2018 WA Indo-Pacific Defence Conference

2018 WA Indo-Pacific Defence Conference

Western Australian Indo-Pacific Defence Conference 2018

Setting a strategic agenda for policy, defence, resources, industry and technology in the emerging Indo-Pacific Region from Australia’s Indian-Ocean capital, Perth.

Date and Time: Tuesday, 30 October 2018, 8:00am - 5:00pm
Location: Crown Towers, Crown Ballroom, Burswood

Watch Promotional Video Here Watch Videos  Conference Booklet Speaker Program Sponsors and Exhibitors

While the trend toward an increasingly integrated Indo-Pacific was initially viewed from the perspective of economics, trade and energy flows, it is increasingly apparent that the rise of the Indo-Pacific era also has major implications for national defence and regional security.

The 2018 Western Australian Indo-Pacific Defence Conference will convene strategic thinkers from the military, industry, academic and government in Perth Australia, home to Australia’s largest naval base, a growing defence industry, and a vibrant civic and academic community.

Defence West in the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation in partnership with the Perth USAsia Centre at The University of Western Australia will convene the 2018 Western Australian Indo-Pacific Defence Conference. This event will examine the broader geo-strategic environment of the Indo-Pacific and the important role Australia will continue to play in the region via its expertise in defence capability and resources. We also hope to showcase regional opportunities to WA-based industries, as well as national and international stakeholders.
This conference will promote the State’s defence capability to national and international defence stakeholders. The aim is to provide new and relevant information from high-level speakers to educate and inspire our local industry, and to assist them in becoming world class and globally competitive (export ready).
  • The inaugural Western Australian Indo-Pacific Defence conference hosted at Crown Towers, Burswood, on 30 October 2018.
  • The inaugural Western Australian Indo-Pacific Defence conference hosted at Crown Towers, Burswood, on 30 October 2018.
  • The inaugural Western Australian Indo-Pacific Defence conference hosted at Crown Towers, Burswood, on 30 October 2018.
  • The inaugural Western Australian Indo-Pacific Defence conference hosted at Crown Towers, Burswood, on 30 October 2018.
  • The inaugural Western Australian Indo-Pacific Defence conference hosted at Crown Towers, Burswood, on 30 October 2018.
  • The inaugural Western Australian Indo-Pacific Defence conference hosted at Crown Towers, Burswood, on 30 October 2018.
  • The inaugural Western Australian Indo-Pacific Defence conference hosted at Crown Towers, Burswood, on 30 October 2018.
The Hon Steven Ciobo MP -

The Hon Steven Ciobo MP

Minister for Defence Industry

A member of Prime Minister Morrison’s Cabinet, he is responsible for the Government’s plan, outlined in the 2016 Defence White Paper, to invest $195 billion in building Australia’s Defence capability over the next 10 years. In 2017 Minister Ciobo worked closely with now Defence Minister Pyne to develop the Defence Export Strategy, including the creation of the $3.8 billion Defence Export Facility managed by the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation. Previously Mr Ciobo was Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. In this role he pursued the most ambitious trade agenda in Australia’s history, concluding four trade agreements covering 19 countries and launching negotiations with the European Union, Hong Kong and Pacific Alliance. Minister Ciobo concluded the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the history making Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Indonesia, and deals with Peru, Singapore, and Pacific Island countries.

The Hon Kim Beazley AC -

The Hon Kim Beazley AC

Governor of Western Australia

The Honourable Kim Beazley AC is the 33rd Governor of Western Australia. Prior to being installed as Governor on the 1st May 2018, Mr Beazley had dedicated almost three decades to a career in Federal Parliament, representing the WA seats of Brand and Swan. In 2009, Mr Beazley was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for service to the Parliament of Australia through contributions to the development of government policies in relation to defence and international relations, and as an advocate for Indigenous people, and to the community.
Read more

The Hon Mark McGowan MLA -

The Hon Mark McGowan MLA

Premier of Western Australia

The Honourable Mark McGowan MLA is the 30th Premier of Western Australia. Under his leadership the State Government is focussed on creating and securing jobs for Western Australians, delivering quality education and health care and delivering the METRONET public transport vision. In the McGowan Labor Government’s first year in office, Mr McGowan has introduced significant reforms such as amalgamating government departments from 41 to 25 to drive change across the public sector. He has also driven State-wide job creating initiatives such as Infrastructure WA, which sets out a new approach to long term infrastructure planning and WA Industry Link - to give WA businesses more opportunities to tender and apply for government work.


