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2023 judges

With a judging panel including former senior ADF and military leaders, academics, business executives, entrepreneurs and innovators, the Australian Defence Industry Awards is peer-reviewed recognition of your capabilities in defence and passion for driving the industry forward.

Adrian Tembel
Adrian Tembel
Chief Executive Partner,
Thomson Geer

Adrian Tembel is an economics and honours law graduate of the University of Adelaide. He began practising corporate and technology law in 1993 at his law firm Thomson Geer. He became a Partner of that firm in 1997 and its Chief Executive Partner in 2009. He is also a part-time Commissioner of the South Australian Productivity Commission and a Director of the Hackett Foundation.

Air-Vice Marshal (Retd) John Quaife
Air-Vice Marshal (Retd) John Quaife
Former Air Commander Australia

Retired Air Vice-Marshal John Quaife’s RAAF flying career focussed on fighter operations. He is a Fighter Combat Instructor with nearly 4000 flying hours mostly operating F/A-18A Hornet aircraft. Between January 1996 and December 1998, Air Vice-Marshal Quaife commanded No 77 Squadron.

From December 2004, Air Vice-Marshal Quaife served as the director of the US Combined Air Operations Centre where he was responsible for orchestrating coalition air power in both Iraq and Afghanistan. On return to Australia in 2005, he was appointed as Air Commander Australia. In this role, he was responsible for the production and delivery of all air force combat capability.

On retirement from the Permanent Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Quaife accepted an appointment with BAE Systems Australia as General Manager Aviation Solutions. John also served as a Director of the Hunter Business Chamber and was Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the RDA Hunter ME Pathways program. John retired from BAE Systems in 2014.

Air Vice-Marshal Quaife serves on the RAAF reserve and is an author for Air Force History and Heritage. He also continues to fly regularly.

Rear Admiral (Ret'd) Bob Love
Rear Admiral (Ret'd) Bob Love
Former Royal Navy Director General - Ships

A highly experienced, committed and enthusiastic leader who can build and enthuse large teams delivering the most complex high value projects to time cost and quality in difficult political environments. I provide strong governance, leadership and strategic management with the application of well-developed emotional intelligence bringing the very best out of staff. I have successfully delivered programmes from multi- billion dollar aircraft carriers to smaller sustainment, asset management based projects in my two careers to date. I have chaired two successful Alliances, The Design Support Alliance (a multi- million dollar contract) and the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (a multi-billion dollar contract). In addition I was fundamental in setting up the new Warship Asset Management Agreement (a multi-billion dollar Alliance supporting the Anzac ships) signed 1 July 2016.
I am a dual-national (UK and Australian) with a current Australian security clearance. I am the proud recipient from Her Majesty the Queen an Order of the British Empire (for the recovery of HMS Nottingham’s grounding off the coast of Australia) and a Companion of the Bath (for services to the Royal Navy and in particular securing the New Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers).

Christopher Pyne
Christopher Pyne
Former Minister for Defence and Defence Industry

Christopher is Chairman and Principal of strategic advisory and public affairs consulting firms Pyne and Partners and GC Advisory.
Christopher is Chairman of Vision 2020, the national peak eye health body in Australia and Chairman of the Australia United Arab Emirates Business Council, as well as being a Director of the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships and its Foundation. He sits on the Advisory Board of the mental health body, the Orygen Institute. He is Patron of the veterans charity, Robe to Recovery.
Christopher is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of munitions and weapons company, NIOA and the Australian Missile Corporation. As well, he is an adviser to the Dubai headquartered, international consulting group, Dar al Handasah and is on the Advisory Board of 3D manufacturer, Amaero Ltd. He is a non Executive Director of the Canberra based defence company, Xtek Ltd.
Christopher is Chairman of the SA Governors Council of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia.
He is an Industry Professor in the University of South Australia Business School specialising in Defence and Space.
He has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Adelaide, a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the University of South Australia and an Honorary Doctorate in the School of the Professions from the University of Adelaide.
He is the author of two books - “A Letter to my Children”, published in 2015 by Melbourne University Press and “The Insider”, published in 2020 by Hachette Australia.
Christopher hosts a podcast series through the Southern Cross Austereo owned Listnr service called Pyne Time.
He is a member of the Claxton’s Speakers Bureau stable of public presenters and speaks at conferences and events both domestically and internationally on defence, national security, politics and government.
He is an Ambassador for the Adelaide Football Club.
Christopher was elected to Parliament in 1993 and served as the Member for Sturt for 26 years. During this time, he was in the Liberal Party Leadership Group for 10 years, Leader of the House of Representatives for six years, and served in Cabinet for six years.
Christopher was a Minister in the Howard, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison Governments, holding the portfolios of Ageing, Education, Industry Innovation and Science, Defence Industry and Defence.

