Who are we?
The Sir Richard Williams Foundation is an independent research organisation whose purpose is to promote the development and effective implementation of national security and defence policies as they impact on Australia’s ability to generate air power appropriate to its unique geopolitical environment and values.
The Foundation aims to strengthen Australia’s national security by advocating the need for forward-looking policies which take full advantage of the potential for air power to shape and influence regional security; and by promoting constructive debate regarding the implementation of such policies.
Our origins and early development
After years of discussion, in 2008 a group of retired Air Force officers decided that there was a need for an organisation to support development of Air Force. Possible solutions covered the range from “CAF Grey Beards Advisory Committee” to “Independent Think Tank”. After several formal and informal exploratory meetings, the decision was taken to form a RAAF Association Think Tank to be called the Sir Richard Williams Foundation. The first formal meeting of the Foundation was conducted on 14 October 2008 at the Air Power Development Center with Dr Alan Stephens as Chair. During the meeting Dr Stephens suggested, and the Committee agreed, that AIRMSHL Errol McCormack AO (Retd) take the Chair.
Through 2009 the Committee developed the structure required to support the Foundation and decided that product of the Foundation would be “Papers” on topical issues. Workshops were to be used to support development of the papers. “Workshops” soon developed into “Seminars” as a means of gaining company sponsorship. The first seminar, ISR, was held at ADC on 19 April 2011.
At a meeting on 14 December 2010 the Committee decided that the Foundation should be independent from the RAAF Association. Thus, on 03 December 2012 the Sir Richard Williams Foundation Incorporated was registered in the ACT as a charity.
Since then the Foundation has continued to develop and expand in scope and range of activities. The Foundation is now recognised in the Department of Defence as an influential component of operational development of air power in the ADF.