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We’re making the state’s defence industry the strongest and most capable in Australia.

To do this, we need a mix of leadership, expertise, experience and local insight to identify and help unlock opportunities for industry growth.

That’s why we’ve recruited four of Australia’s foremost defence leaders to advise the Queensland Government on growing the sector.

We’ve also established three expert advisory bodies: an overarching Minister’s Advisory Council on Defence Industry and Jobs, and two regionally focused boards for the north and south of the state.

These three bodies and our advisors provide strategic advice about defence industry development and investment attraction. They focus on delivering the Queensland Defence Industries 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan and its three main strategies:

  • growing our defence industry capabilities
  • promoting our defence industry capabilities
  • increasing our defence industry contribution to the national and global markets.

Strategic Defence Advisors

With more than a century of combined military experience, our Strategic Defence Advisors bring to Queensland strong insights into the world of defence and industry. They provide high-level advice to the Queensland Government on identifying and attracting strategic project opportunities, including those in the defence and aerospace industries pipeline, to our state. Queensland’s Strategic Defence Advisors are:

Lieutenant-General Peter Leahy AC (Ret’d)Lieutenant-General Peter Leahy AC (Ret’d): Queensland Chief Defence Advisor and Strategic Defence Advisor for Land

Lieutenant General Peter Leahy (retired) was appointed as Queensland Chief Defence Advisor and Queensland Strategic Defence Advisor – Land in March 2018. He had a distinguished career in the Australian Army for 38 years culminating in the rank of Lieutenant General and serving as Chief of Army from 2002–2008. His Army career included the following appointments:

  • Commanding Officer of the 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
  • Commander of the 3rd Brigade; Chief of Staff of Headquarters Australian Theatre
  • Deputy Chief of Army
  • Chief of Army.

Since retiring from the Army in 2008, Peter Leahy joined the University of Canberra as a Professor and the foundation Director of the National Security Institute. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been appointed to the Boards of Codan Limited, Electro Optic Systems Holdings Limited and Citadel Group. He is a former member of the Defence South Australia Advisory Board.

Air Vice Marshal Neil Hart AM (Ret’d)Air Vice Marshal Neil Hart AM (Ret’d): Strategic Defence Advisor for Aerospace

Air Vice Marshal Neil Hart (retired) was appointed as Queensland Strategic Defence Advisor – Air in March 2018.

Neil Hart is a former Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF) fighter pilot with senior leadership, command and operations management and expertise in all aspects of air, space, information, cyber and electronic warfare. Senior appointments included Deputy Chief of Air Force, Director-General Capability Planning, Head Force Structure Review and Head ‘One Defence’ Implementation. Neil Hart is a board member of the Australian Defence Force Airworthiness Board.

He is a Member in the Military Division of the Order of Australia.

Rear Admiral Simon Cullen AM CSC (Ret’d)Rear Admiral Simon Cullen AM CSC (Ret’d): Strategic Defence Advisor for Sea

Rear Admiral Simon Cullen (retired) was appointed as Queensland Strategic Defence Advisor – Sea in October 2017.

He served in the Royal Australian Navy for 38 years, with key appointments including Chief of Staff to Commander Joint Task Force 633 in Baghdad, Iraq, Deputy Commander of the Australian Fleet, Inaugural Director General Maritime Operations at Headquarters Joint Operations Command and Deputy Commander of the Combined Task Force for Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

Simon Cullen is Vice Chairman of the Board for the Institute for Regional Security and active in a number of naval associations.

He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and United States Legion of Merit.

Major General Stephen Day AM DSC (Ret’d)Major General Stephen Day AM DSC (Ret’d): Strategic Defence Advisor for Cyber Security

Major General Steve Day (retired) was appointed Queensland Strategic Defence Advisory – Cyber Security in July 2018. Steve Day is the former Deputy Director, Cyber and Information Security at the Defence Signals Directorate. He was also the first Co-ordinator for the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

He had a distinguished 35-year career in the Australian Army and served in offshore deployments in Africa, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. His appointments included Commander of the 7th Brigade in Brisbane, Chief of Plans at ISAF Joint Command in Afghanistan and the Head of Cyber in Canberra.

