Rheinmetall AG is pleased to announce the establishment of a Supervisory Board overseeing the operation of its Australian business, Rheinmetall Defence Australia.

The Supervisory Board will comprise two distinguished Non-Executive Directors, the Hon. Robert Hill AC, a former Australian Defence Minister, and Lieutenant General John Caligari AO, DSC, a retired senior officer of the Australian Army.

The Supervisory Board will also comprise senior leadership from Rheinmetall Defence – including two Australians now based in Germany – Mr Ben Hudson, a Member of the Rheinmetall Defence Management Board and Head of Rheinmetall Vehicle Systems, and Mr Gordon Hargreave, a Member of the Rheinmetall Defence Management Board and Head of Rheinmetall Electronic Solutions.

Michael Wittlinger, Rheinmetall Vehicle Systems Chief Financial Officer and Head of Logistics Vehicles, and Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director Andrew Fletcher have also been appointed as Executive Directors.

Mr Hudson, a former officer in the Australian Army who has also worked at the Defence Materiel Organisation, will Chair the Supervisory Board.

Mr Hill is a retired Australian Senator who served 26 years as a Senator with distinction as both Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (1990–96) and Leader of the Government in the Senate (1996–2006).

Mr Hill was appointed Minister for the Environment (1996–98), Minister for the Environment and Heritage (1998–2001) and Minister for Defence (2001–06). In March 2006, Mr Hill retired from the Senate and was appointed Permanent Representative to the United Nations for Australia. He served in that position until May 2009. Mr Hill was named a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2012.

Lieutenant General Caligari graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1982 and was posted to the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. Since that time, he has had significant operational experience and senior commanding roles over a period of 30 years with the Australian Army, both overseas and in Australia.

In 2014, Lieutenant General Caligari was elevated to Officer of the Order of Australia, promoted to Lieutenant General and posted to Chief of Capability Development Group until his retirement in August 2015.

Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director, Andrew Fletcher, said: “Rheinmetall is on a considerable growth trajectory in Australia and our future pathway will rely on the insight and guidance provided by the Non-Executive and Executive Directors that make up our inaugural Australian Supervisory Board. “We welcome Robert and John to Rheinmetall and look forward to working together to achieve significant success in the coming months and years ahead.”

Rheinmetall Defence Australia (RDA) is a subsidiary of Rheinmetall AG, one of the world’s leading producers of defence systems and equipment for ground, air and naval forces. Headquartered in Germany, Rheinmetall Defence has representation in sixteen countries, including Australia with offices in Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane. Operating across three divisions of Vehicle Systems, Electronic Solutions and Weapons & Munitions, they set the global standard for excellence in their field.

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