Western Australia will have a new representative go to bat for the state's skills in defence and shipbuilding, with Premier Mark McGowan appointing a former Commodore as WA's new London-based Agent General.
Commodore Mike Deeks CSC RAN (Rtd) will take up the role this July and will promote Western Australia as an investment and trade destination, focusing on the job creating sectors of defence and shipbuilding.
Deeks will replace outgoing Agent General John Atkins for a two-year term.
Premier Mark McGowan said Deeks is "an outstanding choice" for the role and he will be an important advocate for the state's defence industry in Europe.
"Mr Deeks has extensive experience in the defence, resources, training and maritime sectors, and will advocate for further investment and trade for Western Australia from European companies," said the Premiere.
"Defence is a key pillar to diversifying the economy and creating more jobs for Western Australians, and Mr Deeks will play an important role in advocating for our state's defence and shipbuilding industries."
Deeks, is a respected business professional with extensive senior executive and board experience in the defence, resources, training and maritime industries, and has worked on government projects, with not-for-profit groups and in the private sector.
He has held a number of key roles including as managing director of Forgacs Marine and Defence, general manager of defence for local company Civmec, and has advised the Western Australia government on marine and defence issues.
Deeks led a bid for the Royal Australian Navy's Offshore Patrol Vessel project, successfully securing $1 billion and 10 years of production work for West Australian industry.
He has also worked as chairman of the Australian Marine Complex Common User Facility Stage 2 infrastructure development project oversight group. The project included designing, developing, constructing and installing a floating dock and purpose-built wharves for naval warships and submarines.
In 2005, Deeks was listed on the Queen's Birthday Honours List and awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross for 'superior leadership, consummate management skills and a total commitment to the submarine service'.
Deeks' new role will enable him to promote Western Australia as a place for trade and investment, using his experience in the defence industry to advocate for more shipbuilding and defence work for the state.