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A journalist since 1971, Graeme Dobell writes on Australian foreign policy and defence.
He is Journalist Fellow with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, writing a weekly column for ASPI’s digital magazine, The Strategist, since 2013.
In 2021, he wrote an intellectual history of ASPI’s work over its first two decades: An informed and independent voice: ASPI, 2001-2021.
Dobell’s ASPI publications include:
- Australia’s Pacific pivot Destiny, duty, denial and desire (2019);
- ‘An Oz voice in the Asia-Pacific’ in Hard news and free media as the sharp edge of Australian soft power (2018);
- Australia as an ASEAN Community partner (2018)
- Improving on zero: Australia and India attempt strategic convergence (2016);
- PNG's golden era: political and security challenges in PNG and their implications for Australia (2011);
- ‘Pacific power plays’ in Australia and the South Pacific: Rising to the challenge (2008);
- ‘Back to the future’ in Scoping studies: new thinking on strategy (2004).
Dobell was a member of ASPI’s 2008 Independent Task Force on relations with the South Pacific—Engaging our neighbours: Towards a new relationship between Australia and the Pacific Islands, and a member of the 2011 Independent Task Force on national security and Australia’s aid program—A better fit: National security and Australia's aid program.
Starting as a newspaper journalist in 1971 in Melbourne on The Herald, Dobell joined the ABC’s international service, Radio Australia, in 1975. He was an ABC correspondent for 33 years, reporting in Canberra, Europe, America, and throughout Asia and the South Pacific.
Dobell was the ABC’s Southeast Asia radio correspondent, based in Singapore, and did three stints as Radio Australia’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Correspondent, reporting also for ABC radio news and current affairs programs and ABC television. He worked in the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Canberra in 1978-81, 1986-89 and 1991-2008. From 2001 to 2003, he was the presenter of ABC Television’s weekly review of the week in Federal Parliament, Order in the House.
Assignments in his career included the Falklands War, coups in Fiji, Thailand and the Philippines, Beijing after the crushing of the pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square, and the return of Hong Kong to China. Dobell covered the security dialogue of the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit, and a dozen APEC summits.
From 2008 to 2012, Dobell wrote ‘The Canberra Column’ for The Interpreter, published by the Lowy Institute for International Policy. He has been a contributor to Inside Story since 2011. Since 2009, he has written an annual review of Australia-US-East Asia relations for Pacific Forum.
Dobell is the author of the book Australia Finds Home — the Choices and Chances of an Asia Pacific Journey, published in 2000. He has a BA Journalism (RMIT) and an MA International Relations (ANU). In 2011, he was made a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs ‘for his distinguished contribution to journalism through his reporting on politics and international affairs’.