Cyber and Tech Retreat Remarks

  • Speech


I am delighted to welcome you to this year's Cyber and Tech Retreat. I'm sorry that I'm not able to join you in person.

It's exciting to see such a distinguished group of Senior Government officials and tech industry leaders coming together for strategic dialogue on the impacts of critical and emerging technologies on our foreign policy, security and economic interests.

And explore how we can further collaborate to address these challenges together.

I would like to acknowledge and thank Denmark, the Danish Foreign Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and Danish Tech Ambassador, Anne Marie Engtoft Larsen, for co-hosting this Retreat with Australia and for the immense amount of work the Danish team has done to make this gathering possible.

We are delighted to have worked closely with you to co-host this important event during such a pivotal moment in geopolitics.  

Current threat environment

The evolving technological landscape has been a catalyst for development and prosperity, transforming societies and economies, and expanding opportunities for cooperation across our region.

The challenge ahead for us all is to create an environment that maximises the immense opportunities brought by new technologies while mitigating the risks which threaten economic gains and the security and safety of our citizens and countries.

Responding effectively to malicious actors who threaten our prosperity, security and access to an open, free and secure internet is key to building cyber resilience and maximising the opportunities cyberspace offers.

And ensuring the responsible development and use of those critical and emerging technologies which will shape our future prosperity and security - quantum, AI, biotechnology, robotics and others – will be vital.

Competition for cyber and technology dominance is playing out acutely in the Indo-Pacific region. Close cooperation and coordination among likeminded partners in government and industry is crucial to mitigate cyber and critical technology risks.

This is why the Tech Retreat was created back in 2019.

To facilitate closed-door, open, frank, and trusted dialogue among friends under Chatham House Rule to consider the impacts of technologies on foreign and security policy issues.  

Cyber Security Strategy

Australia is currently developing its 2023‑2030 Cyber Security Strategy. 2023-2030 is a crucial window to lift Australia's capability to meet the evolving challenges of cyberspace.

Cyber and Tech issues are integral elements of Australia's foreign and strategic policy, embedded in our regional and global engagement. This will be reflected in the new Strategy, including how we can do more to:

  • lift regional cyber resilience and consolidate Australia's role as a trusted partner in the region
  • promote a rules-based cyberspace, and
  • hold accountable those who flout the rules.


I am acutely aware that we can only achieve our goals by working closely with the tech industry.

Those who drive technology innovation and research and whose decisions can shape government policies.

During your time together over the next few days I encourage all of you to challenge each other on how to best approach emerging technologies and foreign, security and economic policy.

To help provoke and progress our own thinking on these vital issues.

I expect discussions at this year's Retreat will help shape Australia's thinking on our Strategy and we look forward to sharing the new Strategy later this year.

With that in mind, I wish you all a fruitful and enjoyable Cyber and Tech Retreat 2023.

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