Sean Jacobs

Sean Jacobs

Sean Jacobs is a security specialist and policy expert, having worked for Australia’s National Security Adviser and as a lead planner for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the Brisbane G20 Leaders’ Summit. He is also a former Brisbane City Council election candidate, ministerial adviser, United Nations worker, international youth volunteer, and national water polo champion. [READ MORE]

Latest Posts

Episode 31 – A primer on the coming republican debate

In any national election the stakes are high. But if Labor wins they have committed to holding a referendum on an Australian republic.  This issue was put to the Australian people in 1999 but lost.  Yet, as I explain, it is an issue that will always be with us.  For this episode, we flip things around and Whig Capital’s Jordan Shopov interviews me on the republican versus monarchy debate.  Full disclosure – I am a spokesman for the Australian Monarchist League (and a member of the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy).  But I hope I can give this important issue the […]

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Asia is hardly confused by Australia’s Monarchy

It’s often said that Australia needs to become a republic because of our lagging reputation in Asia. Many republicans lament that our institutional attachment to the British Monarchy puzzles northern neighbours, implying an old-world ‘Anglophile’ attachment that tugs on our standing in the region. “With the economic and political balance now shifting to our part of the world,” writes Wayne Swan in Project Republic, “the idea of an Australian head of state who resides in London seems anachronistic in the extreme”. Swan, to be fair, wrote these words in 2013 – a climactic time for the Gillard government’s Asian Century White Paper. […]

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Episode 30 – How to avoid consumer politics and be a good citizen

For this episode I’m joined by Sam Rebecchi – a Melbourne-based communications adviser and part-time writer for the Spectator Blog. I saw his recent Spectator article – ‘Shock News: politics and consumer goods are two different things‘ – as a good opportunity to talk about the elevation of consumption politics, the evacuation of values from public life, and the perceived lack of distinction between the two major Australian political parties.  Politics, he concludes, has sadly been reduced to nothing more than the goods on our shelves.  Tune in to hear how we can turn this around, the path to good […]

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What can international aid learn from sport?

With this year’s upcoming Australian federal election, the Australian Government’s recently released Sports Diplomacy Strategy – Sports Diplomacy 2030 – will no doubt very soon fade into the background. The Strategy, released in February 2019, received a modest but commendable amount of public attention, positively highlighting the contribution of sport to aid and diplomacy. It builds on a 2015 document – a “pioneer in the field” according to Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne – that used sport to maximise Australia’s linkages with the region, enhance economic opportunities and strengthen the communities of near neighbours. As a former Australian Youth Ambassador […]

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Political risk: what it is and how to deal with it

It’s reasonable to think that, with the ascendance of free market capitalism and growth in the number of democracies, political risks to cross-border business investments or exports would have abated. Indeed, since the early 1990s, many governments – even the undesirable ones – have worked hard to attract international investment, pursue pro-growth policies and seek workable environments for businesses to operate within their borders. But the reality is that firms of all sizes, whether exporting or setting up operations abroad, continue to face significant challenges from the political arenas they’re exposed to. Typically these ‘political risks’ fall into categories of […]

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Vale Jack Bogle: a reminder of values and capitalism

Given the recent passing of investment legend Jack Bogle, I thought I’d share some notes I’ve taken from his work over the years. Bogle founded the Vanguard Group but, much more importantly, invented the ‘index fund’ – a way for everyday low key investors (like myself) to invest in the stock market as a whole versus trying to pick individual stocks. “I rank this Bogle invention along with the invention of the wheel,” said Nobel Prize winner Paul Samuelson, “the alphabet, Gutenberg printing, and wine and cheese: a mutual fund that never made Bogle rich, but elevated the long-term returns […]

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16 Real Tips for Young Public Servants

Part of the reason why I wrote my book – Winners Don’t Cheat – is because I wanted to write to myself ten years ago. This was a time when I was turning around a ‘slow start’ out of high school, slowly improving my studies as part of an international relations degree, and thinking more about my career and building skills. In a similar theme of reflection, I thought I’d share some advice that, looking back to my early years in the Commonwealth public service, would’ve helped me get off to a better start. Landing your first proper job is certainly a time of […]

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Episode 29 – Bastion Collective CEO Jack Watts

For this episode I’m fortunate to be joined by Bastion CEO Jack Watts (www.bastioncollective.com). Jack and I met over a decade ago on a leadership course in China, and he has since grown a small sports marketing opportunity into a firm with global reach and employing hundreds of people. We talk about the importance of experience, taking on risk, avoiding bad decisions, managing people and dealing with growth. I enjoyed Jack’s principles – design the life you want to live, tap into your ‘thrill of the chase’, fail fast, ‘corterize’ it, get the bad news out, and move on with […]

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Episode 28 – Public vs Private – When Should Government Run Things?

On this episode economist Will Witheridge and I discuss the philosophy behind privatisation, the wisdom of Adam Smith, and cartels and monopolies. We also talk about the challenges of the privatisation journey in the West (Australia’s Two Airlines Policy for example), some of the areas where privatisation doesn’t entirely work and the balance between government regulation and ‘nationalisation in new clothes’ – excessive green and red tape. Show Highlights How Papua New Guinea’s telecommunications industry is an example of a government monopoly ‘taking a back seat’ and private enterprise, competition, lower prices and greater access coming to the fore. How […]

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Episode 27 – Old Head Young Shoulders: The Parallel University with Richard Krohn

To start 2019 we are putting an ‘older head on younger shoulders’ with Richard Krohn – author of The Parallel University: Create A Balanced Life And Have It All. From superannuation to resilience, we talk about the importance of creating a plan, avoiding binge television and surrounding yourself with positive people. We also cover how individuals should respond to the allure of progressive politics, the hefty fees from planet finance, and test general assumptions around inequality and globalisation. Now is a time when a lot is being asked of individuals. Not all are answering the call, which only underlines the […]

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