Do I have to have served in our defence force to be a member of the Australia Defence Association?


As would  be expected in a community-based national body, most ADA members have never served in our defence force (although many have).

But our national security involves all Australians, not just current or former defence force personnel.

Defence is a universal civic responsibility of all Australians.

You should join the ADA if you believe that our defences against external threats, or our vulnerability to internal ones, are not receiving enough attention or a balanced approach from our government, the parliamentary opposition and your fellow Australians generally.

You should also join the ADA if you believe that a vigorous, healthy and informed public debate on national security issues is a vital component of Australian democratic society. Including an informed, appropriate and practical balance between potentially competing community security, civil liberties and budgetary requirements.

The intellectual integrity of public debate on defence and wider national security issues greatly depends on real participation by as many conscientious, informed and civic-minded Australian citizens as possible.

 At times, some of our members may not always necessarily agree with our stance on every issue — as would be expected in any broadly constituted community organisation — but we do all agree on the importance of an informed and robust national security debate overall.

Our members are the type of public-spirited Australians who are not content to just sit back and let the common burden of defining, planning and supporting our defence and wider national security efforts be entrusted to governments alone or borne by only some of our fellow citizens (such as defence force members and their families).

Nor do we think such a situation is ideal in a democratic society. You should also join the ADA if you feel the need to increase your understanding and knowledge concerning defence and wider national security matters, or wish to assist in raising the awareness of such matters among your fellow Australians.

You should join the ADA in particular because it is the only truly independent and non-partisan community watchdog devoted to defence and wider national security issues in the broadest sense.

The ADA is also the only public-interest group that approaches national security matters from a broad, national and objective perspective.

Our national security partly depends on the ADA being an effective and non-partisan advocate and guardian of the long-term public interest and the Association depends primarily on the participation and financial support of its members to sustain its operations.

Finally, you may at first feel no apparent need to join the ADA because you already belong to an organisation with some actual, nominal or purported interest in national security, defence or related issues and think this might be enough of a personal commitment to furthering informed discussion of defence issues in public debate.

If this is the case, please read the FAQ about what makes the ADA different from other public organisations with some interest in defence, wider national security and related issues, as the ADA's role and reputation are clearly unique in this regard.