defence connect logo

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

Finalists for the third Australian Defence Industry Awards unveiled

After deliberation from a leading panel of expert judges, Defence Connect has unveiled the finalists for the third annual Australian Defence Industry Awards.

After deliberation from a leading panel of expert judges, Defence Connect has unveiled the finalists for the third annual Australian Defence Industry Awards.

The Australian Defence Industry Awards was established in 2019 to celebrate the best and brightest in Australia’s innovative defence industry. From SMEs to primes, the awards recognise individuals and businesses who have gone above and beyond to support Australia’s national resilience and sovereign defence industry.


The event brings together key decision makers from across the industry, as well as government and defence in the industry’s night of nights – a black-tie gala event, presenting awards to Australia's best performing professionals and businesses across 30 categories.

This year's awards are supported by KBR as the Australian Defence Industry Awards principal partner for 2021.

Rob Hawketts, vice president KBR Government Solutions APAC, outlined that the events were an important opportunity to recognise the accomplishments of the entire industry.

“Following the great success of the past two Australian Defence Industry Awards, KBR is proud to once again be the Principal Partner for the event this year. These awards provide an important opportunity to collectively recognise and celebrate the achievements of the companies, organisations and individuals that make up our sovereign Defence industry in supporting and enhancing Australian Defence Capabilities,” Hawketts said.

Along with KBR, Aquaterro and Lockheed Martin Australia are supporting the event as the ADIA’s platinum partners, with Beca and BGIS as the event’s gold partners.


Liam Garman, editor for defence and security at Momentum Media, said that the awards were one of the most important events of the year for the defence industry.

“The Australian Defence Industry Awards are not only an amazing opportunity to recognise the breadth of talent in the industry, but it is also an opportunity for professionals to learn from businesses up and down the supply chain all the way from Australian SMEs to world leading defence industry primes,” Garman said.

“It really is a chance to step back and acknowledge how innovative and vibrant Australia's defence sector is, from the industry’s world-class scientists and innovators, right through to its hardworking graduates and executives. Everyone has a role to play.

“It is an absolute pleasure to host the third annual Australian Defence Industry Awards alongside KBR, with this year’s awards night shaping up to the biggest and best yet.”

The finalists for the Australian Defence Industry Awards are:

Academic of the Year

Sascha Bachmann - University of Canberra
Karu Esselle - University of Technology Sydney
Michelle Gee - RMIT University
Damien Guihen - University of Tasmania
Chang-Tsun Li - Deakin University
Vicky Mak - Deakin University
Abdulghani Mohamed - RMIT University
Saeid Nahavandi - Deakin University
Giselle Rampersad - Flinders University
Roberto Sabatini - RMIT University

Consultant of the Year

Paul Barnes - Accenture
Dr Samantha Crompvoets - Rapid Context
Jennifer Del Mastro - Nova Systems
Melinda Halliday - Coras Solutions
Andrew Heasman - Ocean Software
Sarah Howard - Aurecon
Alby Lombard - Beca
Brendan Maxwell - The Decisive Point
Sarah Pavillard - ADROITA
Emily Petie - GSA Management Consulting

Engineer of the Year

Mino Bucci - DroneShield
Josh Davis - Serco Australia
Aaron Debono - DEWC Services
Jennifer Del Mastro - Nova Systems
Charles Duncan - Boeing Defence Australia
Jason Height - Lockheed Martin Australia
Laura Imber - Airbus
Christopher Olorenshaw - QinetiQ
Derek Reinhardt - Northrop Grumman Australia
David Zemel - AeroPM

Executive of the Year

Colin Anstie - RD Consulting
Jim Boekel - Bluerydge
Robert Coorey - Geospatial Intelligence
Allan Dundas - DEWC Services
Adam Frizell - AeroPM
Andrew Gresham - BAE Systems Australia
Rebecca Humble - Nova Systems
Merik Karman - Penten
Oleg Vornik - DroneShield

Female Defence Leader of the Year

Kathleen Boseley - Airbus
Emily Frizell - AeroPM
Debbie Herberz - Noetic
Julie Latimore - Serco Australia
Amanda MacKinnell - Centre for Defence Industry Capability
Audra McCarthy - Defence Teaming Centre
Amanda McIntyre - PwC
Tamanna Monem - Queensland AI Hub
Emma Watson - Boeing Defence Australia

Graduate of the Year

Jesse Cilliers - Black Sky Aerospace
Jeff Dore - Nova Systems
Kate Jumeaux - Leidos Australia
Emilie Morscheck - Shoal Group
Lucas Moss - DEWC Services
Eksith Ranasinghe - QinetiQ
Aaron Scott - Boeing Defence Australia
Brett Smith - BAE Systems Maritime Australia
Ben Walsh - Noetic
Martin Williamson - KBR

Indigenous Defence Leader of the Year

Jake Adams - Northrop Grumman Australia
Richard Callaghan - TQCSI Yaran
Kieran Hynes - Willyama Services
C.B. (Neal) McGarrity - Bullroarers Australia
Steven Noy - Biodiversity Australia

