Dates, locations and venues

Date Location Venue
05/09/08 Albury/
Albury Convention Centre
Swift St, Albury
08/09/08 Adelaide Art Gallery of SA
Radford Auditorium
North Terrace, Adelaide
09/09/08 Port Pirie Northern Festival Centre
Port Pirie
10/09/08 Sydney The Y Conference Centre
5-11 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney
11/09/08 Newcastle Industry Development Centre
University Drive, Callaghan
17/09/08 Canberra ANU- University House
1 Balmain Cres, Canberra
30/09/08 Launceston Mercure Hotel
3 Earl Street, Launceston
01/10/08 Hobart Hobart Function Centre
Elizabeth Pier, Hobart
07/10/08 Melbourne Jasper Hotel Conference Centre
489 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
08/10/08 Townsville Ridges Southbank Conference Centre
23 Palmer Street, Townsville
09/10/08 Brisbane Queensland Museum
Southbank, Brisbane
27/10/08 Alice
Voyages Hotel Conference Rooms
34 Stott Terrace, Alice Springs
28/10/08 Darwin Darwin Middle School
30/10/08 Mandurah Sea Shells Hotel,
Conference Centre
16 Dolphin Drive, Mandurah
31/10/08 Perth Library WA -
Alexander Theatre
Perth Cultural Precinct

Investigating Defence Issues and Responsible Citizenship


Overview 2008

In 2008 schools around Australia participated in the DEFENCE 2020 – Investigating Defence Issues and Responsible Citizenship - Youth Challenge Program. The specific theme for this series of Challenges was - Is the Australian Defence Force a Responsible Citizen?

The 2008 Program brought together students from different schools, ADF personnel, politicians and community representatives to explore many of the issues surrounding defence and Australia’s responsibility as a global citizen in the present and the future. The program motivated participants to discuss why they think the ADF should or should not be involved with a variety of activities: war, peacekeeping, regional operations, operations within Australia and emergency humanitarian aid.

Participant Evaluation of the 2008 program

"On the way home on the train the students told me that they had a great time. They thought it was a good mix of serious issues and a lot of fun, especially the role plays, which allowed them to express themselves. It also made them more aware of the issues that the Defence Force faces — so they really did come out of it with a greater sense of their civics and citizenship role in our society. Well done!"

This is how the 1299 participants who have evaluated the program over the 15 national Youth Challenges in every state and territory have rated it. Overall some 1500 participants took part. Some students did not fill in evaluations on the day as schools had to leave early.


Very Good

Their comments on the best features of the day have been:

Best features of the day The participants liked
No. of mentions
Workshop activity — designed to have mixed groups of students critically analyse one aspect of the role of the ADF as a good civics and citizenship activity.
  • Splitting into groups and sharing ideas.
  • Co-operating and team work.
  • Solving a problem with strangers.
Involvement with others — mixing students from different schools to work together in the workshop groups.
  • Meeting new people and getting along with them.
Learning new ideas/knowledge/understandings.
  • Becoming more aware of what the ADF does.
  • Considering the meaning of responsible citizenship.
  • Getting a better understanding of the ADF and its role in Australian society and democracy.
  • Emphasis on informed, independent opinions.
Horror High computer decision-maker — designed to explore the qualities needed in good citizenship in a fun way, and to illustrate the concept of the variety of situations that the ADF takes on.
  • Horror High messes with your mind! (But in a good way.)
Supportive/positive atmosphere in which learning could take place.
  • It was fun and educational.
  • Getting out of the comfort zone to develop knowledge and skills.
  • Well structured, a variety, and active student participation.
Meeting the ADF representatives at the Challenge, and in some cases a political representative of the Government to make clear the difference between the government's decision-making role about the ADF, and the ADF's service role.
  • Talking to the ADF personnel.
  • Hearing first-hand accounts from the Defence representatives.
Role play presentation of the group's conclusions to their workshop discussions — showing others their conclusions, rather than telling them what they are.
  •  Allowing students to self-direct their presentations.

^Back to top

YC 2008 Galleries & Individual Evaluations

Select from the links below to see photos, videos and evaluations from each of the Youth Challenges in 2008.


Albury Wodonga Adelaide Port Pirie
Sydney Newcastle Canberra
Launceston Hobart Melbourne
Townsville Brisbane Alice
Darwin Mandurah Perth


  ^Back to top

So you think you can role play?

Role play

In 2008 the DEFENCE 2020 Youth Challenges produced some wonderful and entertaining role plays. Students who took part worked with their group teachers and ADF personnel to develop their unique ideas; each performance displayed a clear understanding and informed insight into the role of the ADF as good citizens.

^Back to top

DEFENCE 2020 National Youth Challenge 2008

Video highlights of the program


Extracted clips

Please note that due to the large file size of the videos some buffering may be required.

On Thursday 4 December 2008, 18 students from all over Australia gathered at the National Museum of Australia to present their Defence 2020 reports and findings to the Minister for Defence, the Honourable Joel Fitzgibbon MP. In attendance was also, Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, The Honourable Warren Snowdon MP, Lt General David Hurley, Vice Chief of Defence Force, Major General Bill Crews National President of the RSL and Derek Robson, National Secretary of the RSL as well as other distinguished guests.

The program was held in the studio of the National Museum of Australia and ran for around 75mins. The selected students demonstrated their findings in a variety of ways that engaged the audience. Their findings, insightful comments and questions reinforced similar experiences shown in the Youth Challenges held around Australia. The video of this program has been made available in five segments on this website.

More Resources

Youth Challenge

^Back to top

Defending Australia and its National Interests Small shape of Australia with tagline