Andrew Nikolic enlisted into the Australian Army in January 1979 at the age of 17. Following service as an infantry soldier, he attended officer training and returned to the Infantry Corps as a Second Lieutenant.
During his 31 year career in the Army, he has completed three postings to the Middle East:
As United Nations Team Leader in Israel, Syria and South Lebanon (1990-91);
As Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of Australia’s initial contribution to Afghanistan (2001-02); and
As the first Australian National Commander in Southern Iraq (2005).
In addition to his national command responsibilities in Southern Iraq, he concurrently served as Chief of Staff of the British-led Multinational Division.
Andrew has taught tactics at the Royal Military College and has served as the Commanding Officer / Chief Instructor of the Parachute Training School. He is a free fall parachute instructor and in 2001 led the Army Red Berets Parachute Display Team.
In 2003 Andrew became the first officer appointed to lead the Army Recruit Training Centre to have also graduated as a soldier. In 2007 he was promoted to Brigadier.
Andrew is a graduate of the Army Command and Staff College, Joint Services Staff College, Armed Forces of the Philippines Joint College, the United States Army War College, the United Nations Senior Leader’s Course, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
In addition to his military qualifications he holds two Bachelors Degrees in Arts and Social Science, and three Masters Degrees in Management, International Relations and Strategic Studies.
Andrew was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010 for “exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force in the field of operations and international policy.” He was also commended for bravery by the South Australian Commissioner of Police in 1987, and in 2002 was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross.
He is a recipient of the Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals, Australian Active Service Medal, United Nations Medal, Returned From Active Service Badge, Australian Defence Force Long Service Medal, and Australian Service Medal.
From 2008 until 2011, Andrew Nikolic was employed in the Department of Defence as a First Assistant Secretary (a civilian 2 star equivalent position), with responsibility for providing strategic level policy advice to Government on Australia’s international defence relations and Defence Force operations.
He and his wife Christine have three children.
University of New South Wales 2000
Master of Management Studies
Deakin University 2002
Master of Arts (International Relations)
United States Army War College 2007
Master of Strategic Studies
University of Adelaide 1995
Bachelor of Arts (History – Politics)
Southern Cross University 1998
Bachelor of Social Science
- Melbourne arrests justify terror laws – The Australian newspaper, 24 April 2015
- Let’s confront passports to terror – The Australian newspaper, 16 February 2015
- Iran—different perspectives Published 13 January 2015 by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute
- Iran—still a pressing danger Published 6 January 2015 by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute
- Coastal trade laws sinking Tassie freight – The Mercury newspaper, 30 December 2014
- ‘The ABC Funding Myth’ – The Australian newspaper, 26 November 2014
- Iran—‘bigger and badder’ than ISIL? Published 13 October 2014 by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute
- Substandard not an option when it comes to defence projects – The Australian newspaper, 24 September 2014
- Doing nothing to stop ISIL is our greatest danger – The Examiner newspaper, 23 September 2014
- Decision not up for debate: Committing troops exclusively up to executive government – The Examiner newspaper, 3 September 2014
- The Joint Strike Fighter – an air combat capability enhancement Published April 24th 2014 by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute
- Balancing opportunities and risks from China – The Examiner newspaper, page 15, on April 7th 2014
- HADR: in search of low-cost innovative solutions. Launceston, Tasmania: www.aspistrategist.org.au. 8 May 2013.
- “Three views on how to make the North prosper”. The Examiner (Launceston, Tasmania). 19 November 2012.
- “Iran and the United States : Interests, Options, Consequences”. USAWC Strategy Research Project (US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania). 30 March 2007.
Flyer for “Impressions of a Fortunate Life” lecture at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Inveresk on April 24th 2012 (PDF 680K)