The Hon Christopher Pyne MP -

The Hon Christopher Pyne MP

Minister for Defence 

Christopher Pyne was elected to the House of Representatives for the seat of Sturt in 1993. Minister Payne was sworn in as Minister for Defence on 28th August 2018 and was previously the Minister for Defence Industry responsible for delivering the $200 billion build up of Australia’s military capability, the largest in our peacetime history. Christopher has been a Minister in the Howard, Abbott and Turnbull Governments serving as Minister for Ageing; Minister for Education and Training and Minister for Industry Innovation and Science.

The Hon Richard Marles MP -

The Hon Richard Marles MP

Shadow Defence Minister

Richard Marles is currently the Shadow Minister for Defence and the Federal Member for Corio. Richard’s previous appointments include Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Minister of Trade, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry, and Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Affairs.

The Hon David Johnston -

The Hon David Johnston

Australian Defence Export Advocate; former Minister for Defence

David graduated with a law degree from the University of Western Australia in 1979. He practiced for many years as a barrister and solicitor both in Kalgoorlie and Perth, in areas including criminal, mining, native title and administrative law. In March 2007 David was appointed by Prime Minister John Howard to serve as Minister for Justice and Customs. Following the 2007 election David became a member of the Shadow Cabinet, both as Shadow Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism until September 2008 when he was appointed Shadow Minister for Defence, a position he held until the September 2013 federal election. David is the former Minister for Defence and is currently the Australian Defence Export Advocate, appointed by Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne. 

The Hon Peter Tinley AM MLA -

The Hon Peter Tinley AM MLA

Minister for Housing; Veterans Issues; and Youth

After being re-elected in early 2013, Peter was elected President of the State Labor Caucus and in mid-2014 was elected by a popular vote of members as the President of WA Labor for a two-year term. In July of 2015, Peter was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for Asian Engagement, Trade, Science and Lands. Following Labor's win in the 2017 State Election, Peter was sworn in as the Minister for Housing; Veterans Issues; and Youth on 22 March 2017.

Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC -

Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Assistant Minister for Home Affairs
Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds was elected to the Australian Senate in 2014 and is a passionate representative for her state of Western Australia.  She has more than 20 years’ experience at the national political level working for Ministers, Members of Parliament and the Liberal Party of Australia.  Senator Reynolds served for 29 years in the Australian Army as a Reserve Officer, in a wide range of part and full time appointments. Senator Reynolds is pursuing new defence and space industry opportunities for WA, innovation, gender equality and federation reform.

Josh Wilson MP -

Josh Wilson MP

Federal Member for Fremantle

Josh grew up in Freo and for more than a decade has made a significant contribution through public and community service. Prior to entering parliament Josh was a Councillor and then Deputy Mayor of the City of Fremantle (2009-16), where he led work on economic development and revitalisation, initiated the ‘Fremantle Forever’ campaign against local government amalgamations, and introduced a successful Indigenous employment target. He was previously the Chief of Staff to Hon. Melissa Parke, including the period in which Ms Parke was the Minister for International Development.

Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO RAN -

Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO RAN

Chief of Navy, Royal Australian Navy

Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1984, trained as a seaman officer and then subsequently completed Principal Warfare Officers course and specialised in Air Direction and Above Water Warfare. Throughout his career, he had experience in a wide range of Navy and ADF operations through various sea and shore posting and operational roles. Highlights have included deployments to the Middle East, Southern Ocean and being the Commissioning Commanding Officer of the Anzac class frigate HMAS Parramatta. He has fulfilled leadership positions at all levels of the Australian Defence Force, with senior positions including the Director of Military Strategic Commitments, Director General of Operations at HQJOC, Command of Maritime Border Command and Deputy Chief of Navy.

