Peter Connolly

Dr Peter Connolly


Research activity per year

Personal profile


During a 33 year career as an infantry officer in the Australian Army, Pete commanded troops on active service in Somalia, Timor-Leste and Afghanistan from platoon through to battalion level. 

He has led inter-disciplinary teams in planning, analysis, contestability and international engagement in Defence, the US Joint Staff and on coalition operations. Along the way he has also worked in Parliament House, Sandhurst and the Pentagon.

He is now enjoying time with his family and completing his Doctorate with the Department of Pacific Affairs in the College of Asia and the Pacific at ANU.

Research interests

Pete is completing a PhD on Chinese interests in Melanesia, drawing on extensive research and networks in the Southwest Pacific 2014-2020. During this time he has conducted research in China, PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Timor-Leste.This has involved research in areas of economics, politics and security at both the national and the grassroots levels in Melanesia.

This work has enabled a 'dynamic comparison' of China's interests and influence across Melanesia as they have increased under Xi Jinping's leadership, including the arrival of the Belt and Road Intitiative in 2018.  

Pete has previously conducted academic research on International Relations, National Interests, Strategy, and Security including the Australia-Indonesia Relationship (1991) and Australia’s whole of government response to terrorism (2002).



BA (Hons) History and Politics - UNSW; MA (International Relations) - Deakin; MA (Management) - UC


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