Hunter Defence

Conference showcasing Defence opportunities

The 10th Anniversary Hunter Defence Conference is under way at Crowne Plaza in the Hunter Valley, where about 160 delegates and 30 presenters are discussing the diverse opportunities in the Defence sector for regional SMEs.

Today’s Industry Showcase heard case studies from Hunter-based companies from a range of sectors who have successfully built solid portfolios of Defence work across land, sea and air, and in cyber technologies.

One such success story is Bohemia Interactive, a company that started in a shed in Anna Bay in the early 2000s and now produces game-based military software used to train hundreds of thousands of soldiers, across 39 countries, every year.

Varley Group Managing DirectorJeff Phillips described his company’s journey from winning a single Defence contract 30 years ago to becoming a leading Australian supplier of innovative engineered solutions to Defence and aerospace customers.

“The conference is squarely aimed at linking Primes and regional SMEs in terms of global supply chain opportunities and advising manufacturers and suppliers how they can ensure they are ‘Defence ready’, Hunter Defence Chair Tim Owen said Owen said.

Former Defence and Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne will speak at tonight’s gala dinner, following a spectacular low-flying aerial display by Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall.

Tomorrow, delegates will hear from will hear from Defence Primes, government and industry leaders and senior capability development staff from Army, Navy and Air Force headquarters.

Prior to this week’s conference, Hunter Defence hosted a discussion session for SMEs with the Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price, held at HunterNet offices on Tuesday morning.

Hunter Defence is a collaborative group that promotes Hunter industry expertise and capability to attract more defence industry manufacturing and supply opportunities to the region. It includes key stakeholder groups across business, industry, government, education and training.

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