only in acting as the country’s eyes and ears, but also in providing agency for practical response and support.”

Over his State and Federal Parliamentary career, Mr Fischer has witnessed firsthand extraordinary diplomatic events involving Ambassadors, DHOMs, First Secretaries and key Defence Attachés. He headed up Australia’s official delegation to observe the East Timor Referendum in 1999 and took up the role of Ambassador to the Holy See in Rome from 2009 to 2012.

The lecture will provide an opportunity for him to reflect on his many experiences in a varied and interesting political life.

The Dean Jaensch Lecture pays tribute to Flinders University’s notable Professor of Politics, Dean Jaensch, a respected political analyst with particular interests in electoral politics, voting systems and political behaviour, and political parties.

The free lecture will be held at 6pm at Flinders University Victoria Square on Thursday, 19 November. For further information and registration, please ring 8201 2026.


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