Our New Name

On 22 July 2014, a General Meeting of members of the Kokoda Foundation voted overwhelmingly (93%) to change the name of the organisation to the Institute For Regional Security (IFRS). 

The Kokoda Foundation will formally launch this new look and feel in January 2015.  This will give the Foundation time to meet all outstanding sponsorship and grant commitments until the end of 2014.  Further information on the official launch of the IFSR will be sent to all members and supporters closer to the date.

Why do this?

The Kokoda Board has recognised that the organisation must broaden its revenue base to cover the costs of its current and proposed future operations and activities. Current funding sources do not cover the costs of our operations and the organisation is eating into its cash reserves.

The Board and management team have become increasingly aware that the two words “Kokoda” and “Foundation” confuse and deter potential new investors and donors.

Brett Biddington, the Kokoda director leading the name change project said that “the changing strategic environment and the increasing importance of the Kokoda Track in New Guinea had combined in unanticipated ways to restrict the organisation’s potential to raise funds needed for it to survive and thrive”.  

The word “Foundation” is often associated with giving when, in fact, we seek money to fund the range of products and services that we provide. We are regularly approached by others to donate to worthy causes, often to support the vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community.

The board continues to receive very strong encouragement and support from the national security community for the work that we do. However, that support does not translate to sufficient funds to sustain the very activities that are valued so highly including:

  • The Annual Dinner and Strategic Dialogue;

  • The Future Strategic Leaders Forum and associated activities that include monthly meetings in Canberra, the biannual Congress at Brawley Point and the Careers Night;

  • The peer reviewed journal, Security Challenges; and

  • Research papers with content often drawn from closed workshops.

Board members stressed at the Special General Meeting the benefits of improving our organisation's influence and relevance to participants, sponsors and supporters, in both national and regional security contexts, for security in all its forms.

Why the Institute For Regional Security?

Institute - Has more gravitas as a name than do alternatives, such as “centre”. In the tertiary education sector institutes are accorded higher status inside universities than are centres.

“Institute” may help us to gain Deductable Gift Recipient (DGR) status as well because it is the language used by the Departments of Industry and also Tax.

Regional - Describes the focus of the organisation’s recent and proposed activities especially with respect to Indonesia and Japan. Regional engagement and understanding is the organisation’s core business and we seek to encourage like-minded organisations in the region or with a specific interest in the region  to affiliate with us and also to attract sponsors and benefactors from the region.

Security - Allows for a range of questions to be asked and issues addressed beyond military and defence matters. The board has recognised that the organisation must broaden its revenue base to cover the costs of its current and proposed future operations and activities.

The name change is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the Foundation’s history.  We look forward to working closely with our members, supporters and the national security community to continue to address the tough future security challenges of the future and foster the development of the Future Strategic Leaders.

Please do not hesitate to contact Brett Biddington, Kokoda Director or Nicole Quinn, General Manager if you require any further information in relation to our new name at Nicole.Quinn@kokodafoundation.org