February 16, 2022

Vale Professor Brendan Sargeant

The Asia-Pacific Development, Diplomacy & Defence Dialogue (AP4D) is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our colleague Professor Brendan Sargeant. As a member of the AP4D Advisory Group, Brendan’s wealth of experience, his intellectual passion and the generosity with which he gave his time and imparted his knowledge were inestimable.

Professor Sargeant was a storied intellect and a stalwart of the Australian defence and strategic studies community. He enjoyed a celebrated career at the Department of Defence including as Deputy Secretary Strategy and principal author of the 2013 Defence White Paper. He was appointed Associate Secretary in 2013 and held the role until his retirement from the Australian Public Service in July 2018.

He joined the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University as an Honorary Professor in 2018 and was appointed its Head the following year. As ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt has said, Professor Sargeant was “a giant of the University, of Canberra and of the nation”.

Brendan was a valued friend and mentor to many. Not only was he a genuinely incisive strategic thinker, he was a gentle soul and a thoroughly good person. His wisdom, insight and generosity will be sorely missed, and he leaves behind a substantial legacy.

Our thoughts are with his colleagues, family and friends at this time.

Vale, Brendan.