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Attending D+I Conference 2023 in Canberra

Understanding what lies ahead for Defence industry with the implementation of the 2023 Defence Strategic Review

Over the last three years Chatham Square has had a virtual representation at the Defence + Industry (D+I) conferences. So, it was pleasing for our Managing Director Steven Holloway to attend this year’s conference in person. As stated by Chris Deeble, Deputy Secretary Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group “The 2023 Defence Strategic Review has re-affirmed the importance of Australian Defence industry and the need to grow a sustainable sovereign industrial base, in line with Defence’s strategic requirements.”

Accordingly, the D+I Conference held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra provided a key platform to facilitate effective collaboration between Defence and industry. The program was informative and included the opportunity to engage directly with Defence’s leadership through live question sessions.

And as reported by the Australian Defence Magazine highlights included the Minister of Defence Richard Marles sitting down with Chris Deeble (pictured above) to stress the necessity of articulating where the national interests lie and the urgency of reshaping the ADF to become fit-for-purpose. There was a specific focus on pragmatism and transparency in acquisitions.

“Where we see that there is a particular capability or a particular function that needs to be performed, and there is one capability out there that everyone knows is the capability we need to get, well then faux competitions for the sake of it don’t make much sense to us,” said the Minister of Defence.

He also stated that more details on procurement ideals will be available once the Defence Industry Development Strategy is ready to share with industry next year.

To finish the day’s program, Defence’s current and future capabilities were introduced and discussed by Rear Admiral Stephen Hughes, Head Navy Capability; Major General Richard Vagg, Head Land Capability; Air Vice Marshal Wendy Blyth, Head Air Force Capability; and Rear Admiral David Mann, Head Joint Capabilities (pictured below).

“This was a very Defence heavy agenda for good reason and that was hopefully to give you more information than you’ve had before, and hopefully guide where you’re going, and we’ll back that up with future engagement,” said Chris Deeble, closing the event with assurances for more frequent partnering events in the future.

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