Gig Guide: Defence accelerator brings in outside help

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Defence’s ambitious industry and research accelerator has brought in outside expert advisors, while ANU’s inaugural security chief returns to research and the founder of AUCloud heads home.

The Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator (ASCA), a $3.4 billion accelerator set up out of the Defence Strategic Review last year, has now brought in outside experts.

The review had recommended the accelerator sit “unencumbered” outside the Defence portfolio but it has been established within and headed by long-time defence science  officials.

ASCA head Professor Emily Hilder will take outside advice from the country’s chief scientist and industry leaders

They’ll now get external advice through a new advisory group that met for the first time this week. It includes:

  • Australia’s chief scientist, Dr Cathy Foley
  • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology deputy vice chancellor research and innovation Professor Calum Drummond
  • Former Technology Council of Australia chief, Kate Pounder
  • Silentium Defence chief executive, Dr James Palmer
  • Independent non-executive director, Dr Peter Yates

Defence has also formally announced Simon Firth, a former BAE Australia head of product, as Assistant Secretary, ASCA Capability Transition. He joined Defence last month.

At the federal Industry department, Christie McClure has been promoted to general counsel for Public Law and assistant secretary for legal services.

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water has made John Sheldon the interim Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner.

The Commissioner is an independent role to advise the Minister for Climate Change and Energy on community complaints about renewable energy, transmission and storage infrastructure.

Former commissioner Andrew Dyer retired last month and minister Chris Bowen is expected to announce a permanent replacement by June.

Standards Australia has appointed Emma Harrington as its new chief executive. Ms Harrington, who’s led media and insurance companies, replaces Adrian O’Connell who spent five of his 18 years at Standards Australia as chief executive.

The Australian National University’s inaugural chief information and security officer Suthagar Seevaratnam is stepping down after five and a half years.

Mr Seevaratnam said his association with ANU will continue, after being appointed a professor in the practice of cybersecurity with the ANU School of Computing. He also plans to continue contributing as an honorary professor after leaving.

AUCloud founder and chief executive for half a decade Phil Dawson has left the company. Mr Dawson passed the top job at the sovereign cloud specialist to Peter Maloney last year but had remained an executive director.

Australian defence contractor Electro Optic Systems (EOS) has announced three leadership changes.

Christian Tobergte was named as the new head of EOS Defence Systems International. Ian Cook is the new Australian EOS Defence Systems head and chief financial officer Clive Cuthell has added the role of chief operating officer.

Sarah McNamara will step down as chief executive of the Australian Energy Council at the end of the month after nearly six years at the helm of the peak body for generators and retailers. She will take up an executive role with Alinta Energy.

Visiting UTS professor and InnovationAus contributor Dr John Howard is starting a new position as Executive Director at Acton Institute for Policy Research and Innovation, a Canberra based research and policy development outfit

Digital health expert Dr Malcolm Thatcher has announced his appointment as a technology advisor to Health Law Partners.

University of Queensland executive director research partnerships Paul Nicholls left the university last week after more than two years that included developing its Trailblazers and CRCs.

The Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) — a leading industry body for sports technology and innovation  — has announced senior leadership changes and new board appointments.

Amy Crosland, currently manager of program operations and projects will step into the role of chief operating officer. Cam Vale, general manager operations will assume the position of chief financial officer.

ASTN has also added ASICE Vicsport chief Lisa Hasker and chairman, director and business executive Ron Gauci to the ASTN Board.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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