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Senior Research Fellow
Research Network for a Secure Australia (RNSA)
Rod Cowan has contributed for over 30 years to security thinking, through his writing, lecturing, speaking at industry conferences and public events, as well as having input to various Government investigations and corporate research.
In recent years through Edith Cowan University, his research focused on social media and open source risk, along with illicit trade, and he has conducted workshops for and consulted with law enforcement, intelligence, government entities and corporations in Australia, Middle East and the EU on how digital communications and social media, although providing many benefits, also represents serious threats to governments, business, communities and individuals, from attacks on reputations to inadvertently leaking information. A proponent for security-minded communications, Cowan argues, criminals and terrorists excel at exploiting the potential of digital communications, especially social media, while law enforcement, intelligence agencies and security organisations lag far behind in using communications as a security tool.
Currently, in addition to his role as Strategic Advisor to the Dubai-based Emirates/ECU Centre for Aviation and Security Studies, Cowan is the Writer/Director of the Security is Your Business collaboration project, and Editor-at-large for the Security Solutions magazine. Cowan has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, Sun Herald, the Bulletin magazine, appeared on national television and radio, and has received two industry awards for excellence for his writing on the security industry. A founding director of the Australian Security Medals Foundation Inc., Cowan is currently the Board’s Director for Philanthropy.
Safeguarding Australia Conference Committee
Professor Priyan Mendis
Department of Infrastructure Engineering
University of Melbourne
Professor Priyan Mendis has received international recognition for his work in protective and structural engineering and security. Priyan has successfully undertaken commissions for clients within the public and private sectors both nationally and internationally. He has lectured in structural engineering and protective engineering at the University Melbourne, Australia for more than 20 years and attached to the Dept of Infrastructure Engineering. He has been invited to lecture to both researchers and practising engineers on various topics related to protective technology of structures, both in Australia and overseas.
Jason L Brown, FSyI, CSyP, ASM
National Security Director
Thales Australia & New Zealand
Jason Brown is the National Security Director for Thales in Australia and New Zealand. He is responsible for security liaison with government, law enforcement and intelligence communities to develop cooperative arrangements to minimise risk to Thales and those in the community that it supports. Before joining Thales in 2004 Jason had 27 years experience in Commonwealth Government with appointments which include;
- Assistant Secretary – Defence Imagery and the Geospatial Organisation,
- Director General – Safety, Compensation and People Development,
- Assistant Secretary – Defence Security, and
- Various appointments in the Attorney General’s Security portfolio in the areas of counter terrorism and security policy and investigations.
He has served on a number of senior boards and committees in both the Public Sector and Private Institutions. Including;
- Deputy Registrar Security Professionals Registry – Australasia (SPR-A).
- Member of ASIS International Standards and Guidelines Commission.
- Fellow and member of the Governing Board of the Australian Risk Policy Institute (ARPI) as Director, Global Security Risk Policy.
- Chair of Australian Defence Security Committee 1999 – 2002.
He is a Fellow of the British Security Institute and ARPI, a member of ASIS International, the National Gallery of Australia Foundation, the Risk Management Institution of Australasia. He holds Security Professional Chartered status in the UK and Registered Professional status with SPR-A. He was awarded the Australian Security Medal for Conspicuous Service in February 2011. In 2013 IFSEC International recognised him in the top 40 influential persons in Security and Fire Management.
Professor Narayanan Srinivasan
Security and Risk
School of Computer and Security Science
Edith Cowan University
Nara Srinivasan is Professor of Security and Risk at Edith Cowan University, Perth Western Australia and Director of the Emirates-ECU Centre in Dubai. He completed his studies at the University of Malaya and Cambridge University, UK in areas of Criminology and Public Administration. Nara also completed programmes at Cornell and Harvard Universities in the areas of security management, international security and current trends in security profiling. Nara is engaged in many research projects in the area of aviation and maritime security in Australia, UK, Asia Pacific and the Middle East and works as a consultant to airlines and governments in these regions. He is credited with professionalising the security industry through education programmes globally. Nara is also part of the UN expert group on Civilian Private Security and a member of several professional groups looking at the professionalisation of security including the Australasian Council of Security Professionals;
Professor Nara specialises in the areas of security and risk at Edith Cowan University, Perth Western Australia and is the Director of the Emirates-ECU Centre in Dubai. He is well-versed in security management, international security and current trends in security profiling. He frequently engages in aviation and maritime security research projects in Australia, UK, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. He also works as a consultant to airlines and governments and is credited with professionalizing the security industry through education programmes globally. Nara is also part of the UN expert group on Civilian Private Security and a member of several security professional groups.
Dr Russell Parkin
Dr Parkin is the Deakin University Academic Adviser at the Australian Defence College’s Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies (CDSS). Before joining Deakin University, Dr Parkin was an Australian Public Service member of the CDSS staff, conducting conferences and seminars and managing the Centre’s publication program. From 2008 to 2015, he was the Australian Public Service member of the Directing Staff at the Australian Command and Staff College in Canberra. Dr Parkin served in the Australian Army between 1980 and 2006 as both a Reserve and Regular Officer. He gained a PhD in History from the University of New South Wales in 1998. His military service also included two operational postings as an historian.
In 2001, he was a Summer Military History Fellow at the US Military Academy, West Point. Between 2004 and 2006, Dr Parkin was a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Army’s Think Tank, the Land Warfare Studies Centre. He has also worked as an historian with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and with the International Relations Department at the Australian National University.
Dr Parkin has broad research interests that include Australian military and political history, joint operations, professional military education, international relations and strategic studies. His publications include:
‘Small State Security Postures: Material Compensation and Normative Leadership in Denmark and New Zealand’ in Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 28, No. 2, August 2007, pp. 308-329. Co-authored with William T. Tow.
Pathways to Victory: Observations on the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah Conflict, Air Power Development Centre, Canberra, November 2007. Co-author with Sanu Kainikara.
Great White Fleet to Coral Sea: Naval Strategy and the Development of Australia-United States Relations, 1900-1945, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra, 2008. Co-authored with David Lee.
‘The sources of the Australian tradition in irregular warfare, 1942–1974’ in Small Wars & Insurgencies, Volume 20, Number 1, March 2009, pp. 118-140.
‘Communities of Interest and Communities of Practice: The Role of Norms, Values and Principles in Training for Peace Operations’ in Regional Security Governance and Architecture In the Pacific Islands: Priorities for a Resilient Future, Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2015.