Major General David Mulhall DSC AM CSC -

Major General David Mulhall DSC AM CSC

Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Department of Defence

Major General Mulhall served for a short period as Director General Strategic Logistics, Joint Logistic Command before promotion to his current rank in April 2014. He deployed to Afghanistan in May 2014 as the Deputy Chief of Staff – Resources, Headquarters International Security Assistance Force, and then subsequently as the Deputy Chief of Staff - Support, Headquarters Resolute Support when the NATO mission transitioned on 1 January 2015. Upon a re-structure of Australian national command arrangements in the Greater Middle East Region, Major General Mulhall was appointed from 1 November 2014 as Commander Joint Task Force 636 – the only officer to serve in that role and notable also given his concurrent Coalition appointment. Major General Mulhall returned to Australia in June 2015 and has been appointed as Commander Joint Logistics from December 2015. Read more

Professor Colleen Hayward AM -

Professor Colleen Hayward AM

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity and Indigenous)

Professor Colleen Hayward is a senior Noongar woman with extensive family links throughout the south-west of WA. She comes from a teaching family with both her parents and two siblings having been teachers. Her father was the first Aboriginal teacher, and Principal, in WA. She is Head of Kurongkurl Katitjin, Edith Cowan University’s Centre for Indigenous Education and Research and concurrently holds the position of Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Equity and Indigenous across the University.

Professor Robert Somerville AM -

Professor Robert Somerville AM

Wing Commander (AAFC)

Robert Somerville is a Martu man from Jigalong in the Murchison-Gascoyne region of Western Australia. His family owned and ran one of Australia's first Aboriginal owned cattle stations, Beyondie. A part of his Grandmother's story is portrayed in the book and leter movie the "Rabbit Proof Fence". Robert is a Wing Commander with the Royal Australian Air Force's National cadet program that comprises of over 8,000 young people between the ages of 13 and 20 all of whom have a passion for aviation and defence. Robert is a qualified pilot and parachutist.

Dr Sheridan Kearnan -

Dr Sheridan Kearnan

First Assistant Secretary Defence Industry Policy, Department of Defence

Dr Sheridan Kearnan commenced in the role as First Assistant Secretary Defence Industry Policy on 22 January 2018.  Dr Kearnan’s responsibilities include the Defence Capability and Innovation Branch, which manages a consolidated innovation program and the associated portfolio of innovation investments; the Defence Export Controls Branch, responsible for managing Australia's export control of military and dual-use goods and technologies; and the Defence Industry Branch, which is accountable and responsible for Defence industry policy.

Professor Stephen Smith -

Professor Stephen Smith

Director, Perth USAsia Centre; Former Australian Minister for Defence and Foreign Affairs

Professor Smith was Federal Member for Perth for the Australian Labor Party from March 1993 until September 2013. In a distinguished career spanning 20 years in the Australian Federal Parliament, Professor Smith served as the Minister for Defence, and prior to that, as Minister for Foreign Affairs. Read more

Vince Di Pietro -

Vince Di Pietro

Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand

Vince has been the Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Australia since December 2016, after joining Lockheed Martin in August 2016. Vince is leading LMA to achieve its vision to be Australia's partner of choice for defence, aerospace, sustainment and technology solutions. Vince served in the Royal Australian Navy for 40 years and has flown 5,000 hours in helicopters and aeroplanes. His naval career included leadership roles in aviation; squadron, shore and joint commands; professional military education; diplomacy; safety and risk management; and systems safety. He holds a Master of Arts (Strategic Studies) from Deakin University.

Dr Ian Watt AO -

Dr Ian Watt AO

Non-Executive Chairman, BAE Systems Australia

Dr Watt brings extensive knowledge of Australia’s strategic challenges in Defence and Security, as well as an intrinsic understanding of Government at a Federal level. He has a career that spans nearly 20 years at the highest levels of public service, including as Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. He also served as the Secretary of the Department of Defence, and was Australia’s longest serving Finance Secretary. Since leaving the public service in 2014, Dr Watt has taken up a number of Directorships, and currently holds Board roles with Citigroup, Smartgroup Corporation, O’Connell Street Associates, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia and the Grattan Institute where he is also the Chair of the Public Policy Committee. Dr Watt is also currently serving as the Chair of the National Innovation and Science Agenda Implementation Committee, as Chair of the Advisory Council for the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility and is a Member of Male Champions of Change.

