National members elected their new Board members at the AIDN National AGM held on 23 November. Carl Quarterman has been elected Chair of AIDN National, replacing outgoing Chair Graham Priestnall. Alexander Robinson was re-elected to the Board for a second two-year term and was voted by the Board to the role of Deputy-Chair. Newcomers Sarah Cullens and Peter Freed were elected to the Board for two-year terms and Sarah was voted by the Board to the role of Treasurer.  Jon Hawkins has been re-elected for a one-year term and joins ongoing Board members Julie Savage and Sarah Pavillard, who was elected by the Board to the role of Secretary.

Chairman Carl Quarterman is currently the Managing Director of the third-generation family-owned Queensland Gaskets in Brisbane, and brings over 20 years of experience in the engineering and defence industry and numerous State Government Ministerial Advisory roles to the AIDN National Board.  A passionate and ardent advocate of Australian Manufacturing, Carl is leading his company into the modern era of high technology manufacturing and has fulfilled many roles across the AIDN Executive, including Queensland State President and National Deputy Chair.

Deputy Chair and former RAAF pilot Alexander Robinson is currently the Director of Business Pursuit – Aviation, Automotive and Defence at Seeing Machines, based in Melbourne, where he designs and manufactures state-of-the-art software, hardware and systems that are currently incorporated across multiple global industries, by some of the world’s most recognisable brands.  A respected aviation journalist and commentator, Alexander has been an AIDN Victoria Committee Member and brings 20+ years of defence aviation, training and communications expertise to the Board.

AIDN National Treasurer Sarah Cullens is the Founder and Managing Director of Precision Public Affairs, a bipartisan government relations firm based in Canberra and brings almost 25 years of experience working at the highest level of the federal government for two Prime Ministers, in global corporate affairs and government relations, to the AIDN Board,  Sarah was instrumental in driving the delivery of the Inaugural AIDN Policy Symposium and Sovereign Capability Showcase recently held in Parliament House, Canberra, which saw 22 of AIDN’s member companies showcase their sovereign capability to the Members and Senators of the 47th Parliament.

AIDN National Secretary Sarah Pavillard is the Founder and CEO of ADROITA in Sydney, a future focused Defence engineering, professional services and business strategy consultancy driven by the purpose of Engineering Success for Sovereign Capability.  A former RAN Officer, Sarah is also a Board Member of the Submarine Institute of Australia and brings over 25 years of uniformed and civilian defence industry experience to the Board.

Newly elected Board member and software engineering and scientist, Peter Freed is currently the Founder and Managing Director at Cirrus Real Time Processing Systems in Sydney, which delivers high quality products and services to meet our customer information processing goals in real time and mission-critical applications.  Peter is also a longstanding Member of the AIDN NSW Executive Committee and brings almost 30 years of experience in defence industry to the Board.

Re-elected Board member and distinguished ADF Veteran, Jon Hawkins is currently CEO of Omni Executive, which provides trusted, proven and dedicated solutions for government and industry, across aerospace, consulting, security and vetting sectors.

Ongoing Board member Julie Savage is currently a Director at Brisbane-based Cognesis, which provides highly skilled, qualified and experienced technical contractors, including professional ‘tiger’ teams, for short- and long-term projects across Australia.  A member of the AIDN Qld Board of Directors and a former Advisory Board Member to the SME Gateway, Julie brings a wealth of defence industry expertise to the Board.

The newly elected AIDN Board is composed of four (4) men and three (3) women, making it the most equally represented Board in AIDN’s 25+ year history and represents the states of Queensland, the ACT, NSW and Victoria.  Unfortunately, WA and SA are not represented on this occasion due to a lack of candidate nominations.

“I want to thank the departing Board members Gary Bettcher, and Graham Priestnall for their devotion to AIDN National and their personal drive during the transition to a single National Entity to ensure that the organisation maintains its position as the peak industry body for Australian Defence Companies, in particular the Small to Medium Enterprises” newly elected Chair Carl Quarterman said.

The Board has also immediately appointed Steve Ludwig to an advisory position to the Board. “Steve brings experience from his time in the AIDN NT committee and a variety of other committee roles.  He has a desire for AIDN National to develop diversity to defence supply chains, Indigenous Engagement, Defence regional development, and Sovereign capability.”

AIDN National’s newly elected members bring with them a vast amount of experience working in the Australian Defence Industry sector and represents the diversity of AIDNs membership with members from across the nation. On the back of the success of the Inaugural AIDN Policy Symposium and Sovereign Capability Showcase, and in the context of the landmark Defence Strategic Review (DSR) and the Defence Industry Development Strategy (DIDS) the new AIDN National Board looks forwarded to continuing to work with the Australian Government to ensure that Australian companies are able to compete in a fair and equitable manner to secure significant work share for Australia’s Defence Force.

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