Standing Up to Bullies: The Lessons from Australia

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Standing Up to Bullies: The Lessons from Australia

11th March 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

With Russia, a faded superpower, invading its neighbour, Ukraine, the world is confronting afresh the perils of global bullies.  In the Indo-Pacific China has exploited its economic might in order to coerce its near-neighbours (and those beyond) to acquiesce to its ever-expansionist endeavours.

Few countries have faced more of China’s coercion than Australia. Following Australia’s calls for a WHO investigation into the origins of COVID, China imposed punitive trade tariffs on symbolic Australian exports. Meanwhile, a series of cyber-attacks have been launched on Australian computer networks and assets.

Scrutinising the work of the Australian Intelligence Services in fighting these and other challenges is the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. Its Chairman, Senator James Paterson, has studied and written about these challenges for many years.

The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to host him in London where he will discuss what the Free World at large can learn from Australia’s example in staring down global bullies.



Senator James Paterson is a Liberal Senator for Victoria. First elected in March 2016 at age 28, Senator Paterson is the youngest Liberal ever elected to the Senate.

During his time in the Senate, he has fought for Australia’s prosperity, freedom, democracy and sovereignty.

He is the Chair of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security, the deputy chair of the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19, and the former chair of the Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services and the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee.

Senator Paterson is also the Australian co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, the co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Museums, Libraries and Galleries; co-patron of Liberal Friends of Israel; and deputy chair of the Modest Members Society – a group of Coalition MPs committed to championing free markets and economic freedom.

Prior to entering the Senate, James was Deputy Executive Director of free market think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs. He previously worked for the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI), and in the office of Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield.

James is a member of the Richmond Football Club and lives in Melbourne with his wife Lydia, their two children and their cavoodle.




Sam Armstrong is responsible for leading the Society’s media work and he acts as the first point of contact for journalists. Sam leads the full gambit of HJS’ communications including our investigative output, digital communications, and policy engagement.

Prior to joining the Society, Sam Armstrong worked as Chief of Staff to a Conservative Member of Parliament. Before this, he worked in the Conservative Party’s anti-UKIP division.

An experienced broadcast commentator in his own right, Sam has appeared on all of the UK’s major news outlets. His comments have also been covered in the UK’s major newspapers – often on the front page.  Samuel offers expert insight to broadcast outlets on a wide-ranging brief of domestic, security and foreign policy matters.

While at HJS, Sam has authored or co-authored three reports on the issue of the People’s Republic of China. These were Coronavirus Compensation?Breaking the China Supply Chain, and Brain Drain.

Sam also coordinates the strategy and communications of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, the global alliance of bipartisan parliamentarians concerned about the conduct of the Peoples’ Republic of China. He’s often asked to advise legislators around the world on policy responses to the CCP.

Sam Armstrong holds a degree in History and Politics from the University of Nottingham.




On the 11th March 2022, Sam Armstrong, Director Communications at the Henry Jackson Society, and Senator James Patterson, Chair of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security (JPCIS), discuss what the Free World can learn from the Australian approach to dealing with much larger authoritarian neighbours.

Sam Armstrong began the discussion by introducing Senator Patterson and the topic of discussion. Senator Patterson then gave an impassioned speech on a variety of topics starting with his recent tour of Washington DC and in London with JPCIS and that the UK, US and Australia have never cooperated so closely before. He discussed of how Ukraine resistance given him hope as it has rallied NATO allies and Europe to the threat of autocracies and forced the West to stand up to authoritarians. Senator Patterson delved into Australian success in protecting their country from infiltration by the Chinese Communist and diversifying their trade to reduce dependence on them, as well as the need for a strong traditional military power to deter aggression. He argued that many have been blind to Chinas ambition to displace the US as the global hegemon and the real impact Chinese infiltration has had in Australia

Sam Armstrong asked Senator Patterson a series of questions on what the UK can learn from the Australian experience, not only to tackle China but Russia as well. There were then a series of questions from the audience on what steps can be taken to counter China and how they might view Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.




11th March 2022
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London, England, SW1P 4QP
21-24 Millbank
Westminster, SW1P 4QP United Kingdom
+ Google Map


Senator James Paterson


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