Shivshankar Menon  -

Shivshankar Menon

Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy, Brookings 

Shivshankar Menon is a distinguished fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. His long career in public service spans diplomacy, national security, atomic energy, disarmament policy, and India’s relations with its neighbors and major global powers. Prior to joining Brookings, Menon served as national security advisor to the Indian Prime Minister from January 2010 to May 2014. He currently serves as chairman of the advisory board of the Institute of Chinese Studies in New Delhi. He is the author of “Choices: Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy” published by the Brookings Press and Penguin Random House in 2016. Read more

Kate Louis -

Kate Louis

Head of Defence and Industry Policy, Australian Industry Group

Kate was appointed Head of Defence and Industry Policy at the Australian Industry Group in August 2017.  The Australian Industry Group Defence Council is the principal voice for Australian defence industry. Kate joined the Department of Defence in 1997 as a graduate in contracting. Kate has extensive experience with Defence capability development having worked as Director, Chief of Staff, and Assistant Secretary within Capability Development Group, Capability Investment and Resource Division.  This experience has equipped Kate with the knowledge and skills to manage the development of major capital equipment acquisition submissions for the Government.

Professor L. Gordon Flake  -

Professor L. Gordon Flake

CEO, Perth USAsia Centre

L. Gordon Flake is the founding CEO of the Perth USAsia Centre. Having built an internationally recognised profile in Washington DC through his think-tank expertise and leadership, Prof Flake relocated to Perth to establish the Centre and to build a broader world-class Indo-Pacific strategic community. Prior to joining the Centre, he was the Executive Director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, a Senior Fellow and Associate Director of the Program on Conflict Resolution at The Atlantic Council of the United States and prior to that Director for Research and Academic Affairs at the Korea Economic Institute of America.
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Peter Lürssen -

Peter Lürssen

Managing Director, Lürssen Group
Mr Peter Lürssen has been the Managing Director of the Lürssen Group since 1993 and has responsibilities for the company’s yacht and defence businesses in selected countries. Prior to this Peter was a Managing Director of Fr. Lürssen Werft GmbH & Co. KG. Peter has extensive experience working in the industry since 1978 and worked as a construction supervisor in Japan between 1984 and 1985. Peter holds a Master of Business Administration from the Johnson Graduate School of Manages at Cornell University and holds qualifications as a Naval Architect and Industrial Engineer from the Technical School in Kiel, Germany.

Jodie Growden -

Jodie Growden

Senior Relationship Manager - Growth Program, Business Foundations Inc.

Jodie Growden is the Senior Relationship Manager at Business Foundations Inc. Jodie’s career has included appointments with the Commonwealth Government, not for profit industry representative organisations in Western Australian and private education providers in the business improvement arena; predominantly in the capacity of Business Development. She is also Deputy Chairperson of the board of the Henderson Alliance and her extensive network in WA has been established through long term involvement with membership groups and industry bodies. Jodie is a keen networker and collaborator; known for providing strategic advice and information to benefit the sustainable operations of WA small to medium sized enterprises and their employees.

Dr Elsina Wainwright -

Dr Elsina Wainwright

Senior Fellow (Non-Resident) and Adjunct Associate Professor, United States Studies Centre; Non-Resident Fellow, New York University's Centre on International Cooperation

Dr Elsina Wainwright is a Senior Fellow (Non-Resident) and Adjunct Associate Professor at Sydney University’s United States Studies Centre and a Non-Resident Fellow at New York University's Center on International Cooperation.  Previous roles include Strategy and International Program Director at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, an Associate with the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and a consultant political analyst for the International Crisis Group in Bosnia.  She has a Masters and Doctorate in International Relations from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar.  Whilst at Oxford, she was a Stipendiary Lecturer in Politics at Oriel College.  In 2017 she was appointed by the Australian Government to Australia's panel of representatives in the ASEAN Regional Forum's Experts and Eminent Persons group.  In 2018 she was made a  Member of the Order of Australia for 'significant service to international affairs, through Australian defence, foreign policy and conflict prevention studies, as an analyst and academic'.  

