For all the changes in policy under the First Principles Review, the Defence Industry Policy Statement and the 2016 White Paper, 2017 was the year that these changes were felt outside the Defence establishment.
Action began to match up with the rhetoric, with preference given to Australian companies in the Defence space and Australian Industry Capability or AIC being given the prominence it deserves.
The business of government has also reflected these changes, with the demand for more timely decisions coming out of Parliament House. There were 74 approvals in financial year 2016-17 and 61 as this edition of ADM went to press in financial year 2017-18. These figures far surpass the old record of 47 in a financial year. Is the system perfect? Of course not, but it’s better than it was.
This change is being felt by Defence industry in a tangible way, in terms of behaviours. I attended the opening of NIOA’s Canberra office last month and was heartened to hear their MD Robert Nioa speak about how the Defence organisation is ‘trying to introduce innovation into such a large organisation and is beginning to succeed from the outside looking in’. When an SME thinks Defence is beginning to change, there must be something in it!
On a more personal note, keen ADM readers will note that ADM founder and publisher Judy Hinz is retiring. After starting a Defence tenders newsletter in the late 1980s, founding the magazine in the early 1990s and growing Australian Defence Magazine, the Directory of Defence Suppliers and ADM events over more than two decades, Judy has been a force to be reckoned with in the Defence media landscape.
I would like to acknowledge her role in guiding and growing ADM over the years and building such a strong foundation for the magazine to grow from. Thank you.