WA DEFENCE REVIEW distributed its ground-breaking third Annual Publication with a launch event on 16 September 2020. Held at Core Innovation Hub in Perth City, the event was filled to capacity with valued clients and stakeholders.
Launch event speakers included Brodie McCulloch, Co-Founder and Director of Core Innovation Hub; Professor Stephen Smith, Chair of the Defence and Security Program, UWA; Rohan Green, Chair of defence peak body Henderson Alliance, and Matt Moran, Executive Director, Defence West. Comments made concerning the 2020 Annual Publication were: “a massive effort in communications”, “a testament to work, effort, and passion”, “puts WA on the map”, and “demonstrates what people can do in the defence space”. Further, Australian Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC stated: “Congratulations to the team at WA DEFENCE REVIEW on the launch of their 2020 Annual Publication. It’s the biggest and best issue so far.”
In response, WA DEFENCE REVIEW acknowledged a long list of people who have worked on the 2020 Annual Publication. Founder and Managing Editor Serge DeSilva-Ranasinghe expressed his thanks that success is the fruit of a cooperative process, rarely the work of a single individual.
Standing at 208 pages in length, the 2020 Annual Publication is one-third larger than the first edition in 2018 and 64 pages bigger than the 144-page 2019 Annual Publication. Serge DeSilva-Ranasinghe says the Annual Publication’s core objective is to analyse Australian defence and security matters from a west coast perspective. It does that and more, also showcasing defence industry through advertorials, interviews and providing a digest of all matters defence in Western Australia.
If anyone needed motivation to read this collective work, the very first article provides a not-to-be-missed headline: “Can You Hear The War Drums” contributed by former Chief of Army and now Director of the National Security Institute, University of Canberra, Professor Peter Leahy, LTGEN (Rtd). In it he says “The drums of war have started. You can hear them in the distance and they are getting louder”. It is a serious and sober assessment of the current geo-strategic environment. From there the contents proceed through exclusive interviews with key government ministers, to expert commentary, analysis and opinion, as well as a showcase of the depth and diversity of WA’s defence industrial capability.
A notable feature of the 2020 Annual Publication is the array of exclusive and high-profile interviews with foreign military officials, which includes the Commandant of the US Marine Corps, and the heads of two French Indian Ocean regional commands. In doing so WA DEFENCE REVIEW has reached another milestone: the first Australian publication to have secured interviews with the heads of these foreign commands. The 2020 Annual Publication also includes a wide array of new columns emphasising: Canberra Musings, Advanced Manufacturing, Maintenance & Sustainment, Basing & Infrastructure, Logistics & Supply Chain, Aerospace & Space Affairs, Foreign Forces, Land Systems & Warfare, Innovation & Technology, Health & Medicine, Cyber & Information Warfare and Policy & Advocacy.
Finally, according to Sydney-based senior defence industry analyst, Dr Gregor Ferguson, “At more than 200 pages WA DEFENCE REVIEW’s 2020 Annual Publication is the biggest defence magazine of its type ever to be published in Australia.” He added: “Its coverage of both WA and national strategic defence and industry issues and its embrace of the wider WA social issues impacting on, and impacted by, the defence sector is a significant achievement.”
WA DEFENCE REVIEW’s entry to the Western Australian defence space heralded a time of heightening activity, opportunity, and interest. WA has been engaged with the sector since the days that HMAS Stirling was conceived and established in the 1970s. But never before has there been the confluence of government, business, institutional and public interest and involvement that we are witnessing today. In a few short years, WA DEFENCE REVIEW, with its various services, forums, and platforms has made a significant contribution to raising awareness and focussing on present and future imperatives.
And, perhaps those imperatives are becoming ever more pressing. As Professor and former Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith commented at the launch event: “There is the potential for great power conflict to our North West, we have plenty to get out teeth into.”