Policy advice essential in Indo-Pacific

This article has photo gallery Published on LTCOL Phil Pyke (author), LSIS Peter Thompson (photographer)

Location(s): Port Klang, Malaysia

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01), Indo-Pacific Endeavour

Policy Adviser for International Policy Division, Lisa Chadderton, is presented with a commemorative coin by Deputy Chief Hydrographer, Royal Malaysian Navy, Commodore Hanafiah bin Hassan, during an office call by Commander Task Group 661.1 to the office of the Chief Hydrographer, Royal Malaysian Navy, while in Port Klang, Malaysia, for Indo Pacific Endeavour 2017. (photo: LSIS Peter Thompson)
Policy Adviser for International Policy Division, Lisa Chadderton, is presented with a commemorative coin by Deputy Chief Hydrographer, Royal Malaysian Navy, Commodore Hanafiah bin Hassan, during an office call by Commander Task Group 661.1 to the office of the Chief Hydrographer, Royal Malaysian Navy, while in Port Klang, Malaysia, for Indo Pacific Endeavour 2017.

Two Defence International Policy Division advisors have been embarked in HMAS Adelaide as part of her recent deployment throughout the Asian region.

Lisa Chadderton and Matt Wong shared periods of the deployment which covered regional engagement with Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Papua New Guinea.

International Policy Division provides strategic advice to Government on Australia's Defence policy, including international relations and the global security environment.

This extends to providing policy guidance for Australian Defence Force operations, international engagement activities and managing Defence representation overseas.

Scott Dewar, the First Assistant Secretary International Policy Division, said the deployment provided a unique opportunity to directly support a major regional engagement.

“Indo-Pacific Endeavour has allowed International Policy Division to support Australia’s largest regional engagement activity in four decades across Asia,” Scott said.

The Division has provided policy advisors in support of operations in the Middle East and other operations and key exercises such as TALISMAN SABRE, but this was the first time a sea-based operation had been supported.

Ms Chadderton found her time on Adelaide to be both enlightening and rewarding. 

“It was great to be involved in the operational side of Defence’s work and to see first-hand how International Policy Division’s advice shapes international engagement activities,” she said.

“Despite the big adjustment from working in Russell Offices [in Canberra], I was overwhelmed by the warm welcome I received on board and found my advice and guidance was readily accepted.

“I walked away from this opportunity with a greater understanding of Australian Defence Force processes as well as an arsenal of new acronyms!”

Mr Wong found himself in an MRH-90 helicopter out over Subic Bay observing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises with the Philippine Marine Corps.

“It was interesting to see the results of our work at the higher levels coming together in a practical exercise,” he said.

“I have enjoyed working with the Command Team on Adelaide, attending official meetings and participating in international engagement events and program.

“It was great opportunity to meet and establish relationships with international counterparts.”

Commanding Officer Adelaide and Commander of the Joint Task Group of ships that conducted the deployment, Captain Jonathon Earley welcomed the inclusion.

“The strategic policy advice and context that the policy adviser role brings to my command team is invaluable,” Captain Earley said.

“Given commitments has been spread across the region, it was essential to have a direct link to strategic policy advice to shape our plans and engagement programs.

“They have adjusted well into headquarters team working along side Navy, Army and Air Force members to generate a whole of Defence effort to Australian Defence Force deployments.”