Continuing our tradition of producing a unique and high-quality product with each new edition, WA DEFENCE REVIEW is delighted to announce the release of our fifth edition of the Annual Publication. Brimming with expert analysis and commentary, as well as highlighting the depth and diversity of the defence industry at both the state and national levels, this year’s edition contains dozens of extra pages of informative and thought-provoking content.
In tandem with the increased content, our readership continues to grow, cementing the Annual Publication’s status as the largest of its kind in Australia. Our print run reaches 6000 hard copies, with the publication distributed to a broad cross-sectoral policy and industry audience and targeted decision-makers across Australia and New Zealand. Our total readership is now in excess of 10,000 people, confirming that the Annual Publication continues to go from strength to strength, building upon its firm foundations as one of Australia’s leading publications for the defence sector.
At the forefront of this edition are the many implications of AUKUS and the recently released Defence Strategic Review 2023, with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Hon Richard Marles, discussing those and other matters in an exclusive and wide-ranging interview.
In another first, and confirming again WA DEFENCE REVIEW’s unique ability to bring the views of key political, defence and industry leaders directly to our readers, we are pleased to bring you commentary from two state and territory government heads: WA Premier Hon Roger Cook and NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles. In articles available only to WA DEFENCE REVIEW readers, Mr Cook gives an exclusive update on developments in the state’s space sector – a field that is set to become a national and global hub – while Ms Fyles shares the latest news in the NT’s evolution as the forward operating base for the ADF and allies.
Rounding out our ministerial-level pieces are interviews and commentary from Hon Pat Conroy, Minister for Defence Industry; Hon Matt Keogh, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs; Hon Paul Papalia, WA Minister for Defence Industry; Hon Bill Johnston, WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy and Hydrogen Industry; and Hon Simone McGurk, WA Minister for Training.
Again this year, we have introduced more new columns to the Annual Publication to markedly widen our coverage of issues germane to the defence sector. In addition to our regularly featured sections, this year’s edition also includes columns addressing such highly topical matters as Critical Minerals, Energy Resilience, Disaster & Emergency Response, Academia & Universities, International Trade & Export, and International Relations & Diplomacy.
Headlining the latter column is a rare and exclusive interview with ADM Rob Bauer, Chair of the NATO Military Committee, in which he shares his insights on matters pertaining to regional and global strategic challenges, including cyber security and climate change, and the growing cooperation between NATO and Australia.
WA DEFENCE REVIEW is also privileged to share two significant contributions from the Henderson naval and maritime precinct: a comprehensive overview of the projects and transformations already underway at BAE Systems Australia’s Henderson shipyard, being an integral component of the Australian Marine Complex, by Blake Pilgrim, WA Head of Operations at Henderson; and an exclusive feature interview with Paddy Gregg, Chief Executive Officer of defence prime contractor and global shipbuilder, Austal, who provides a detailed overview of the company’s status and operations, and how it is positioning itself to meet future challenges, achieve growth and strengthen its commercial position.
Elsewhere, among the many and varied topics examined by our expert contributors, are the tangled China-India-US triangle and Australia’s possible strategic entrapment, by Professor Jingdong Yuan; the evolving nature of the Australia-Indonesia relationship, by Dr Greta Nabbs-Keller; and the threat posed by hypersonic weapons following their first combat use, by Dr James Bosbotinis; while Professor Sascha-Dominik Dov Bachmann analyses the lessons from the invasion and ensuing conflict in Ukraine and the likely implications for Australia.
Issues of regional security are further explored in more expert analysis featuring a range of perspectives and covering matters such as the importance of the Bay of Bengal to Australia, by Dr Rajat Ganguly; and giving complete coverage of Northern Australian strategic considerations, from the North-West of WA and the Indian Ocean Territories across to Far North Queensland, is expert analyses by Dr Gregor Ferguson and Dr Peter Layton. Complementing that coverage is a thoughtful and moving account by CMDR Tilo Kalski of the remarkable and historic 2021 visit to WA by the German Navy frigate FGS Bayern.
Closer to home, respected senior aviation journalist Emma Kelly gives an update from Perth’s Jandakot Airport – already one of the busiest general aviation airports in Australia – as it cements its place as a leading general aviation hub astride the Indian Ocean, with a large and growing cohort of organisations active in the defence, para-public and national security sectors.
Other important topics addressed in this edition are the synergies between defence, energy and resources, and critical infrastructure and disruptive technologies. In that vein, among the many outstanding contributions is the need to strengthen Australia’s critical infrastructure security and resilience, which is discussed by Hamish Hansford, Deputy Secretary, Cyber and Infrastructure Security at the Department of Home Affairs; Jason Brown, Deputy Chair, Policy Forum of Australian Security Executives; and Toby Horstead, National Chair of the Asset Management Council.
While progress towards the carbon-free zero-emissions highway is explored by Dr Adam Osseiran and Peter Kasprzak (both of the Hydrogen Society of Australia and Innovate Australia), Shannon O’Rourke, CEO, Future Battery Industries CRC; and Dr Kathie McGregor, Research Director – Advanced Materials and Processing, CSIRO gives an inside view of her organisation’s work with Defence and industry.
Meanwhile, Stephen Duffield and Mark Musarra, both from the Society for Underwater Technology, share their expertise on how businesses can make a successful transition from the oil and gas sectors to defence industry, while Brendan Moon, Director-General of the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), outlines the actions taken by NEMA, including with Defence and the ADF, to cope with the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters. Similarly, our newest WA DEFENCE REVIEW Advocate, LCDR Samuel Sheppard, briefs us on some of the initiatives being taken by Defence to attract, recruit and retain Indigenous employees.
As can be seen, this year’s Annual Publication really is another substantial edition, and the many highlights listed above represent only a fraction of the wide-ranging nature of the content inside.
As always, producing an insightful and high-quality product such as our annual digest has been a true team effort, and everyone at WA DEFENCE REVIEW takes great pride in the release of another comprehensive bumper edition. As WA DEFENCE REVIEW Founder and Managing Editor, Serge DeSilva-Ranasinghe, observes, “The editorial team is rightly proud of this, our best-ever iteration of the Annual Publication, now in its fifth edition, as we at WA DEFENCE REVIEW celebrate our seventh anniversary. We strive to provide a unique product that analyses Australian defence and industry from a west coast perspective, filling a niche and value-adding to Australian national interests in a unique way.
“The detailed, yet accessible, nature of the content, accompanied by cartoons and illustrations of the highest quality, highlights our ongoing commitment to bringing greater attention to the Indian Ocean region, which, ultimately, is vital to Australia’s national interests.”
“Alongside this record-breaking edition – our best yet – we have also launched our new and updated website and I urge readers to visit and explore the information and many features that it contains.”
“The WA DEFENCE REVIEW team extends its sincerest thanks to our clients and stakeholders, and our many supporters and readers, who continue to believe in us and what we have achieved. Enjoy this outstanding edition!”