Developing Your Tradecraft


Shannon Armstrong

Intelo Training Solutions

Shannon ArmstrongShannon Armstrong is a career Intelligence analyst, leader and trainer with 25 years’ experience that spans law enforcement, security intelligence and defence spectrums. Shannon has real-world intelligence delivery and leadership experience in high-pressure, active counter-terrorism and threat to life investigations where his assessments have informed critical operational decision making. As a trainer, Shannon developed the analytical competencies and assessment framework used to shape the next generation of intelligence analysts. Shannon has lectured widely across Australia, and internationally on a variety of intelligence and incident management - related topics and held a position on the Board of Management of the Australian Institute of Professional lntelligence Officers (AIPIO) for five consecutive years (2010-2015). Between 2011 and 2015 Shannon was the Intelligence Capability Advisor to the Australian and New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee, responsible for the national training and professional development of Australia’s CT Intelligence Response capabilities – the Joint Intelligence Group. Shannon holds a Bachelor of Education, a Masters in Terrorism Safety and Security and post graduate qualifications in Adult Vocational Training. In 2017 he was awarded the AIPIO individual award for his 'distinguished contribution to the lntelligence Profession'.


Owen Cooper

Senior Advisor, National Security College Futures Hub 

The Australian National University

Owen CooperAs a Senior Advisor in the Futures Hub at ANU’s National Security College, Owen helps government departments and officials think about and plan for the future, through facilitated workshops, serious games, training programs, advice and research. Prior to joining the NSC, Owen spent 14 years in intelligence analysis and tradecraft roles at the Department of Defence. He led methodology advice and support to the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and deployed to Timor-Leste in support of peacekeeping operations in 2010. Owen holds a BA in Communications, a BA(Hons) in History, an MA in Strategy and Management and a Certificate in Intelligence Studies from the US National Intelligence University.


Dr Ari Kruger

Research Fellow

The Hunt Laboratory for Intelligence Research, The University of Melbourne

Ari KrugerDr Ari Kruger is a research fellow at the Hunt Laboratory for Intelligence Research at the University of Melbourne. His work focuses on the empirical evaluation of structured analytic techniques and improving critical thinking for intelligence analysis. He also delivers a course on how to present clear and compelling arguments, tailored for intelligence analysts.




Col Lapworth

Security and Intelligence Professional

Col LapworthCol has over 30 years’ experience as an intelligence professional, previously having worked for NSW Police, the Australia Securities Investment Commission and the National Open Source Intelligence Centre. Col is a long-standing member of AIPIO and served on the board from 1996 to 2000.





Catherine Lee

Lethbridge Piper & Associates

Catherine LeeAs Director of Lethbridge Piper & Associates, Catherine is dedicated to working with client organisations to achieve real and tangible improvements in their organisational culture and business performance through strategic occupational health and safety (OHS) and risk management.

With more than 30 years’ experience as an OHS Professional both in Australia and the United Kingdom, Catherine has established a solid reputation for risk management, leading change and business improvement to enhance the health and safety of workers. She holds a Graduate Diploma in OHS, a Graduate Certificate in Management and a Diploma in Professional Coaching and is currently completing Master of Arts Research at Griffith University. Catherine is an accredited OHS Management Systems Auditor (Exemplar Global), Fire Safety Advisor (QFRS) and Licenced Private Investigator (Queensland Government) and is also one of Queensland’s approved panel Self-Insurance Auditors. She has also completed professional development in Mental Health First Aid and Neurodiversity in the Workplace. Catherine is a Certified Professional Member of the Australian Institute of Health and Safety (AIHS) and serves on the National College of Fellows Mentoring Committee.

Catherine has led high performing, multi-disciplinary OHS teams across a diverse range of organisations and industries and worked in senior roles in the private, not-for-profit and public sectors including as the Director of Health and Safety for the Department of Emergency Services in Queensland. Most recently Catherine has designed a new approach to the management of health and safety for neurodivergent workers and established “The Neurodiverse Safe Work Initiative” which is attracting international attention. Since 2019 Catherine has served as a Board Member for Protect All Children Today (PACT) a not-for-profit organisation that provides support to vulnerable child witnesses required to give evidence in the Queensland Criminal Justice System.


Helen McGarry

Executive Manager, Intelligence Services
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service

Helen McGarry v1Helen McGarry’s extensive intelligence career spans across multiple Intelligence agencies and disciplines in Australia, UK, Europe, Balkans and Middle East. In her current role as Executive Manager, Intelligence Services for State Operational Coordination Branch at the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service, Helen is charged with the development, design and implementation of leadership and intelligence capability across the strategic, operational, and tactical domains of Incident and Disaster Management. Ensuring that the QFES intelligence function is at the fore front of timely and responsive decision making by senior management, responders, and community members.

Helen has achieved proven success in the identification of organisational key intelligence capability gaps as well as the implementation and management of intelligence frameworks and strategies to assure improvement. Acknowledged for consistently engaging a culture of high performance, and outstanding results from staff members, this was recognised by the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers (AIPIO) with the receipt of AIPIO Individual Award (2020/21) which recognised a single individual who had made a distinguished contribution to the Australasian intelligence profession.