Christopher Pyne served as the 54th Australian Defence Minister. He was responsible for delivering a $200 billion build-up of Australia’s military capability, the largest in Australia’s peacetime history.
Serving previously as Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher assisted in developing the 2016 Defence White Paper and implementing the Integrated Investment Program.
During his time as a Cabinet Minister in the Defence portfolio, Christopher contracted the Hunter Class Anti-Submarine Warfare frigates, the Attack Class Submarine project, the Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels, the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles, the Loyal Wingman (since renamed Ghost Bat) UAVs and secured Australia as the Asia Pacific hub for the sustainment and maintenance of the F35-A Joint Strike Fighter.

Christopher also worked to ensure the growth and sustainment of Australia’s Defence Industry, and thus implemented Australia’s Defence Export Strategy, Defence Industrial Capability Plan, and the Naval Shipbuilding Plan. He also created the Defence Cooperative Research Centre, the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (since renamed the Office of Defence Industry Support), the Defence Innovation Hub, and the Next Generation Technology Fund.
He helped create the Pacific Step Up to strengthen Australia’s strategic role in the South Pacific and the Australia France Initiative to take advantage of the close relationship with France through the Attack Class Submarine Project. He settled Defence Memoranda of Understanding with Israel, China, and Switzerland, and initiated Memoranda of Understanding with the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Christopher was also one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Australian Space Agency.
As a Minister for Education and Minister for Industry Innovation and Science, respectively, Christopher delivered the National Innovation and Science Agenda, reformed the National Curriculum, introduced compulsory literacy and numeracy testing for Australian teaching graduates and expanded phonics teaching. He twice attempted to reform the University sector in Australia.
Christopher helped create Headspace: the Youth Mental Health Initiative” in 2006.
He was the longest serving non-Labor Member of the House of Representatives from South Australia since Federation in 1901.
Christopher lives in Aldgate in South Australia and is married to Carolyn and is the father of Eleanor, Barnaby, Felix and Aurelia.
Before entering Parliament, Christopher practised as a solicitor at Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Thomson Geer.

Daniel Lai
Daniel Lai

Daniel is the CEO of archTIS. archTIS is an acknowledged world leader in the provision of Multi-level Security (MLS) systems that deliver secure content and collaboration solutions to solve Trusted Information Sharing challenges. Daniel has been in the industry in both senior commercial and government roles for over 20 years. Daniel is a founding member of the company and has successfully developed the business with his partners to be recognised by the Australian and US Department of Defence as thought leaders in information sharing strategies.

archTIS supports a number of clients in: Defence, Law Enforcement and Government organisations who are charged with the security and dissemination of classified and critical information. archTIS has recently launched its first Defence Industry Secure Collaboration Platform, DISC.

