The 10th Anniversary Hunter Defence Conference is a ‘must-attend’ event for regional SMEs aiming to break into the lucrative Defence supply chain or grow their market in the industry.

The 2019 Hunter Defence Conference, to be held at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley from 22-23 August, will hear from Defence Primes, government and industry leaders and senior capability development staff from Army, Navy and Air Force headquarters. The keynote speaker is former Minister for Defence and Defence Industry Christopher Pyne.

Hunter Defence Chair Tim Owen said the conference would focus on national-level support for regional SMEs.
“The conference is squarely aimed at linking Primes and regional SMEs in terms of global supply chain opportunities and advising manufacturers and suppliers how they can ensure they are ‘Defence ready’, Mr Owen said.

“The speakers will provide an over-arching view of where government policy is heading over the coming decade and what global supply chain opportunities that will present for SMEs and contractors in the region.”

The Conference incorporates an industry showcase on Thursday 22 August, at which industry leaders will speak directly with SMEs that are successfully established as contractors or looking to work in the Defence industry.

Mr Pyne will be guest speaker at the gala dinner the same evening, which will be preceded by drinks and canapes hosted by BAE Systems and Hunter Defence, with a spectacular lowflying aerial display by Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall.

Hunter Defence is a collaborative group that promotes Hunter industry expertise and capability to attract more defence industry manufacturing and supply opportunities to the region. It includes key stakeholder groups across business, industry, government, education and training, with a footprint effectively covering companies and contractors between Sydney and the Queensland border.

For more information on the Hunter Defence Conference, or to book tickets, go to:

Contact: Tim Owen, 0477 201 000

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Christopher Pyne at Hunter Defence Conference

Former Defence Minister Christopher Pyne will be the keynote speaker for the 2019 Hunter Defence Conference Gala Dinner in August.

One of the Government’s most senior and experienced ministers, Mr Pyne served for 26 years in the Federal House of Representatives prior to his retirement earlier this year. He held the portfolios of Minister for Defence Industry and Minister for Defence during the largest build-up of Australia’s military capability in its peacetime history.

Hunter Defence Taskforce Chair Tim Owen said securing Mr Pyne as the Gala Dinner Speaker was a major boost for the annual conference, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

“Christopher will be a real drawcard for the conference. He is a wonderful speaker with excellent insight into the workings of government, the Australian Defence Force and the national and global defence industries,” Mr Owen said.

Mr Owen said the conference would have a strong focus on defence industry participation by SMEs, a priority also articulated this week by the new Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price. Presentations will centre on driving collaboration between Defence Primes, regional SMEs, academia and the Department of Defence.

Key presentations at the conference will include capability development staff from Army, Navy and Air Force headquarters. Defence Primes will outline their support requirements for the next decade and there will be a Defence Industry Showcase on the afternoon of 22 August.

The 10th Anniversary Hunter Defence Conference will be held on 22 – 23 August 2019 at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley. Early bird bookings are available until Friday 5 July. To book, visit