WA DEFENCE REVIEW Welcomes Advocates For Women In STEM And Veterans’ Engagement

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As part of WA DEFENCE REVIEW’s ongoing commitment to defence sector corporate social responsibility, we are pleased to announce the creation of two community advocate roles. Our collaboration with the advocates will further deepen our engagement with those in the sector striving to create positive social and cultural outcomes.

The roles of ‘Advocate – Women in STEM’ and ‘Advocate – Veteran’s Engagement’ will be taken on respectively by Mrs Cherish McNamara and Mr Andre De Barr. WA DEFENCE REVIEW looks forward to assisting both advocates in bringing exposure to the issues of importance to their communities. 

This will be done by way of referrals, invitation to high profile events and other complimentary services offered through our suite of capabilities. Similarly, WA DEFENCE REVIEW welcomes gaining greater insights into, and building connections with, the communities the advocates engage with. 

Our Advocate – Women in STEM, Cherish McNamara is a former Instructor Pilot in the US Air Force and accumulated over 500 combat hours in multiple deployments. Since moving to WA she has used her aviation experience to develop, design and deliver training programs, including with drones.

Cherish has been deeply involved in numerous community campaigns, and has long been an active supporter of girls pursuing STEM, both in their studies and as a career.  “Aviation is infused with STEM, and I am passionate about getting young girls interested in a career in aviation, especially as a pilot,” says Cherish. “I look forward to working with WA DEFENCE REVIEW to build even more awareness and support for this drive to nurture the talent and skills of women in STEM.”

Advocate – Veteran’s Engagement, Andre De Barr served as a commando in the Royal Marines and was deployed to various locations around the world. His operational service included maritime interdiction operations in the Arabian Gulf, interdicting piracy and engaging in counter-terrorism operations between the Horn of Africa and Oman. 

After moving to WA, Andre held senior positions at several major security companies before establishing his own business, VUCAP, offering strategy and risk advisory services. Andre is a keen supporter of veterans’ rights and looks forward to working with WA DEFENCE REVIEW to champion the views and aspirations of veterans in the broader sector. Says Andre, “I see a strong WA Defence voice as being critical to supporting ex-service women and men in their desire to contribute as fruitfully in civilian life, as they did in their military careers.”

WA DEFENCE REVIEW Founder and Managing Editor Serge DeSilva-Ranasinghe commented, “We look forward to building on the work we have already done with various not-for-profit organisations, to bring greater focus to the efforts of people like Cherish and Andre who are willing to dedicate their time and energy to what they believe in.” He added, “Cherish and Andre’s message of opportunity and inclusivity is very much in line with our own ethos. We can’t think of two more worthy people – or causes – to launch this timely advocacy initiative.” 


Established in 2017, WA DEFENCE REVIEW set an important historical precedent by launching the first West Australian-based platform to support Australia’s defence sector across the spectrum of politics, government, defence, industry and academia.

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