Strategic Plan 2020-2023

A PDF version of this document can be downloaded by clicking here.

Business Graphs and ChartsOverview
The Australian Naval Institute (ANI) is an independent not-for-profit organisation, incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory. It has been in existence since 1975 and its role is to:
a. Encourage and promote the advancement of knowledge related to the Navy and the maritime profession, and
b. Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas concerning subjects related to the Navy and the maritime profession.

This strategic plan builds on the previous strategic plans, recognising the contemporary environment in which the ANI is operating, and aims to guide the activities of the Institute over the next three to five years and provide a framework upon which the Council can base decisions. It also sets goals against which the ANI can assess its performance.

A major focus of both earlier Strategic Plans was the production of the ANI journal – Headmark. In face of rising costs the Council in 2014 decided to cease publication and focus on on-line content. The last Headmark was produced in early 2015 and replaced with the annual peer reviewed journal – The Australian Naval Review –  first published in 2016. The ANR is now published on a biannual basis.

The 2020-2023 Strategic Plan outlines how the ANI will continue to increase its engagement with its members,  subscribers, sponsors and stakeholders as it fulfills its mission.


The Australian Naval Institute Strategic Plan 2016-2018 set a series of Performance Objectives against the Goals laid out in the Plan. In the past four years, the ANI has:

  • Successfully achieved an operating surplus.
  • Successfully published annual editions of the Australian Naval Review in 2016, 2017 and 2018, with two editions published in 2019.
  • Successfully secured sponsorship for our flagship events.
  • Halted the gradual decline in membership and on the back of successful Goldrick and Vernon Parker events in 2019 grown to achieve the target of 300 members.
  • Increased the quality and engagement through our online presence with xxx subscribers.
  • Delivered our Annual Vernon parker Dinner and Goldrick Seminar, although we have yet to deliver other Fleet oriented maritime events.
  • Reached out to kindred Defence and maritime organisations and co-hosted events.

During the course of 2018 and 2019, the President and the Council have conducted a review of the Strategic Plan and have concluded that while the direction of travel of the Australian Naval Institute is generally on course, some adjustment is needed to the operating model in order to continue to grow.


The Australian Naval Institute is an independent not-for-profit organisation, incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory in 1975.

This strategic plan for the Australian Naval Institute is for the four year period 2020 – 2023.  It supersedes the 2016 – 2018 Strategic Plan.  The plan has been developed by the President and the Council of the Australian Naval Institute and presented to the membership for approval.

The purpose of this plan is to provide a clear vision for how the Council intend to position and grow the Australian Naval Institute over the next four years.  The Strategic Plan and the operating model will be reviewed and updated by the Council annually, with a strategy refresh every fourth year.



Our vision is for the Australian Naval Institute to be the premier independent forum for naval and maritime security debate in the Indo-Pacific.


The mission of the Australian Naval Institute is to provide a relevant and vibrant forum for debate that delivers value to our stakeholders in the maritime and naval security communities.


The Australian Naval Institute shares the Royal Australian Navy’s core organisational values and signature behaviours:


Signature Behaviours

Honour Respect and the contribution of every individual
Integrity Promote the wellbeing and development of Navy people
Loyalty Communicate well and regularly
Courage Challenge and innovate
Honesty Be cost conscious
Fix problems, take action
Drive decision making down
Strengthen relationships across and beyond Navy
Be the best I can
Make Navy proud, make Australia proud


There is a direct relationship between the number and quality of events run by the Institute, the level of engagement from membership and the wider community, and the value that we offer to sponsors and stakeholders.  With that in mind, the Institute will aim to steadily increase the number of annual events as follows:

  • The Goldrick Seminar and the Vernon Parker Oration will remain the Australian Naval Institute ‘flagship’ events.
  • The President will host at least one sponsors’ dinner annually.
  • Additional or occasional seminars will be run during the year to explore topics of current or emerging interest.
  • Occasional lunches with suitable guest speakers.
  • Co-hosted events with kindred academic, defence and security organisations.
  • Packaged annual memberships with event registration at discounted rates.

The primary focus of our events will be on the strategic security issues and challenges relevant to the RAN and the wider maritime community.

Digital Presence

The ANI website has been updated and is undergoing a further refresh.  Web content is available free to members and with limited access to subscribers.  The website hosts the full library of back editions of Headmark and Australian Naval Review.  The website will continue to be developed in order to ensure steady access to relevant and interesting material and to provide a moderated forum for debate on naval and maritime security matters.

Many of the ‘back office’ functions of the Australian Naval Institute will be automated and operated via the website.  This will include management of membership, subscriptions and event registration.

The Australian Naval Review

The Australian Naval Review (ANR) will be published biannually.  The ANR will be used to publish articles submitted by the membership and others.  It will also be used to publish the prize winning entries to the Chief of Navy’s Essay Competition.

Occasional Papers

The Australian Naval Institute may commission authors to produce occasional papers on matters of significant or emerging interest to the naval and maritime security communities.  These papers may act as background, or scene setters for seminars or events, or might be published in concert with kindred academic, defence and security organisations.

Records of Proceedings

The Australian Naval Institute will publish records of proceedings for all seminars and events on the website.  Selected speeches of contributions may be edited for publication within the Australian Naval Review.


The ANI cannot be financially sustained through membership subscriptions.  The Council have agreed to adopt a combined funding model based on sponsorship and subscription.  Sponsorship will be sought from maritime industry stakeholders on either an annual basis, or for specific events.  Our ‘value proposition’ and sponsorship options are published on the website.

The ANI will continue to work as a not-for-profit organisation, but will seek to build a sufficient funding backlog to allow the organisation to operate for 18 months.

Non-uniformed Council members of the Governance Finance and Sponsorship Committee will be appointed as Account Managers to foster and manage the ANI’s relationship with major financial sponsors.

Our Relationship with the Royal Australian Navy


The Chief of Navy is the Patron of the Australian Naval Institute and may be asked for advice on relevant topics for debate at Seminars or events.


The Institute is an independent entity and operates without oversight from Navy.  The opinions expressed by the Institute and its membership do not represent the Royal Australian Navy or the Chief of Navy.

Strategic Partnership

The Australian Naval Institute has a Strategic Partnership Agreement with the Royal Australian Navy, the objective of which is to enable both ‘…to benefit from involvement in discussions on the resolution of current maritime issues’.  This partnership agreement aims to maximise the benefit of the Australian Naval Institute’s reach into the retired naval population and industry in support of Navy ‘innovations or initiatives’ without obligation to either party.  A copy of the Strategic Partnership Agreement is available on the Australian Naval Institute website members’ area.


The Australian Naval Institute will maintain a range of partnerships with defence and other organisations in support of our vision.  We will work closely with partners to deliver joint, or complementary events that address critical or emerging naval and maritime security issues.  Our key partners include:

  • The Royal Australian Navy Maritime Warfare Centre.
  • The Royal Australian Navy Seapower Centre.
  • The United States Naval Institute.
  • The Royal Navy’s Naval Review.
  • The Submarine Institute of Australia.
  • The University of New South Wales Canberra.


The ANI will continue to work with Commerce Management Services (CMS) for administrative and event management support.  The Council will work with CMS to automate as many of the ‘back office functions as possible, including: membership, subscriptions and event registration.  This will release capacity and resource to support value add functions.