Innovator of the Year

Guillaume Jounel - DroneShield
Murielle Kluge - University of Newcastle/Centre for Advanced Training Systems
Brendan Maxwell - The Decisive Point
Saeid Nahavandi - Deakin University
Blake Nikolic - Black Sky Aerospace
Shane "Buzz" Sarlin - Deloitte
Adam Secombe - Boeing Defence Australia
Ben Sologinkin - Northrop Grumman Australia
Stephen Witherden - Beca
Phil Yialeloglou - Penten

Marketing/Communications Professional of the Year

Mellissa Caasi - DEWC Services
Shey Dimon - Penten
Prashant Haldankar - Privasec
Rhianna Harby - Harby Studios
Madison Lowe - Unitronix
Brendan Maxwell - The Decisive Point
Paul Moss - PAL Aerospace
Jo Ramsay - Electro Optic Systems
Amanda Smith - RD Consulting
Jessica Thomas - Nova Systems

Rising star of the Year

Ryan Carmichael - The Whiskey Project Group
Jesse Cilliers - Black Sky Aerospace
Zac Clinton - Beca
Alexander Drew - Northrop Grumman Australia
Melanie Hill - QinetiQ
Annie Hu - Serco Australia
Angela Michtits - Jacobs Australia
Leon Purton - Northrop Grumman Australia
Nikita Sardesai - Shoal Group
Emma Watson - Boeing Defence Australia

Scientist of the Year

Ronel Jit - Avisure
Chang-Tsun Li - Deakin University
Abdulghani Mohamed - RMIT University
Fabio Zambetta - RMIT University

Technician of the Year

Jessica Edwick - Penten
Lalit Gautam - Avanade
Keith Grundy - NIOA
Matt Phillips - Northrop Grumman Australia
Joel Phimphravichith - EOS Defence Systems
Michael Popko - QinetiQ
Szymon Rosinski - Naval Ship Management
John Walsh - Kestrel Aviation
Andrew Williams - Biodiversity Australia
Ben Williams - Serco Australia

Academic Institution of the Year

Flinders University
RMIT University
South Metropolitan TAFE
University of South Australia

Aerospace Business of the Year

Black Sky Aerospace
Hyper Q Aerospace
Kestrel Aviation
Lockheed Martin Australia
Mirragin Consulting
Northrop Grumman Australia
Quickstep Technologies

Consultancy of the Year

AMC Search
Biodiversity Australia
DEWC Services
Engineering Business
Nova Systems

Cyber Business of the Year

Airlock Digital
BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
Red Piranha
Willyama Services

Defence Innovator of the Year - Company

AVT Australia
Deloitte Australia
EOS Defence Systems
Geospatial Intelligence
The Decisive Point
Vipac Engineers & Scientists

Estate & Infrastructure Business of the Year

BESIX Watpac
Cushman & Wakefield
Enviropacific Services
Serco Australia
TVN On-Country

Export Business of the Year

EOS Defence Systems
Pivot Maritime International

Graduate Program of the Year

Saab Australia
Santova Logistics
Shoal Group

Indigenous Business of the Year

Biodiversity Australia
GJK Indigenous Solutions
TVN On-Country
Willyama Services

Industry Association of the Year

Australian Industry & Defence Network
Defence Teaming Centre

Land Business of the Year

EOS Defence Systems

Manufacturer of the Year

CRC Industries
EOS Defence Systems
Lockheed Martin Australia
Precision Electronic Technologies
RJE Global

Naval Business of the Year

BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
EM Solutions
Serco Australia
Sikorsky Australia

Prime Contractor of the Year

Lockheed Martin Australia
Toll Transitions

SME of the Year

AMC Search
Black Sky Aerospace
Geospatial Intelligence
Jenkins Engineering Defence Systems
Shoal Group
TVN On-Country

Space Business of the Year

EOS Space Systems
Geospatial Intelligence

Start-up of the Year

Bullroarers Australia
RAIDER Targetry
Vertical Scope Group

Sub-contractor of the Year

BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
Coras Solutions
CRC Industries
GJK Indigenous Solutions
RJE Global
Serco Australia
Swordfish Computing

Training and Mentorship Program of the Year

Defence Science Institute
DefendTex Research Labs
GJK Indigenous Solutions
Regional Development Australia Hunter
Serco Australia
Soldier On
TFTC - The Future Through Collaboration

Veteran Support Program of the Year

Axon Property Group
Defence Bank Foundation
Flinders University
Rehab Management
RSL Queensland
Serco Australia
Soldier On
Working Spirit

[Related: Defence Connect launches third Australian Defence Industry Awards with principal partner KBR]

Finalists for the third Australian Defence Industry Awards unveiled
lawyersweekly logo

more from defence connect

Aug 9 2022
Ukraine’s strike power receives billion-dollar boost
Advanced surface-to-air missiles, HIMAR ammunition, and Javelin anti-armour weapons systems are part of a new military support pac...
Aug 9 2022
Making the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty fit for the 21st century
How can the United States work to ensure that the Mutual Defense Treaty is ready to overcome the challenges set by the modern thre...
Aug 8 2022
Why companies should prepare for cyber attacks in a time of heightened global conflict
Rohan Langdon from ExtraHop explains how organisations can shore up their defences in preparation for a global outbreak in conflic...