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

Dead and alive: The greatest mentors I’ve never met

One of the best things about reading – and reading widely – is that you can effectively be mentored by people you’ve never met. As I wrote in my book, I had a slow start out of high school. It took me multiple attempts to get into university and, from there, to build the right skills and experience to be able to get a decent job and be helpful in the workplace. Learning from books is the key lesson in all of this, and the journey to building knowledge, removing ignorance, steady improvement and appreciating failure. From a long list […]

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Working hard for little? Here’s how to stay the course

I can recall entering ‘no man’s land’ – that grey zone, in the words of one self-help guru, where you “you’re not really happy about your life, but you’re not unhappy enough to do anything about it.” It was right after running for political office and leaving every ounce of energy I had ‘on the field’. I remember rocking up to work, in the days following defeat, exhausted and struggling to keep up as the papers mounted, work challenges ensued and pressure grew. My buzz had largely gone. And I was now having to work hard with little energy and […]

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What I learnt on my personal MBA

For some, taking on a certified MBA offers decent self-investment – the networks, the skills and the credentials do, on average, provide a boost to earning and career climb. For others, however, it can be hard, literally, to justify the cost – 12 years to break even, according to info from The Personal MBA author Josh Kaufman. I finally decided, after leaving Kaufman’s book on the shelf for almost a decade, that it was time to flick it open and get stuck in. Here are some of the main points I learned on my personal MBA. Customers As someone who […]

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Different mentors at different times

“A raft is a good thing to have when you’re crossing a river,” notes American psychologist and author Meg Jay. “But when you get to the other side, put it down… Every problem was once a solution.” While not a perfect metaphor for mentoring, there’s something in this point about having the right help at the right time. My journey One of my first mentors – who matched with me as part of a formal mentoring programme at my then-place of work – offered great help when I was starting out in the commonwealth public service. He told me not to jump around from […]

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Do the small things add up? Short advice on staying the course

If a Boeing jet takes off and flies across the US, even an inch off course, it’ll end up miles off where it’s meant to be. “If the nose of the plane is pointed only 1 percent off course,” notes Success Magazine’s Darren Hardy, “almost an invisible adjustment when the plane’s sitting on the tarmac in Los Angeles – it will ultimately end up about 15 miles off course.” It’s a neat metaphor on something minor, adding up to something big, over time. I had picked up Hardy’s The Compound Effect because, I suspect like many of us, I was […]

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Republics are struggling. Yet Australia is still at risk of becoming one.

An Australian republic – in any form – offers no match for the stability, quality of life and economic opportunity that generations of Australians have experienced and now expect. Since 1901, we have been part of only a handful of nations – one in ten – that have been continuously democratic. Our Governors-General have sat above the noise of our Westminster politics – providing a sparing but powerful level of oversight and stability. In a century, reserve powers have only been used once by the Governor-General – in November 1975. Our institutional connection to the Commonwealth fosters good relations with […]

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Republican lobbyists obsessed with power, not facts

The late former Governor-General Paul Hasluck, when reflecting on the 1975 dismissal of Gough Whitlam, said that the issue wasn’t one of power but whether the circumstances justified the decision. “The point at issue in the public controversy,” said Hasluck, “is not whether the Governor-General had the power but whether he was justified by the facts as he saw and interpreted them, and if he were justified by the facts whether he was wise to use the power.” The modern republican lobbyist has become obsessed with power, specifically the powers of an Australian President, and not with improving Australian democracy. […]

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Palace Letters: Time for republican lobbyists to face reality

With all the focus republican lobbyists have placed on the Palace letters – a move that has backfired considerably – it’s no doubt they’ll continue to pounce on any royal inconsistency – real or perceived – to advance their cause. In 1953, according to other recently released documents, ‘Queen Elizabeth’ was implicated in bringing about the fall of Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh and installing the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi as absolute ruler of Iran. This, of course, is not true. It only appears true if you read historical documents without context. Queen Elizabeth’s supposed involvement emerged because of a message she […]

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Interview with ABC’s Kate O’Toole

With 25 years since Paul Keating’s ‘republic’ speech – the speech ‘that started it all’ – I was interviewed about the Monarchy’s relevance to Australia today. I snuck in a few points on the need to keep the Governor-General above politics, why a President is a de-stabilising idea, Australia’s independence and the significant gains we’ve made as a stable, tolerant and prosperous constitutional monarchy. Image source: The New Daily/AAP

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No Palace manipulation here

To say the British monarchy, and by implication Queen Elizabeth II, is “divisive and dividing our nation” would puzzle a lot of Australians. But the Australian Republican Movement has found a way. Recently featuring in the UK’s Express, the movement noted how the royals had undermined Australian trade negotiations, delegated unfair powers to the Governor-General and now drifts out of touch with “four million voters [who] have come onto the electoral roll” since the 1999 republican defeat. These are all familiar republican arguments. And all buckle under examination. The claim of “sending Prince Andrew out on trade missions to secure […]

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