An ocean of opportunities: why Australia should prioritise the Indian Ocean Region

What is the strategic significance of the Indian Ocean to Australia? 

What challenges and opportunities does the region present for Australia and its partners? 

And how much can Australia realistically achieve in such a vast region?


In this episode, Darshana Baruah, David Brewster and Shafqat Munir join Rory Medcalf to discuss the strategic importance of the Indian Ocean to Australia and the region. 


Darshana Baruah is a Fellow with the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where she directs the Indian Ocean Initiative. 

David Brewster is a Senior Research Fellow at the ANU National Security College (NSC) and focuses on security in India and the Indian Ocean region, and Indo-Pacific maritime affairs. 

Shafqat Munir is a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Bangladesh Centre for Terrorism Research at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies. 

Professor Rory Medcalf AM is Head of NSC. His professional experience spans more than three decades across diplomacy, Intelligence analysis, think tanks, journalism and academia.  


Show notes:  

Securing our Future – national security conference, 9–10 April, 2024: secure your tickets 

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS): find out more 

Foreign Policy White Paper (2017): find out more 


We’d love to hear from you! Send in your questions, comments, and suggestions to You can tweet us @NSC_ANU and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on future episodes. The National Security Podcast is available on Acast, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.  

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.