WA DEFENCE REVIEW in partnership with the CORE Innovation Hub on 4 June 2019, organised a gathering of defence and industry professionals at Parmelia House for an invitation-only luncheon event, to hear from Kate Lundy, Defence Advocate, Government of the ACT. A knowledgeable and erudite speaker, Ms Lundy spoke on the prospects for cooperation between the ACT and WA’s defence sectors, a topic of interest to those who attended.
The select audience consisted of representatives from organisations such as: AMI Group, Bolja, Haines & Friend, Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, Engineers Australia, Flicq, MineARC Systems, Picosat Systems, Raptortech, Regional Development Australia-Perth, Subsea Innovation Cluster, TBH, WA Defence Science Centre and Western Power.
With an extensive background in federal parliament, a long-standing interest in technology, industry and innovation, and now working as Defence Advocate for the ACT, Ms Lundy is eminently qualified to talk about Defence and industry collaboration with particular reference to the opportunities arising out of the ACT defence strategy, titled: Established, Capable, Skilled: Growing the defence industry in the Canberra region.
The focus of defence in the ACT is constrained by the lack of space in Canberra, and is mostly concerned with skills building and collaboration with other states. Ms Lundy spoke of the need to develop scale in both civilian and Defence sides of the industry, to ensure that demand for Australian industry continues to grow, and that we have the skills and manpower to fulfil the demand.
Acknowledging the inherent competitiveness between States for Defence business, Ms Lundy emphasised the benefits of States actively working to create and maintain an economic strategy that includes defence development and procurement. Her passion and belief in Australian excellence were clearly evident as she enumerated the areas, both historical and current, where Australia leads the world, including resource technology and mining software. She stated that we are often unaware of how well we are doing due to our isolation, and because the relatively small size of the market in Australia means that a company can only get so big before needing to turn to the international market to continue to grow.
Ms Lundy also spoke about the need for up-to-date cyber security. Defence of the nation occurs not only in the strength of the military force, but also in protection from cyber-attacks on both wealth and information. In stressing the importance of being aware of the latest technologies in cyber safety, especially for those intending to work with Defence, she also spoke of the Defence Industry Security Program (DISP), which supports industry in the process of becoming Defence-ready.
Of great interest to the attendees was the process of breaking into the highly competitive defence supply chain within Australia. Questions from the audience touched on the best way to accomplish such a breakthrough. Ms Lundy’s advice was to get to know your Advocate and the people who would be signing the purchase orders. It was also important, she said, to know what problem you could solve for Defence, and to present not only your solution but also the benefits to Defence in your solution.
Being the third such collaboration between WA DEFENCE REVIEW and CORE since the partnership was established in mid-2018, WA DEFENCE REVIEW and CORE shall continue to work closely to advance the interests of start-ups and defence in Western Australia.
Managing Editor, Serge Desilva-Ranasinghe, in his capacity as the Affiliate Partner acting as the Defence Advisor to CORE, will be working on presenting future events to encourage networking and collaboration for those interested in defence and industry engagement. As such, the upcoming 2019 Edition of the WA DEFENCE REVIEW Annual Publication, to be published in early August, shall aptly feature a written contribution from a nominated senior CORE spokesperson.