Helen has served and conducted numerous military operational tours as an Intelligence Officer with the British Army and Australian Defence Force. Helen’s leadership philosophy founded on values that included respect for others, integrity, and selfless commitment, originated during this period and to this date is continually enhanced and matured.


Brett Peppler

Managing Director
Intelligent Futures Pty Ltd 

Brett PepplerBrett Peppler is the Managing Director of Intelligent Futures Pty Ltd – a specialist management consulting practice providing intelligence-led approaches for managing uncertainty in strategic planning.  He specialises in the creative application of strategic foresight to frame and navigate complex business challenges. Brett is a Fellow, Past President and Life Member of the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers (AIPIO), a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), a Member of the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE), and an Adjunct Fellow at Macquarie University. 


Kathy Pherson

Pherson Associates

Kathy PhersonKatherine Hibbs Pherson, Chief Executive Officer of Pherson Associates, teaches advanced analytic techniques and critical thinking skills to analysts in the Intelligence Community, homeland security community, and the private sector. She is a consultant to the government on planning, security, communications, and analysis projects. She and Randy Pherson are co-authors of Critical Thinking for Strategic Intelligence, 3rd ed. (Sage/CQ Press, 2021). Ms. Pherson has served as vice chair of the Intelligence and National Security Association’s (INSA) Security Policy Reform Council since its inception in 2011. She also chairs the Industrial Security Working Group’s (ISWG) Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Focus Group.

Ms. Pherson in 2000 completed a 27-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency in intelligence and security analysis and resource management. Her leadership in the security arena led to the adoption of a risk management methodology, the strengthening and the implementation of overseas security countermeasures, and improvements in dealing with unsolicited contacts. As Director of the Director of Central Intelligence’s (DCI) Center for Security Evaluation she managed the Intelligence Community's involvement in rebuilding the penetrated US Embassy in Moscow.

Ms. Pherson received her A.B. in Hispanic Studies from Vassar College, an M.A. in Spanish Linguistics and Latin American Studies from the University of Illinois, and an M.A. in Communications from the University of Oklahoma. She is a recipient of the CIA's Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal and the Intelligence Community's National Distinguished Service Medal.


Randy Pherson


Pherson Associates

Randolph PhersonMr. Pherson is President of Pherson Associates. He has taught advanced analytic techniques and critical thinking skills to analysts in most US Intelligence Community agencies, a dozen Fortune 100 companies, and many countries around the world. He has authored or co-authored twelve books including Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis, Critical Thinking for Strategic Intelligence, and How to Get the Right Diagnosis: 16 Tips for Navigating the Medical System. He has facilitated Strategic Foresight Analysis workshops for foreign governments, international foundations, and multinational corporations. Mr. Pherson also is a Founding Director of the Forum Foundation for Analytic Excellence, a nonprofit that supports the propagation of critical thinking skills and structured analytic techniques.

Mr. Pherson was a career CIA intelligence analyst and manager, last serving as National Intelligence Officer for Latin America. Previously at CIA, Mr. Pherson managed the production of analysis, served on the Inspector General’s staff, and was Chief, Strategic Planning and Management Staff. He was awarded  the Distinguished Intelligence Medal for his service as NIO and the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. He received his AB from Dartmouth College and MA in International Relations from Yale University.


Samantha Rush

Principal Consultant
Legion Consulting

Sam Rush v2Samantha Rush is an experienced Corporate Executive, Company Director, and Advisor who believes in the importance of making a positive impact. Her experience, knowledge and skills are unique and multifaceted, spanning business intelligence, risk, governance, strategy, sales, finance transformation, project management, change management, and operational efficiency.

She holds an MBA, as well as tertiary qualifications in Psychology, Industrial Relations and HR, International Business, and is currently undertaking a PhD focused on team decision making.


Dorothy Seidel Hooke MAIPIO

Dorothy Seidel HookeDorothy has been working in various roles in intelligence for the past decade. She has experience at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels, and now manages a team of experienced analysts. In addition to her employment in intelligence, Dorothy's academic background is in Criminology and Intelligence Analysis.

She is committed to the profession of intelligence, which has been reflected through her role as managing editor for the AIPIO Journal, an AIPIO board member, and mentor to new and developing intelligence professionals.


Phil Shepherd

Active Leadership

Phil ShepherdAs a consultant, Phil works as a facilitator and a leadership coach, delivering innovative and transformative leadership programs.

In his previous role as Director of Leadership at the Australian Institute of Police Management, Phil managed the development and delivery of a range of national and international executive leadership programs, often partnering with organisations such as the F.B.I., Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Metropolitan Police (London) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

During his 26-year career with Victoria Police, he spent almost a decade as a homicide detective investigating murders and suspicious deaths across the State and managed various stations, teams and taskforces. 


Senior Sergeant Glenn Tait

Queensland Police Service

Glenn TaitGlenn Tait is a Senior Sergeant with the Queensland Police Service, working in the State Intelligence Group. He has over 23 years' experience working in the intelligence field from station to state level.  Part of his career has been working at the Police Academy delivering the Intelligence Training Program sculpting young minds of future generations of practitioners. Glenn has a strong commitment to the discipline which is demonstrated by his membership with International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA) and the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers (AIPIO).  



More speakers to be announced soon.

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