Professor Noboru Yamaguchi -

Professor Noboru Yamaguchi

Professor, Graduate School of International Relations, International University of Japan

Lt. Gen. Yamaguchi previously served as Senior Defense Attaché at the Japanese Embassy in the United States (1999-2001), Vice President of the National Institute for Defense Studies (2005-2006), and Commanding General of the GSDF Research and Development Command (2006-2008). In April 2009, Lt. Gen. Yamaguchi joined the NDA as Professor of Military History and Strategy. After the East Japan Great Earthquake, he served at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence as Special Adviser to the Cabinet on Crisis Management until September 2011. He was also previously a National Security Fellow at the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University (1991-1992). He graduated from the NDA in 1974 majoring in applied physics and received his M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Professor Rory Medcalf -

Professor Rory Medcalf

Head, National Security College

Professor Rory Medcalf has been Head of the National Security College at the Australian National University since January 2015. He has led the expansion of the College into policy engagement and futures analysis, in addition to its core work in education, executive development and research. His professional background involves almost three decades of experience across diplomacy, intelligence, think tanks and journalism, including as inaugural Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute.

Kathryn Jones -

Kathryn Jones

Telstra Strategic Accounts Executive, Telstra Enterprise

Kathryn Jones is a member of the Telstra Enterprise Leadership Team. In May 2018, Kathryn was appointed to the role of Telstra Strategic Accounts Executive, leading a team of over 600 people managing a portfolio of Telstra’s top tier Enterprise customers. Prior to this appointment, Kathryn held the position of Director for Telstra’s strategic $1.2b contract with the Australian Department of Defence. Under Kathryn’s leadership the performance of the account improved across all key performance indicators; customer satisfaction, revenue and margin. Before this appointment Kathryn was the Westpac Customer Delivery Executive in Telstra’s Global Services business unit.

David Singleton -

David Singleton

CEO, Austal

David Singleton is the Chief Executive Officer of Austal, the worlds largest aluminium shipbuilder and Australia's biggest defence exporter employing over 5500 people around the world. Prior to the appointment to Austal, David was the CEO of Poseidon Nickel and Clough Limited both based in Western Australia. Prior to moving to Australia in 2003, David was the Group Head of Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions for BAE Systems based in London.  Mr Singleton spent three years as the CEO of Alenia Marconi Systems and was based in Rome.  Mr Singleton has served as a member of the National Defence Industries Council in the UK, and as a Board member and VP of Defence for Intellect.  

Erich Hofmann -

Erich Hofmann

Managing and Executive Director, Hofmann Engineering Pty Ltd

As an Executive Director of Hofmann Engineering, Erich Hofmann is in charge of business units such as Mining, Manufacture, Defence, Aerospace, Rail, Sugar, Cement and others. As Managing Director Erich has worked hard to keep Hofmann Engineering strong in a very competitive market environment and in the last ten years he has orchestrated the purchase of additional branches (most with workshops attached) in Australia; including Melbourne, Bendigo & Newcastle and Overseas Chile, Peru, Canada, India and China.  

Dr Sheila A. Smith -

Dr Sheila A. Smith

Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Sheila A. Smith, an expert on Japanese politics and foreign policy, is senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). She is the author of Intimate Rivals: Japanese Domestic Politics and a Rising China (Columbia University Press, 2015) and Japan's New Politics and the U.S.-Japan Alliance (Council on Foreign Relations, June 2014). Her current research focuses on how geostrategic change in Asia is shaping Japan's strategic choices. In the fall of 2014, Smith began a project on Northeast Asian Nationalisms and Alliance Management. Read more

Dr Andrew Dowse AO -

Dr Andrew Dowse AO

WA Universities supporting Defence

Andrew Dowse served as an electronic engineer with the Royal Australian Air Force over a 37 year career in areas such as air defence, IT, communications and electronic warfare.  His senior appointments included oversight of Defence capability planning, Air Force strategy and his final posting as the Defence strategic J6.  Andrew retired from active military service at the rank of Air Vice-Marshal in early 2018 and now works at Edith Cowan University, where he is developing research and education programs to support Defence.

