Defence Materiel Advocate appointed
The Minister for Defence, Senator Robert Hill, announced at the D+I 2005 conference in June the appointment of Major General Jim Molan AO as Australia's first Defence Materiel Advocate. Molan was due to take up his 12-month posting this month and will lead a 23-strong team of Australian companies to the UK's DSEi defence show in London next month.
Molan will work closely with the Head of DMO's Industry Division, Peter Croser. ADM understands that the DMO strategy will see Molan focus on strong export prospects, using his rank and credibility to open doors and act as an advocate for proven Australian suppliers offering export-quality equipment, services and capabilities. He will escort, or engage other military officers to escort, Australian companies and potential export customers, both in-country and overseas, to provide the operator's perspective of the defence technology on offer.
"In June 2004, Government announced a new defence export initiative to help facilitate access by Australian defence exporters to foreign buyers," Hill said at D+I 2005. "It sought the establishment of a new "Team Australia" international marketing tool that would showcase innovative Australian Defence technology. Secondly, recognising that in some markets, military uniforms and braid can open doors that would otherwise be closed, the Defence export initiative sought the establishment of a dedicated military officer of star-rank to help promote Australian defence industry exports and provide the linkage to operational experience. This initiative recognised the need to provide more continuity in "Service oriented" military user support to Australian defence industry export efforts."
General Molan "will provide assistance to Australian defence industry by having a dedicated military leader to help present and promote their capabilities," Hill added. "General Molan has recently returned from active service in Iraq, where he held the highest level command position within the multi national force available to an Australian. He will be ideally placed to assist Australian companies in understanding the needs of overseas militaries."
Molan has commanded 6RAR, 1 Brigade, 1st Division and the Deployable Joint Force HQ, and as an attaché and later Head of the Australian Defence Staff in Jakarta. Early last year he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in the Multinational Force Coalition headquarters in Iraq.