It’s not every day the head of strategic defence studies at the Australian National University lectures in Batemans Bay.
On Saturday, June 9, John Blaxland, Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies spoke at the invitation of the U3A to come and give a talk.
He said although the demographic was a little different to his usual class, the subject matter was guaranteed to enthrall any audience.
“It tends to be late teens to early 20s in my class,” he said.
“It’s of relevance to us and our lives, so I tend to get good engagement.”
Mr Blaxland was mostly positive about security agencies in Australia – but said an explosion in commercial data-collection was more concerning.
“In the commercial space there isn’t nearly the level of oversight and accountability there is in the government space,” he said.
“We tend to conflate the two.It’s the big companies that actually have a lot of data about us. I’m not so worried about the government – 40 years ago I would have been, but today there is a level of accountability that is unprecedented.”