Dr Maria Pozza
Dr Maria Pozza
Director and Principal Lawyer,
Gravity Lawyers

Dr Pozza is the principal of Gravity Lawyers and her expertise includes: Commercial international space law, domestic legislative frameworks over military space-uses as well as international law space law dealing with armed-conflict, Cybersecurity and IT, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and Technology
Dr Maria Pozza gained her PhD in Law and Politics at the University of Otago, specialising in Space Law and International Relations in 2013 and was also awarded the visiting Lauterpacht Fellowship from the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at University of Cambridge UK in recognition of her work and contributions to space law. Dr Pozza’s expertise in space law has been called upon by a number of overseas and national government agencies, domestic and international institutions, research institutions, legislative development committees, and an impressive portfolio of private clients.
As a prolific publisher, Dr Pozza is presently working on a book publication titled: Risk Management in Outer Space Activities – An Australian and New Zealand Perspective as part of her Book Series titled Space Law and Policy.

Dr Paul Scully-Power
Dr Paul Scully-Power
Executive Chairman,
Prime Solutions Pacific

Dr Paul Scully-Power is an integrator, strategist and orthogonal thinker and is Australia’s first astronaut. He has a unique international background in Industry, Government, Defence, Space and Academia in the US, UK, Australia, and NZ, and is well known for his network of people and institutions around the world. A leader in applying technology, he has broad expertise in national security & intelligence, aviation & aerospace, cybersecurity, remote sensing, and systems analysis & ICT. He is currently engaged in AI (national iAward for innovation), UAVs, microsatellites, smart sensors, nanotechnology and big data analytics.
Dr Scully-Power has led many high-tech, defence and security programs. He held executive appointments under Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, and was Deputy to the Associate Technical Director, US Naval Undersea Warfare Center, where he held the US Navy Distinguished Chair of Underwater Acoustics He was a Research Associate at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Chairman of Membership of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, President of the Fort Trumbull Federal Credit Union, and served on the Universities & Colleges Accreditation Board and the US Office of Naval Research.
Dr Scully-Power qualified for very high altitude full pressure suit flying at Edwards Air Force Base, and was a flight crew instructor in the NASA Astronaut Office, Johnson Space Center, Houston Texas, where he became Australia’s first astronaut flying aboard Challenger on the 13th mission of the Space Shuttle.

George Misfud
George Misfud

With over 25 years' experience in Senior Executive Leadership roles, his working career has spanned the globe. While employed with Compass Gruop as the Executive Director, his main responsibilities included HR/IR; Rish Management; Health, Safety, Environment and Quality; and Media Relations. George is a committed advocate of sustainable outcomes in the area of both Indigenous employment and Indigenous business.
Under George's leadership, Compass Group achieved a number of important milestones in its pursuit to promote indigenous economic development including the following awards; Inaugural recipient of the Prime Minister's Corporate Leaders for Indigenous Employment Award; judged on of the "Top Ten Best Employers in Australia"; winner of the "Prime Minister's Employer of the Year" award ; the IFAP Safe Way Gold Award and in 2010, the Austrailan Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) "Industry Innovation Award in recognition of our pioneering role in implementing Indigenous joint venture and employment strategies, the Restaurant and Catering George Muir Professional Development award for Indigenous Development programs in 2013. The Supply Nation of the year Corporate member in 2014.
Now a Director of the Indigenous Defence & Infrastructure Consortium (iDiC), George and the team at the iDiC are at the forefront of change working closely with federal and state governments, captains of corporate industry and prime contractors; and have the opportunity to innovate and develop a better future. George is passionate about building Indigenous Business capability and helpng Indigenous Entrepeneurs thrive.
Originally trained as an Electronics Engineer George is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is the Chair of Sydney Montessori School and was director of Restaurant & Catering Australia, Supply Nation and the Sydney Convention and Exchibition centre.
George is married to Krista, has 4 daughters, and enjoys being with family, fishing, women's soccer and being on and in the sea.

John Nerurker
John Nerurker
Chief Executive Officer,
Mills Oakley

John has been CEO of Mills Oakley for over ten years. Under John’s stewardship, Mills Oakley has evolved to become one of Australia’s most successful and fast-growing legal partnerships.
Responsible for the firm’s overall direction and strategy, John brings his own brand of energetic leadership and spirit to deliver on the firm’s vision of outstanding legal expertise and client service.
With the implementation of a number of ground-breaking initiatives, such as the launch of Australia’s first legal services Accelerator, John has developed a reputation as one of Australia’s most progressive legal CEOs.