While serving in the Australian Army with International Forces East Timor, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. He has also been awarded the United States Legion of Merit and been made a Member of the Order of Australia.

Steve Day currently is an advisor to PwC on cyber security and organisational leadership.

Major General Fergus (Gus) McLachlan AO (Ret'd)Major General Fergus (Gus) McLachlan AO (Ret'd): Strategic Defence Advisor for LAND 400

Fergus (Gus) McLachlan recently completed 37 years of service with the Australian Army. In his last appointment, he led Land Forces Command. With over 35,000 personnel, this is the largest command in the Australian Defence Force.

Gus was previously responsibile for Army Modernisation and Joint Force Integration. He was involved in programs including the digitisation of the Army, the generation of the Army and ADF cyber capability, and the optimisation of the Army helicopter capability.

Gus also has extensive leadership experience. This includes operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and in the units and formations of the Army.

He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2018 and appointed a Professor of Practice by Monash University in 2019.

Minister’s Advisory Council on Defence Industry and Jobs

The role of the Minister’s Council is to enhance the Queensland Government’s understanding of local-to-global defence industry needs, opportunities and challenges. The council members include Queensland’s four Strategic Defence Advisors and senior defence industry and organisational leaders. Together, they’re responsible for advising government on increasing strategic defence industry opportunities and capabilities in the state.

Members

  • Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning (Chair)
  • Lieutenant General Peter Leahy AC (retd) – Chief Defence Advisor / Strategic Defence Advisor - Land
  • Rear Admiral Simon Cullen AM CSC (retd) – Strategic Defence Advisor – Sea
  • Air Vice Marshal Neil Hart AM (retd) – Strategic Defence Advisor - Air
  • Major General Stephen (Steve) Day AM DSC (retd) – Strategic Defence Advisor – Cyber Security
  • Mr Gary Stewart, Managing Director, Rheinmetall Defence Australia
  • Mr Darren Edwards, Managing Director, Boeing Defence Australia
  • Dr Karen Stanton, Director – Strategy and Corporate, Heat Treatment Australia
  • Mr Andy Keough CSC, Managing Director, SAAB Australia
  • Mr Carl Quarterman, Queensland President, Australian Industry and Defence Network
  • Mr Brendan Sargeant, former Associate Secretary, Department of Defence
  • Ms Sarah Buckler, General Manager, Local Government Association Queensland
  • Ms Rachel Hunter, Director-General, DSDMIP (ex officio)
  • Ms Michele Bauer, A/Deputy Director-General, DSDMIP (ex officio)

North and South Queensland boards

The regional advisory boards report to, and are overseen by, the Minister’s Council. They have been established by the government to explore regional defence industry and supply chain opportunities in greater detail.

North Queensland Defence Advisory Board members

  • Ms Ranee Crosby, Chief Executive Officer, Port of Townsville (Chair)
  • Ms Kari Arbouin, Associate Vice Chancellor, Central Queensland University
  • Ms Raelene Caulley, Services Lead, Thales Australia
  • Ms Cathy Weis, Business Development Coordinator, Cubic Defence Australia
  • Mr Olav Groot, Chief Executive Officer, Norship Marine
  • Mr Brendan Sargeant, former Associate Secretary, Department of Defence
  • Mr Bryan Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Rocky’s Own Transport
  • Ms Michele Bauer, A/Deputy Director-General, DSDMIP (ex officio)

South Queensland Defence Advisory Board members

  • Ms Jane Hunter, Chief Operating Officer, Boeing Defence Australia (Chair)
  • Mr Robert (Bob) Brett MC PSC, Chief Executive Officer, Wandering Warriors
  • Ms Sarah Earey, General Manager, L3 Micreo
  • Ms Teresia Fors, Vice President – Marketing and Communications, Volvo Group Australia Pty Ltd
  • Ms Linda-Ann Griffiths, Group Captain – Legal (retd), Royal Australian Air Force
  • Ms Bernadette McIntyre, Director, McIntyre Equip/Steyr Motors
  • Mr Andrew Sanderson, Chief Executive Officer, TAE Aerospace
  • Major General Richard Wilson AO (retd), Chair, Queensland Reconstruction Authority
  • Ms Michele Bauer, A/Deputy Director-General, DSDMIP (ex officio)