Chief Assurance Officer, Assured Digital Group 

Tarquin Folliss

Tarquin Folliss is a former senior British official with 30+ years in government service in the field of national security.  He served in Jakarta, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Basra and Canberra, focusing primarily on counter-terrorism.  In his last official post he was also involved in promoting the UK’s cyber vision in the Asia Pacific region.

Tarquin left government service in 2013 and took up appointments with commercial companies involved in cyber.  In April 2016 he was appointed Chief Assurance Officer for ADG, a UK company providing assured cloud platforms for government and enterprise sectors, including in Australia.  He is also a managing partner in Othrys, a discreet consultancy providing strategic advice to governments and enterprises on security and intelligence strategy; and on the board of XQ Cyber, a UK company enabling organisations and enterprises to understand better their digital vulnerability.  

Tarquin has wide operational intelligence experience, especially in fusion, collaboration and delivering effects.  He retains a keen interest in human nature and how that impacts on technology.

He has an MA in History from Trinity College, Dublin and served in the British Army from 1981-86.

The Future for Intelligence:  Maintaining Relevance in the Age of Information Overload

We are living through what some call ‘the third industrial revolution’ – and it is having a profound impact on society. The business of intelligence is not immune. We are seeing an unprecedented explosion of data, which continues to change the way we value and assess information. That data is both an asset and a threat.  Access to information - true and false - is unprecedented and this poses specific challenges to intelligence. How does intelligence continue to make an impact and maintain its relevance? Understanding our world, identifying and illuminating threats and delivering effect is increasingly challenging;  as is the relationship with our customers who are often swamped by information. Technology will continue to play an important part but intelligence will remain fundamentally a human enterprise. Working smarter, building teams better and collaborating efficiently are crucial to maintaining a valued contribution. But so are innovation, asymmetric thinking and strategic vision.



Head of College, National Security College

Professor Rory Medcalf has been Head of the National Security College at the Australian National University since January 2015. He has more than two decades of experience across diplomacy, intelligence analysis, think tanks and journalism. He was the Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute from 2007 to 2015. Prior to that, Professor Medcalf was a senior strategic analyst with the Office of National Assessments. 

His experience as an Australian diplomat included a posting to New Delhi, a secondment to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, truce monitoring after the civil conflict in Bougainville and policy development on Asian security institutions. He has contributed to three landmark reports on nuclear arms control. His earlier work in journalism was commended in Australia’s leading media awards, the Walkleys. He is on the expert panel providing advice on the 2016 Defence White Paper. Professor Medcalf has played a significant role in relations with India, and is founder and co-chair of the Australia India Policy Forum, an informal bilateral dialogue. 

Vigilance, Resilience and Distributed Risk: Watchwords for Australia’s National Security

Australia faces an era of exceptional uncertainty in its strategic environment. Terrorism, cyber intrusion and foreign state interference have broken down the barriers between domestic and international security. Questions are being asked about the reliability of international partnerships, including the US alliance. These circumstances call, not for fatalism, but for a renewed effort at an integrated approach to national security. Australia’s intelligence and wider security effort needs to be informed by heightened vigilance, a focus on national resilience, and the distribution of risk and response. This will involve a premium on partnerships, including with the private sector, state governments and a diversified set of international friends. It will also involve management of risk and new understandings about what constitutes intelligence and the intelligence community.

tag line dates 2017