Kim Chandler McDonald
Kim Chandler McDonald
CEO and Co-Founder,
Flat World Intergration

Kim Chandler McDonald is the Co-Founder and CEO of leading edge, high-tech software firm, FlatWorld Integration Pty Ltd. She is a sought after speaker and a respected thought leader on disruptive approaches, transformational trends and international business strategies - particularly those involving the global DACE (Digital, Attention and Collaboration Economies).
Kim sits on Griffith University’s Enterprise Advisory Board and the Advisory Board of WordSmithRapport, a world-class professional development and advisory firm based in Washington, D.C., She is the award winning author of Innovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change Our World and Flat World Navigation: Collaboration and Networking in the Global Digital Economy. Her latest book project, Postcards from Tomorrow is in support of Lou’s Place, Sydney Australia’s only daytime drop-in centre for women who are victims of domestic abuse.

Major General (Ret'd) Gus McLachlan
Major General (Ret'd) Gus McLachlan
Strategic Defence Advisor (Former Commander, Forces Command Australian Army),
Queensland Dept State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure & Planning

Gus McLachlan completed his 37-year career with the Australian Army in 2019, retiring as a Major General.
Gus McLachlan has been responsible for generating Australian Defence capability in the land domain, cyber space, electronic warfare and command and control systems. He completed two years as Head of Army Modernisation, during which time he worked closely with industry to commence a major recapitalisation of Army equipment and to network the systems of the Army.
Gus McLachlan’s military career concluded after he led Land Forces Command where he was responsible for 35,000 women and men of the Army.
He continued his leadership career in the commercial sector with Boral, Australia’s largest construction materials company, where he led Business Performance and Improvement during a major transformation activity.
Gus McLachlan is currently a Senior Adviser at Bondi Partners, a unique advisory firm offering strategic counsel to businesses in Australia and the United States. He is a Director and Strategic Adviser to Australian and US defence, cyber and space technology companies. He has been an Adjunct Professor at the Monash University and now advises The University of Sydney on national security research, and he chairs the Advisory Board for the Cyber and AI Futures Institute at Charles Sturt University. Gus is also Director of the not-for-profit Williams Foundation, a defence air and space “Think Tank”.
Gus was made an Officer in the Order or Australia (AO) for his contribution to Army Modernisation and awarded the United States Legion of Merit by Secretary James Mattis for his service in the international coalition force in Afghanistan.

Major General (Ret'd) Marcus Thompson
Major General (Ret'd) Marcus Thompson
Inaugrual Head Information Warfare for the Australian Defence Force
Mark Hodgson
Mark Hodgson
Mark Hodgson Transformational Leadership

Mark Hodgson comes from a corporate background and has held senior leadership roles in the UK, Australasia, Central Europe and Russia. He is now a leading thinker in Transformation and Influence - helping leaders to unlock their inner talents for success and happiness.

Mark has inspired large teams across a range of commercial and not-for-profit businesses. A natural disruptor, he helps executives, consultants and entrepreneurs to position themselves as leading influencers and is an expert in leading change.

His book, ‘Time to Shine: Adapting who you are and what you know to succeed in the ideas economy’ explains what we need to DO, BE and BUILD to show up as successful, fulfilled and authentic Influencers.

Mark is an Executive Coach, Author, Advisor and Keynote Speaker.

Tania Ezra
Tania Ezra
Technology Specialist,

Tania Ezra BA(ANU), MPM (USQ), PGCertAstro(Swin), ITIL, PMP, PMI-RMP, CPPD, MRMIA, MAIPM, MASA, SFC is a Security Specialist with Microsoft. She has extensive academic achievements and over 20 years of intimate end to end involvement in complex high-risk security programs, and has previously worked IBM, CSC and Logica.