Defence & Security / Planning & Design

Defence to lead in change and innovation

Interview with Gregor Ferguson, Editor-at-Large, Australian Defence Magazine

While there are huge opportunities for both Defence and industry, leadership and courage need to come from Defence and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) to achieve their goals, says Gregor Ferguson.

Gregor Ferguson, Editor-at-Large of the Australian Defence Magazine, says in an interview that Strategic Reform Program (SRP) targets cannot be achieved without the defence industry and the industry will only follow the lead of Defence and DMO.

“It’s really up to Defence, up to the capability development group and above all the DMO to provide the settings in which industry works. Industry will happily follow Defence’s lead but Defence must be prepared to lead,” he says.

This leadership also affects innovation as the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is the major trigger for innovation in the Australian defence community.

“The ADF knows better than anybody else what it needs and when and the job that needs its equipment to do. That sets the goal for industry innovation,” he continues.

With a major reform in the process, it is difficult to gauge what Defence is going to need in the next ten years.

“I think the [Defence Capability Plan] as it currently stands is pretty good. It’s as good as we’re going to get and I think industry needs to work with what it’s got rather than aspire to something that may be quite unrealistic,” he says.

Mr Ferguson will chair Day 2 of the 7th Annual Australian Defence Magazine Congress on 23-24 February 2010 in Canberra.

He wants to ensure that people take on a sense of opportunity and a sense of their own responsibility to identify, pursue and make the most of the opportunities available.

“If everybody sits around waiting for somebody else to provide leadership or to provide a solution, that’s not going to happen. Industry and Defence need to understand that progress and future prosperity is a joint construct. They need to do this together.”

Other speakers attending the conference include The Hon Greg Combet MP, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science; Dr Stephen Gumley, Chief Executive Officer, Defence Materiel Organisation; Chris Jenkins, Managing Director, Thales Australia; and Jim McDowell, Chief Executive Officer, BAE Systems Australia.

To arrange a media pass, request more information or arrange speaker interviews please contact:

John Wilson; Informa Australia- 02 9080 4107;

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