UNSW Canberra academic Professor Tom Frame AM has been commissioned by the Chief of the Defence Force to undertake an independent academic study of Australian Special Forces. The study will look at the ethical standards and command culture of Special Operations Command and its people on operations from 1999 to the present day, with a focus on service in Afghanistan.

Professor Frame said the appointment is a reflection of the long and constructive relationship between UNSW Canberra and Defence dating from 1967.

“I am the next in a long line of academics from UNSW Canberra who have worked with Defence on ethics over the years, and I am looking forward to carrying on this constructive and productive working relationship,” Professor Frame said.

Professor Frame, who was the first UNSW doctoral graduate in history at the Defence Academy in 1992, has been a faculty member with the University for more than six years and was the inaugural Director of the Public Leadership Research Group and the Howard Library located at Old Parliament House.

He has worked with Defence throughout his time at UNSW Canberra, in particular around command leadership and ethics. 

“My work on this study is based on a solid and stable relationship that has been established with Defence over many years. What I will produce will hopefully contribute to professional development of the ADF today and well into the future.”

Professor Frame is expected to publish his study by mid-2022.