Tasmania has become the latest state to appoint its inaugural defence industry advocate to raise the profile of the state’s defence capabilities.
The Hodgman government has appointed Rear Admiral (Ret'd) Steve Gilmore AM, CSC to strengthen the links between the defence services, defence primes and the state's local industries to advance Tasmania’s contribution towards the $30 billion a year national defence investment.
Gilmore has recently finished full-time service after a long and distinguished defence career that included many years at the most senior levels of the Australian Defence Force, both at home and in service abroad.
Tasmania's Minister for State Growth Matthew Groom said Gilmore will provide strategic advice on focusing the state's engagement activities to further attract Defence, public and private investment while also identifying opportunities and knowledge of the sector in general.
Groom said the role will be invaluable in assisting government and industry stakeholders in navigating the Defence processes and practices in order to be at the forefront of future contributions and participation.
The retired Rear Admiral was the desired candidate due to his extensive experience in strategic policy and strategy analysis and development, capability planning, operations and training requirements through senior command and leadership appointments spanning the past 20 years. He is well-known and respected across government, industry and military circles in Australia and abroad.
Pivot Maritime International's managing director Jeffrey Hawkins said the appointment is a step in the right direction for Tasmania's defence industry.
"I congratulate the Tasmanian government for its foresight and vision in appointing a defence advocate for the Tasmanian business community," Dr Hawkins said.
"The appointment of former Rear Admiral Steve Gilmore, who has an excellent track record of achievements in defence, will be a significant game changer for Tasmanian businesses in our efforts to obtain defence contracts and build a stronger defence industry.
"This is exciting news and comes at a critical time for Tasmania's defence industry, which will benefit enormously from the extensive experience and expertise of such a talented person."
Gilmore joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1977 from Adelaide, South Australia. Studying at the RAN College, Jervis Bay, he completed secondary, tertiary and initial professional education and training prior to graduating in 1981. Gilmore was promoted to Captain in 2001.
In 2002, Gilmore was appointed as the Director of Maritime Combat Development. This senior leadership position demanded oversight of detailed capability and user needs documentation and strategy across a very broad range of major maritime projects, including the Air Warfare Destroyer, Amphibious Ship, Armidale Class Patrol Boats and replacement underway replenishment vessel.
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Gilmore was appointed as Commander Australian Fleet from October 2009 to December 2011. Responsibility was focused on Navy capability generation and war fighting policy, strategy, doctrine, tactics and standards across all RAN submarines, surface ships and aircraft. Fleet Command also held responsibility for all Navy training (individual and collective) and included around 12,000 personnel.
Gilmore retired from full-time service in May 2017 after 40 years with the Department of Defence and Royal Australian Navy.