A new research group focussed on improving Australia's crucial supply chains has been launched by UNSW Canberra.

The Supply Chain Sustainment Research Group will be undertaking targeted research and providing specifically curated education offerings to build and sustain supply chains in the defence and public sectors, along with those in private industry.

The Director of the new Supply Chain Sustainment Research Group, Associate Professor Dr Daniel Prior said Australia relies on an intricate web of companies, organisations, and Government agencies to source, manage and govern the diverse range of products and services necessary for the functioning of the nation's economy.

"Australia’s unique position can expose it to risk, and this is particularly evident when global events lead to shortages of major products or supplies," Dr Prior said.

"Here in Australia we are regularly reminded of how fickle supply chains can be, and just how quickly they can grind to halt; often with quite dramatic and serious implications.

"We saw during the COVID pandemic how much of an impact faltering or overwhelmed supply chains can have on critical medical supplies, and this exposed Australia to substantial risks."

Australia is in a rather unique position when it comes to global supply chains - it is often at the beginning of global supply chains, or at the end of them.

Australia’s mining and agriculture industries often export initial inputs to a broader global supply chain while Australia’s need to import manufactured goods, technology-based products, medicines, fast-moving consumer goods, some foods, and a variety of other consumer goods sees Australia rely heavily on global supply chains.

Dr Prior said to minimize the risks and geographical disadvantage Australia faces in relation to global supply chains it is essential to undertake more supply chain research, education and community engagement.

"Australia's geographic location can lead to difficulties in selling to overseas customers which has a direct impact on Australian suppliers and can put them at a distinct disadvantage," Dr Prior said.

"We need a much more robust understanding of global supply chains so that we can minimize those risks and reduce the disadvantages Australian importers and exporters currently face."

"This is why the Supply Chain Sustainment Research Group has been formed – to discover, define, refine and better understand supply chain issues and capabilities."

The Supply Chain Sustainment Research Group will be officially launched at the UNSW Canberra School of Business Research Showcase being held on 14 September 2023 at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra. You can register for the event here:


About the Supply Chain Sustainment Research Group

Members of the Supply Chain Sustainment Research Group have experience across the IT, professional services, public sector (including Defence, Commonwealth agencies, state and local government), finance, tertiary education, not-for-profit and community sectors.

The Supply Chain Sustainment Research Group draws on a range of expertise, skills, and research to generate innovative insights in a range of domains, including:

  • Artificial Intelligence in supply chains
  • Asset and capability management
  • Buyer-supplier relationships
  • Contract management
  • Supply chain operations, procurement and logistics
  • Supply chain networks
  • Supply chain risk
  • Supply chain sustainability

UNSW Canberra's enduring relationship with Defence has led to a profound understanding of Defence, the challenges that Defence faces, and the broader Defence industry context.

We have a deep understanding of the Commonwealth, state and territory governments. We also work with a variety of organisations in the public service and our unique understanding and experience allow us to cater to managers in the public sector.

Our world-class research outputs include thought leadership in project management, asset management, logistics management, risk management, governance, relationship management, accountability and business intelligence.

UNSW Canberra's educational offerings uniquely cater to the needs of our stakeholders. Courses include:

  • Master of Logistics Management
  • Master of Sustainment Management
  • Doctor of Public Leadership
  • A suite of Professional Education programs