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This webinar provides a strategic overview of the Government's policy, position and programming in regard to Australian Defence Industry and Innovation Programs.
The webinar will include presentations from senior Defence members who will discuss strategic challenges and the need for a strong and innovative industrial base. It will also explore the 2020 Force Structure Plan and how that seeks to deliver a technologically advanced, responsive and adaptable Defence Force.
The audience will have the opportunity to engage with a panel of presenters through a Q&A session.
Hon Melissa Price MP
Minister for Defence Industry
Melissa was first elected to Parliament as the Member for Durack, the largest electorate in Australia covering more than 1.6 million square kilometres, in 2013. Born and raised in the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie, she relished the opportunity to represent the diverse interests of a rural electorate. Following the 2016 federal election, she was appointed to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade in September 2016.
Melissa’s engagement in progressing defence outcomes continued through her work on the Coalition Defence Policy Committee and the Defence Sub-Committee. In December 2017, she was elevated to the role of Assistant Minister for the Environment and continued in this role until August 2018, when she was sworn in as Minister for the Environment in the Morrison Government. With the Coalition returned to government at the 2019 Federal election, Melissa was sworn in as Minister for Defence Industry in May 2019.
A lawyer by profession before beginning her career as a politician, Melissa has more than 20 years' experience in the private sector, working in a variety of commercial and legal roles. Maintaining her connection to rural Australia through stints in regionally focused industries, Melissa also spent time working with the not-for-profit sector. She is a former Director of both the Cancer Council (WA) and BrightSpark Foundation, and a passionate supporter of child health and cancer research. Melissa is also a proud 16-year member of the Fremantle Football Club.
Air Vice-Marshal Steve Roberton, DSC, AM
Head Force Design
AVM ‘Zed' Roberton is a Category A Fighter Pilot who joined as a direct entry pilot trainee after completing a Bachelor of Science at Queensland University. AVM Roberton flew fighter tours at Number 3 Squadron RAAF Williamtown and an exchange flying F/A-18s with the United States Marine Corps.
He completed joint staff tours and Command and Staff College before deploying for Operations Slipper and Falconer; for which he was awarded a Chief of Air Force Commendation.
AVM Roberton commanded Number 75 Squadron before leading the transition to F/A-18F Super Hornet. He commanded Number 82 Wing at RAAF Amberley and completed the UK's Higher Command and Staff College in 2012. He returned on promotion as Director General Aerospace Development.
AVM Roberton was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012 and commanded the inaugural Air Task Group 630 on Operation OKRA, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. He took command of Air Combat Group in 2015 and went on to assume the Air Commander Australia role in May 2017. Following completion of his time as Air Commander in June 2019, AVM Roberton has assumed the role of Head Force Design in VCDF Executive.
AVM Roberton is married to Libby, and together they focus on ballet, rugby and surfing with their three children: Isabella, Corey and Ben.
Mr Peter Tesch
Deputy Secretary Strategy, Policy & Industry
Mr Peter Tesch was appointed as Deputy Secretary Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group May 2019. In September 2020 the Group was restructured and re-named the Strategy, Policy, and Industry Group. As Deputy Secretary Strategy, Policy, and Industry, Mr Tesch has the lead responsibility for Defence’s strategic, international and industry policy.
Mr Tesch comes to this role following a distinguished career with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). He most recently served as Australia’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation from March 2016 until April 2019. Prior to this, he held several executive positions in DFAT, including as First Assistant Secretary International Security Division over January 2014 to December 2015. Mr Tesch has also previously served in the Office of the Minister for Trade (1993–94).
He has previously represented Australia overseas as Ambassador to Germany (2009–13); Commissioner-General for the Shanghai 2010 World Expo (2008–09); Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York (2002–05); Deputy Commissioner-General at Expo 2000, Hanover (1999–2000); Ambassador to Kazakhstan (1997–99); and Third Secretary, Moscow (1989–91).
Mr Tesch holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours from the University of Queensland. He speaks German and Russian.
Mr Andrew Hodgkinson
Assistant Secretary Defence Capability and Innovation, Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group
Mr Andrew Hodgkinson commenced in the role of Assistant Secretary Defence Capability and Innovation, Defence Industry Policy Division in September 2018. Andrew is responsible for managing the Defence Innovation Hub investment program and the associated portfolio of projects. Mr Hodgkinson joined the Department of Defence in 1998 and has served in a diverse range of senior appointments focusing on strategy and capability development, organisational reform and international policy.
From 2016 to 2018 Mr Hodgkinson held the position of Senior Program Manager Reform in the Defence Security and Vetting Service. In this role he established and implemented strategies for service delivery improvement. He also led the development of a whole of Government digital transformation project to provide a new security vetting capability.
