Future of Learning
and Education

A Sci-Fi Writing Competition

Preparing our people for the intellectual, ethical, and physical rigors of strategic competition and war demands changes in the way we train and educate military forces. The use of traditional classroom lectures and seminars remain important but are not the only way to impart knowledge and encourage experiential learning in the Australian Defence Force. Various methods and technologies such as virtual or augmented reality, simulation, and the use of games / wargames, can be used to enhance professional military education through the creation of a more immersive and engaging learning experience.

August Cole and P.W. Singer’s work, An Eye for a Storm: Imagining the Future of Professional Military Education and Its Effect on the ADF of Tomorrow uses science-fiction to explore the connection between novel methods in education and addressing future challenges in conflict. Their perspective is a primer for exploring more novel and broader perspectives on education and training within the military profession.

Write about the future of education and training!

The Australian Defence College invites submissions of works of science fiction to explore the idea of how the Australian Defence Force can improve and enhance education and training to better prepare for the future of war.

Submissions will be judged on the basis of originality of ideas and quality of storytelling (ie engaging / compelling narrative).

Some ideas are offered by August Cole and P.W. Singer in An Eye for a Storm are:

  • How might we evolve our education and training to include AI-supported planning and decision making, and how might we transform training to include human-machine teaming at every level?
  • How might we ensure that all our people have access to the right learning, about the right topic, at the right time and place?
  • How do we incentivise and develop the creative new ideas and organisations that might be required in the military of 2035, and what is the role of military learning institutions in this process?
  • How can software help decide what information is most critical?
  • How do we use technology, and provide time, for more continuous learning for military personnel?
  • How do we evolve our curriculum in military training and education institutions (and in personal learning) to keep up with changes in the future operating environment, and ensure their implications are included in military learning?

Competition rules

  • The competition is open to all members of the Australian Defence Force, employees of the Australian Defence Organisation, and members of the public interested in military affairs and the future of military learning.
  • Submissions must be original and not have been previously published or previously submitted to another competition.
  • Submissions must be 3,000 words or less and written in English.
  • Entrant name and contact e-mail must be on a cover sheet separate to the text of the submission to allow for blind marking.
  • Submissions must be suitable for publication to a broad audience of all ages.
  • Judges may refuse an entry into the competition if it does not meet competition rules.
  • Submissions must be sent to the.forge@defence.gov.au by 23:59h AEST on Monday 28 June 2021.
  • Winning entries will be announced by the end of August 2021.


All place winners will be published on The Forge. The Judges may identify Honourable Mentions for publication.

Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Prizes are gift vouchers for Amazon AU for the following amounts:

1st prize $500 GIFT VOUCHER
2nd prize $300 GIFT VOUCHER
3rd prize $200 GIFT VOUCHER