New security centre to safeguard Australia

Australia’s first Centre of Excellence for Policing and Security worth more than $15 million will be based at Griffith University following announcement today by the Australian Research Council.

Griffith University is the lead institution working in partnership with the Australian National University, the University of Queensland and Charles Sturt University on a five-year project to create an internationally regarded centre of research excellence that will help prevent crime and safeguard Australia.

Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor said the Centre’s world-class scholars would expand Australia’s understanding of trans-national threats and help build new responses to the challenges of the 21st century.

“The $32 billion per year cost of crime in Australia and the pervasive nature of terrorism in the post 9/11 environment creates a real and urgent need for high-quality research of scale, focus and depth not previously undertaken in Australia.

“The Centre’s proposed program of research will uncover the key vulnerabilities of Australian society and help to design and help implement fair, evidenced-based appropriate policing and security responses,” Professor O’Connor said.

Centre director Professor Lorraine Mazerolle from Griffith’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice said the Centre would strengthen communities and enhance Australia’s security role in the Asia-Pacific region and globally.

“Our vision is to enhance Australia’s security by conducting high quality research to understand the threats facing Australia and work with policy makers, police and security leaders to better respond to these threats,” Professor Mazerolle said.

“Our program of research will enhance the economic, social, cultural and political security of Australia. The Centre will develop models and processes for conceptualising and managing security to ensure that national resources are effectively networked, targeted and applied.”

The Centre will also facilitate professional development with 20 PhD, six Masters and 15 Honours places planned. Students will have access to state-of-the-art research training across four universities and opportunities to undertake international research fieldwork.

The Centre is funded by a $10 million ARC grant with $1 million from the Queensland Government over five years and $4.43 million from other sources.

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