Taeyong Cho -

Taeyong Cho

Former Vice Foreign Minister and Former Ambassador to Australia, Republic of Korea

Having returned from Australia where he served as Ambassador, Taeyong Cho was appointed as First Vice Foreign Minister in 2014. In 2015, Ambassador Cho moved to the Presidential Office to serve as First Deputy Director of the Office of National Security, a position to coordinate North Korea and national security policies. Ambassador Cho joined the Foreign Service in 1980 and served in New York, Iraq, Washington, Bangkok and as Ambassador in Ireland. From 2011 to 2013, he served as Korea’s Ambassador to Australia. Throughout his career, his focus was on North Korea nuclear issue and Korea-US relations. He participated in the Six Party Talks in 2004 and 2005. In 2017, Ambassador Cho retired from the government service after the change of government.

Dr Huong Le Thu -

Dr Huong Le Thu

Senior Analyst, Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Dr Huong Le Thu is a senior analyst at ASPI, Defence and Strategy Program. Prior to joining ASPI she worked at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs (ANU), Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore), and Institute of International Relations (Taiwan). Her research interests include multilateral security in Asia, foreign policy in post-socialist countries, as well as identity politics. She has held short-term research fellowships in Seoul (private think-tank), Kuala Lumpur (University of Malaya) and Jakarta (the ASEAN Secretariat). She is an alumna of the DKI Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, and a recipient of the U.S. State Department Fellowship for East Asian Security and IISS ShangriLa Dialogue Southeast Asian Fellow.

Darryl Hockey -

Darryl Hockey

Deputy Chairman and Spokesperson, Henderson Alliance

Darryl Hockey is Deputy Chairman and spokesperson for the Henderson Alliance, an industry group which develops and promote the capabilities of small businesses in WA’s defence industries.  They have also collaborated to establish a national body known as the Australian Defence Alliance, with almost one thousand members. Darryl has worked in senior executive roles in mining and resources, major infrastructure and engineering projects, public policy, agribusiness, international market development, media and communications, government relations and regulatory affairs – as well as defence industry business development.  He has also worked as a senior adviser to state and federal Cabinet Ministers.


Rick Newnham -

Rick Newnham

Chief Economist, Chamber of Commerce and Industry

As Chief Economist of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCI) Rick Newnham is responsible for advocacy on behalf of the WA business community. He leads CCI's economics, policy, government relations, marketing and events teams. Most recently Rick led the WA business campaign for GST reform nationally which resulted in the Productivity Commission backing CCI WA’s solution and the Federal Government proposing a major overhaul of the GST distribution system.

Kris Constantinides -

Kris Constantinides

Chairman, Australian Industry Defence Network in Western Australia

Kris has been with Airflite, an Australian Defence Contractor, since he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce double major in Corporate Administration and Management in 2003. In 2016, Kris became a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and has recently completed his Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Kris is the Chairperson of the Australian Industry Defence Network in Western Australia (AIDN-WA), which seeks to promote the interests of the Defence industry. He is also the Chairperson of Megaturbines, a newly formed business focussing on the energy, oil and gas sector in Australia and Asia.

Professor Craig Valli -

Professor Craig Valli

Director of the ECU Security Research Institute

Craig’s diverse career has evolved from working within the secondary education sector to his current position as the Director of ECU’s Security Research Institute and Fellow of the Australian Computer Society.  His area of expertise is cyber security, an area that has rapidly developed in both importance and relevance as we become increasingly dependent on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to run our economies and many facets of everyday life. Craig has worked in the ICT education and research sector his entire life, initially in the secondary sector, teaching ICT for a period of 12 years.  In addition to this, Craig was part owner and director of one of Perth’s first Internet Service providers (Global Data Access) in 1995.

Ashley Townshend -

Ashley Townshend

Director, Foreign Policy and Defence, United States Studies Centre

Ashley Townshend is Director, Foreign Policy and Defence at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. He works on international security and strategic affairs with a focus on the Asia-Pacific, including maritime security, alliance politics, and US, Chinese, and Australian foreign policy. A frequent contributor to the Australian and international media, Ashley’s research has been widely published in think tank, policy, and academic outlets.