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Nova Group appoints new chair

Julie Cooper

The company’s long-serving chair has been replaced by a non-executive director.  

The company’s long-serving chair has been replaced by a non-executive director.  

Nova Group has named former interim group CEO Julie Cooper a its new chair, effective from 1 October.


Cooper, who first joined Nova in 2017 as a non-executive director, replaces Jim Whalley, co-founder of Nova Group, who has served as chair for over two decades.

Whalley will continue to serve on the board as deputy chair.

Reflecting on her appointment, Cooper noted recent changes to the company’s strategy, including the appointment of Jim McDowell as CEO in December 2020.

“The past 12 months have been very significant for Nova Systems. We have developed a new strategy, recruited a new group CEO and recruited two new non-executive directors to our board,” she said.

“As a 100 per cent Australian owned and controlled company, Nova is in a strong position moving forward.


“We are well positioned to provide our clients and partners with a truly sovereign solution – as a partner to the Australian Defence Force for critical capacities including test and evaluation, certification and systems assurance and through the newly formed Strategic Missile Alliance.”

Cooper also thanked Whalley for his service to the board as chair.

“I’m deeply grateful to Jim Whalley for his vision, dedication and passion, which has led to the creation of a global engineering and technology company,” she added.

“Equally, I am excited for what the future holds under Jim McDowell’s leadership and experience, which will be critical to our ability to scale and deliver solutions to meet our client’s complex challenges.”

Cooper also serves on the boards of several other companies — Credit Union South Australia, the Adelaide Crows’ Foundation, and Sarah Constructions — and is a council member for the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

[Related: Nova Systems onboards new engineers]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

Nova Group appoints new chair
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