Department of Security Studies and Criminology

Brigadier Vincent Williams, CSC (Retired)

CPICT_staff_vincentwilliamsHonorary Fellow

MA (International Relations) (Deakin); BA (Mil) (UNSW); Post-Graduate Diploma (TESOL) (UTS); Graduate Diploma of Management Studies.


I am a graduate of the four year course at the Royal Military College, Duntroon where I gained a BA (UNSW) as well as my military commission.  My military appointments included numerous teaching roles and, as a lieutenant colonel, I was selected as Australia's representative to teach at the prestigious UK Army Command and Staff College, Camberley (1993/94) where I was responsible for the Counter Insurgency (COIN), Terrorism and United Nations Peacekeeping modules of the 12 month course. I then spent two years, as a colonel, at the Australian Army Command and Staff College (1995/96) as the Director of Studies, where I oversaw the delivery of modules including COIN, Terrorism and Peacekeeping. It was for this appointment and as Director of Army's Doctrine Development Centre that I received a Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC).  During this time I also completed the Master of Arts (International Relations) course at Deakin University. In 1999 I spent 12 months as a full time participant at what is now titled Defence's Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies, where the focus of the course was on high-level geopolitical strategic studies in the Asia Pacific region. I became a Fellow of the College at the end of the course.

Armed with the theory, the international relations practitioner phase of my career commenced in 2002 when, as a brigadier, I deployed on operations to East Timor.  I took command of Sector West, which consisted of a UN ANZAC brigade deployed along the border between East Timor and Indonesia.  I received both a UN Force Commander's Commendation and subsequently a Commendation for Distinguished Service from Australia, as a result of this command. In 2004 I then became Head of the Australian Defence Staff and Defence Adviser to the UK. In this role I was also responsible for Australia's Defence relationship with NATO, the EU, and among others Portugal and the Netherlands.  As such I attended many high profile meetings including the Proliferation Security Initiative conferences, Iraq and Afghanistan meetings, NATO Defence Ministers meetings and bilateral conferences including the first UK-Australia Defence and Foreign Ministers conference in December 2006.

After returning from the UK in March 2007 I retired from the Army and returned to studies.  I completed a post-graduate diploma in TESOL at UTS in 2008 and then spent 2009 teaching at an English College. I also gained a Graduate Diploma of Management Studies.  

I joined the staff at PICT in March 2010 and performed a number of key roles including coordinator of learning and teaching and acting Head of Department.  I am now a teaching only member of the PICT staff and work to a .4 loading.

Honours and awards

  • Conspicuous Service Cross; Commendation for Distinguished Service

Research Interests

Insurgencies and why they happen; countering insurgencies; and, peacekeeping operations, responsibility to protect and humanitarian intervention.


  • PICT 838/PICX 838 Insurgency and Non-State Security Challenges
  • PICT 915/PICX 915 Humanitarian Intervention and Peacekeeping
  • Convenor: PICT 809 Research Project
  • Convenor: PICT 847 Supervised Project in Security Studies



Contact Information:
Phone: +61 (0) 2 9850 1437
Office location: 
Building Y3A Room 238
Macquarie University NSW 2109