Prior to this, Andrew held positions within International Policy including Global Interests, Iraq Taskforce, Middle East and Operations and the Americas. He has also worked within the former Defence Materiel Organisation and Land Systems within the Capability Development Group.
Mr Hodgkinson holds a Bachelor of Arts (Humanities) from Griffith University, a Graduate Diploma in Defence Studies from the University of New South Wales, and a Graduate Diploma in Professional Communication from the University of Canberra.
Dr Peter Sawczak
First Assistant Secretary Defence Industry Policy
Dr Peter Sawczak was appointed First Assistant Secretary, Defence Industry Policy Division at the Australian Department of Defence, in July 2020. Prior to this, he served as Assistant Secretary Major Powers and Assistant Secretary Strategic Policy. In 2019, he conducted a major review of defence policy and planning guidance that produced the 2020 Defence Strategic Update.
Dr Sawczak was Head of Political Affairs at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague 2013-16, where he led the OPCW’s diplomatic engagement and communications strategies, including for the mission to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons.
Prior to the OPCW, Dr Sawczak enjoyed a wide-ranging career at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which included postings to Washington, Brussels and Moscow. He also served as international security adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and as Director of Counter-Proliferation at DFAT, where he was closely engaged in the establishment of the Proliferation Security Initiative.
Dr Sawczak holds a PhD in Slavic Studies from Monash University.
Air Commodore Richard Lennon AM, CSC
Director General Force Exploration
Air Commodore Richard Lennon was born in Sydney in 1964. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1982, graduating from the RAAF Academy in 1985. Air Commodore Lennon started his flying career on CH-47 Chinook helicopters and subsequently flew C-130E Hercules and B707 tankers. He has exercised command at all levels including No 33 Squadron (aerial refuelling), No 86 Wing and most recently Air Mobility Group.
Air Commodore Lennon was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for his contribution as Air Component Commander to the relief effort in Papua New Guinea following tsunami devastation in 1998. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2018 for exceptional performance of duty in air lift capability development, strategic guidance, air mobility management and cultural reform for the Australian Defence Force.
On 11 December 2017, Air Commodore Lennon took up the role of Director General Force Analysis contributing to the development of a joint force by design. On 1 January 2019, Force Analysis Branch became Force Exploration Branch.
Mr Martin Halloran
First Assistant Secretary Australian Industry Capability
Martin Halloran is the Head Australian Industry Capability, within the CapabilityAcquisition and Sustainment Group. In this role, Martin is responsible for shaping theimplementation of the Australian Industry Capability policy as well as being an advocatefor Australian industry participation in the Defence supply chain.
Martin has more than 20 years of finance and investment experience in Australia andoverseas. He has previously served in the Department of Treasury and most recentlyreturned to the private sector where he has been working with defence industry andGovernment.
Martin has formal post-graduate qualifications in Strategic Studies, from the ANUDefence and Strategic Studies Centre, as well as a post-graduate degree in AppliedFinance.
Martin has leadership experience across areas of strategic business importanceand public policy, as well as managing diverse relationships and executing complexcommercial transactions.
Dr David Kershaw
Chief Science Engagement & Impact Division
Dr David Kershaw is the Chief Science Engagement and Impact Division
Dr David Kershaw started in Defence as a Cadet Engineer with Navy Material in 1987 and transferred to the then DSTO in 1989 following completion of a B.Sc.(Hons) in Physics and a B.E. in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering. From 1989 through to 1999 he worked in the area of torpedoes, torpedo defence and undersea warfare, covering circuit analysis through signal processing to operations research. During this time he also completed a PhD in Tracking Systems.
Dr Kershaw was appointed as Head of the Torpedoes & Torpedo Defence Group in 1999 before also assuming responsibility for Undersea Warfare Operations Analysis in 2002. During 2003 and 2004 he was the Navy Scientific Adviser before returning to DSTO Edinburgh as the Air Warfare Destroyer S&T Adviser in 2005 and 2006. From September 2006 through January 2007 he was acting Research Leader in Surface Ship Operations with a focus on Combat Systems.
In 2007 Dr Kershaw was appointed as Head of the Torpedo Systems Group within the Undersea Sensors and Weapon Systems Branch in Maritime Operations Division. In this role he had responsibility for all DSTO support to torpedoes and torpedo defence for the RAN. He then became Head of the Submarine Combat Systems Group in May 2010 before assuming the role of Research Leader Submarine Systems and SEA 1000 (Future Submarine) S&T Adviser in July 2011. He then moved to the position of Research Leader Undersea Command and Control within Maritime Division in July 2014.
Dr Kershaw was appointed as Chief Maritime Division with Defence Science and Technology in May 2016. In January 2020 Dr Kershaw moved to his current corporate role of Chief Science Engagement and Impact Division.