Dr Alan Stephens Air Power Literary Prize
A core objective of The Williams Foundation is to encourage informed discussion and debate on future air power capability. Accordingly, the Foundation is committed to supporting our future leaders and the development of their ideas. One way in which this occurs is through submissions to The Central Blue, an online forum encouraging informed discussion on air and space power, and the related force design issues affecting Australia.
A foundational member of The Central Blue, Dr Alan Stephens has a long history of supporting this cause. Previously a lecturer at UNSW, RAAF historian, adviser in federal parliament on foreign affairs and defence, and a member of the RAAF, Dr Stephens has published and lectured extensively. In 2008 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his contribution to Royal Australian Air Force history and air power strategy.
In partnership with The Central Blue, The Williams Foundation will award a regular prize of A$500 for the best essay or article discussing the author's perspectives on a theme determined by the Central Blue Team. The winning essay or article will be published on The Central Blue forum.
#AFSTRAT - December 2020
The competition was first held in 2020 and called for an essay or article discussing the author's perspectives on #AFSTRAT. Specifically, if and how it will ensure the Royal Australian Air Force generates sustainable and resilient air and space power within the Joint Force.
Inaugural Winner - Congratulations to Squadron Leader Chris Kourloufas, for his article Creative Forces – Concepts to Support Military Creativity
The article takes a deep dive into creative forces. Looking past the rhetoric of ‘creative geniuses’, Kourloufas dismantles the realities of creative success and highlights the necessity of failure tolerance. Moving forward, isolated solutions will no longer be enough, with cross-domain creativity being vital for lasting long-term impact. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) must also ensure that people know that their actions matter, no matter how small the idea. However, for an organisation that can pay for failure in blood, the challenge exists for RAAF to reach beyond the status quo and ‘dangerous comfort’ to a culture of psychological safety and disruptive innovation.