Strategic Analysis Australia exists to provide policy insights into national security, defence and international relations challenges for government and corporate users, and to inform the public debate.

Our analysts bring different perspectives and insights – so we can and do disagree.

Our work is intended to be:

  • policy relevant.
  • not academic but following the highest standards of independent research.
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SAA analysts are available to undertake commissioned research and analytical work for private customers, however, SAA is not a lobbying agency.

We see companies in the defence sector as essential contributors to Australian, regional and global security.  As a result, defence companies are key, positive stakeholders for SAA.

We bring expertise from government agencies and academia as well as from working with corporate and international partners over our careers. The result is a more diverse set of ideas and inputs to inform readers’ own thinking.

We are a small team who value and challenge each other’s contributions. We enjoy dealing with difficult policy questions in the more dangerous world Australia and Australians live in.



Peter is a Director of Strategic Analysis Australia.

He is the Principal of Peter Jennings Strategy Consultants Pty Ltd, providing strategic advice to several Australian and international businesses and to Commonwealth agencies. He is a member of the international Public Sector Advisory Council for Fortinet and a columnist for The Australian newspaper.

Peter was the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) for a decade between 2012 and 2022.  He worked in senior roles in the Australian Public Service on defence and national security, including being Deputy Secretary for Strategy in the Defence Department (2009-12); Chief of Staff to the Minister for Defence (1996-98) and Senior Adviser for Strategic Policy to the Prime Minister (2002-03).

From 2014 to 2016 Peter was appointed to lead an expert panel on the 2016 Defence White Paper. He was a member of the Australia-Germany Advisory Group and a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Advisory Group on Australia-Africa Relations.

Peter has a Masters degree in Management from London Business School (2000–2001), a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Australian National University (1987) and a BA (Honours) in History from the University of Tasmania (1980–1984). He was a Fulbright Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1985).

In January 2023 Peter was made an Officer in the Order of Australia for “distinguished service to the development of strategic and international policy, and to public affairs.” He was awarded the Public Service Medal in the Australia Day 2013 Honours list and the French decoration of Knight in the Order of Legion of Honour in 2016. In 2021 he was awarded a Commendation by the Foreign Minister of Japan for services to the bilateral relationship.


Michael is Director of Strategic Analysis Australia. From 2018 until September 2022, he was the Director of the Defence, Strategy and National Security Program at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) in Canberra.

Before the think tank world, Michael was a deputy in two Australian intelligence agencies – the Australian Signals Directorate and the Defence Intelligence Organisation.

He has worked in two Australian Federal Government ministers’ offices. As the First Assistant Secretary for Strategic Policy in Defence, he led the team that wrote Australia’s 2013 Defence White Paper and also administered defence exports policy and legislation. In his first Senior Executive Service role he led the tender evaluation, selection and contract negotiations for the Australian Navy’s Armidale Class Patrol Boats. His last role in the Defence organisation was as the head of the Contestability Division that provides objective analysis of the overall $270 billion investment program.

Michael was Australia’s senior defence policy official in the Australian Embassy in Washington from February 2005 to June 2007. He was seconded to the UK Ministry of Defence in 1999-2000. He has also served in the Senior Executive Service in both Australia’s Finance Department and the Prime Minister’s Department, where he was head of the Defence, Intelligence and Research Division.

Michael is married to Margaret and they have three children.


Dr Marcus Hellyer


Marcus is Head of Research at Strategic Analysis Australia.

Marcus has spent his career addressing thorny analytical issues and wicked problems.

Previously he was a Senior Analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute where he unpacked defence budget, capability and industry issues. This included demystifying the Defence Department’s budget in seven editions of The Cost of Defence.

Marcus worked for 12 years in the Defence Department, primarily in its contestability function where he held several Senior Executive Service positions. This involved conducting independent capability and cost analysis of investment proposals as well as ensuring the best advice possible was provided to the Government and senior decision makers on major capital acquisitions. He also administered Defence’s capital acquisition program.

Marcus has also worked in the Australian Intelligence Community.

Marcus has a first-class Honours degree in History from the University of Sydney and a Master’s and Ph.D. in History and the History of Science from the University of California, San Diego. He was Assistant Professor of History at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He also attended the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies where he was awarded a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies.

Marcus is Director of Strategy at C2 Robotics, an Australian company specialising in the development of autonomous systems for military applications.

Marcus is also an Expert Associate at the Australian National University’s National Security College.





Dr Lesley Seeback


Adding to her role as SAA Senior Fellow, Dr Lesley Seebeck is also an independent consultant, working with the government, companies, and not-for-profit organisations, and writes on strategy, defence, cyber, and government technology. She is an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University.

Dr Seebeck established the Cyber Institute at the Australian National University. Between 2009 and 2018, she held several senior positions in the Federal Government, including Chief Information Officer at the Bureau of Meteorology, Chief Investment Officer at the Digital Transformation Agency, and Assistant Secretary Defence, Security, and Intelligence in the Department of the Finance. She has worked earlier in various other roles in Prime Minister and Cabinet, Defence, and the Office of National Assessments, as well as in industry and universities.

Dr Seebeck served on the Naval Shipbuilding Advisory Board, 2019-2020. In 2017, she was recognised as Federal Government CIO of the Year.

Dr Seebeck has a PhD in information technology, an MBA, a Masters in Defence Studies, a Bachelor’s in Applied Science (Physics) and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Dr Anthony Bergin


In addition to being an SAA Senior Fellow,  Dr Anthony Bergin is also an Expert Associate at the Australian National University’s National Security College. For over a decade he served in senior executive roles at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, including Research Director and Deputy Director.

Prior to joining ASPI in 2006, Dr Bergin was engaged for over 20 years as an academic in professional military education teaching on foreign policy, maritime affairs and homeland security, first at the Royal Australian Naval College then at the University of NSW at the Australian Defence Force Academy. For twelve years he led the Australian Defence Studies Centre at ADFA.

Dr Bergin is widely published in academic journals and think tank publications in areas ranging from maritime security, Antarctic geopolitics and the security of the Pacific Islands region. His recent publications have focused on submarine cable resilience and environmental security in the Indian Ocean. He is currently involved in a major project on maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean. Anthony is a regular opinion contributor to The Australian and Australian Financial Review.

Dr Bergin has degrees in Arts (political science) and Law (Monash University), a Master of International Relations (ANU) and a doctorate on the law of the sea (ANU). He holds an Executive Certificate in Counter-Terrorism from the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Reichman University, Herzliya, Israel. He can be reached at anthonysbergin@gmail.com








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