Advisory Board

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Advisory Board2021-02-12T16:22:52+10:30

The Defence SA Advisory Board is a formidable line-up of Australia’s top Defence and industry experts, led by Chairman and former Chief of Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK AFC. The Board provides high-level strategic advice to promote the growth of the defence industry in South Australia and plays a key role in guiding the state’s defence strategy.

  • Angus Houston
  • Russell Crane
  • Richard Price
  • Steve Ludlam
  • Merv Davis
  • Alan Clements
  • Angus Houston
  • Russell Crane
  • Richard Price
  • Steve Ludlam
  • Merv Davis
  • Alan Clements
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK AFC (Ret'd) (Chair)

    Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret’d) was awarded the Knight of the Order of Australia in January 2015 for extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement and merit in service to Australia, through distinguished service in the Australian Defence Force, continued commitment to serve the nation in leadership roles, particularly the national responses to the MH370 and MH17 disasters, and in a variety of roles in the community.

    Sir Angus is Chancellor for the University of the Sunshine Coast and is Chair of Airservices Australia; the Defence South Australia Advisory Board; the Order of Australia Council; the Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience Thompson Institute; the Victorian Police Corporate Advisory Group; the University of NSW Canberra Advisory Board; the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and the Supashock Advanced Suspension Advisory Committee.

    He is a Board Member of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, the Anzac Centenary Public Fund Board, GreaterGood Canberra and the Victorian Police Executive Command.
    Sir Angus is also a visiting fellow of the Australian National University National Security College.

    In addition, he is the Ambassador/Patron of numerous charitable organisations. These include Bravery Trust, the Bomber Command Association in Australia, the European Alliance Against Depression Australian Chapter, Griffith University’s Glycomics Childhood Leukaemia project, Soldier On, Stand Tall for PTSD, Sunnyfield Disability Services, Shelterbox Australia and The Centenary of Anzac Centre.

    In July 2014 Sir Angus was appointed as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to lead Australia’s efforts to help recover, identify and repatriate Australians killed in the Malaysia Airlines MH17 disaster. Sir Angus also led the Joint Agency Coordination Centre coordinating the Australian Government’s support for the search into missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in 2014.

    In 2012 Sir Angus led the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers.

    Sir Angus was Chair of the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board from July 2011 until March 2014. The Board provided strategic advice to the Government on the national program for the Anzac Centenary 2014 – 2018.

    In July 2011 Sir Angus retired as Chief of the Australian Defence Force after 41 years of service in the military.

    Sir Angus was awarded the Degree of Doctor of the University, honoris causa from UNSW in November 2015 and the Degree Doctor of Laws honoris causa from ANU in December 2016.

    In 2011, he was named the Australian Father of the Year and in 2012, the ACT Australian of the Year.

    Sir Angus is married to Liz and they have three sons and three grandchildren.

  • Vice Admiral Russell Crane AO CSM RAN (Ret'd)

    During his tenure as Chief of Navy (2008-2011), Russell (Russ) Crane drew on a lifetime of Navy experience to spearhead fundamental reform of Navy leadership, training and culture through the New Generation Navy (NGN) initiative. NGN aims to ensure that Navy people remain inspired and supported to meet Navy’s obligations around Australia and abroad. The program has been extremely successful and remains in place today.

    A Junior Recruit turned Navy Diver, Russ held a raft of positions at sea and ashore during his 40-year Naval career. He was promoted to star rank in March 2000 and posted as the Director General Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare before being appointed as the Commander Australian Naval Systems Command in October 2001. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in May 2004 and assumed duties as Director General Coastwatch and Commander of the then inaugural Joint Offshore Protection Command. Russ was subsequently appointed as Deputy Chief of Navy in June 2006 before being selected as Chief of Navy in July 2008. In recognition of his conspicuous career, Russ was awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal in 2000, appointed as a Member in the Order of Australia in 2007 and elevated to an Officer in the Order in January 2010.

    Following his transition from permanent service, Russ became a sole trader in his consultancy business ‘Bowline Consultants’ advising on matters affecting leadership and corporate behaviours particularly in Defence and national security areas. Russ is also chairman of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Veteran’s Mental Health and both a trustee and patron of a number of service-related organisations.

  • Mr Richard Price

    Richard Price was appointed Defence SA Chief Executive in October 2017. In this role, he was simultaneously appointed to the position of Chief Executive of the South Australian Space Industry Centre (SASIC).

    Richard has worked within the defence and public safety sectors for over 25 years and has international industry experience in leadership, business development and engineering.

    Prior to joining Defence SA and SASIC, Richard led a Stockholm based business unit for Saab AB with operations in Sweden, Denmark, Australia, South Africa and the UK. The focus was the global market for communication and control room solutions.

    Before moving to Sweden in 2013, Richard was Managing Director of Saab’s Australian operations.

    Richard is an engineering graduate of the University of Wales (BSc Hons, 1985) and a graduate of the Melbourne Business School Advanced Management Program (2006) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (2010).

    Richard is the Chair of Autism SA who help each person on the autism spectrum live the life they choose in an inclusive society.

  • Mr Steve Ludlam FREng

    Steve Ludlam is a global submarine expert who was Chief Executive of naval shipbuilding company ASC Pty Ltd from 2010 to 2014. Before moving to Adelaide to take up this role, Mr Ludlam was President of Submarines at Rolls-Royce plc in the United Kingdom, where he led the successful modernisation of the country’s nuclear-powered submarine program.

    Mr Ludlam’s career began with Rolls-Royce as a development engineer working on nuclear submarine programs. He became General Manager of the Submarine Nuclear Reactor Test Establishment and then President of Submarines, a senior executive position.

    Mr Ludlam holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters Degree in Nuclear Engineering. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, UK, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineers in 2010. In four of the past six years, he has been voted one of Engineer Australia’s 100 most influential engineers.

    He is currently Chairman of SA Rugby Union Ltd.

  • Mr Merv Davis AM

    Mr Merv Davis AM has over 30 years’ experience serving in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). While originally a specialist Combat Systems Engineer, he later worked as the Combat Systems Manager within the ANZAC Ship Project and subsequently as the Project Director for the Minehunter Coastal Project. Mr Davis’ Defence experience also includes having a leading role in the evaluating the Defence Reform Program, as well as managing the Australian Defence Forces IT and Communications Network.
    After leaving the RAN in 2003, Mr Davis was employed as the Managing Director of Saab Systems, and subsequently being appointed the Vice President of Saab’s global Naval operations in the Saab Systems Business Unit.

    In 2008, Mr Davis was made Director, Maritime at BAE Systems Australia. He has also been a consultant for the Defence Materiel Organisation, undertaking a range of major Project Gate Reviews as an independent external Gate Review Board Member.
    Mr Davis also served as the Chief Executive Officer of CEA Technologies Pty Ltd before retiring in January 2019.

    Mr Davis holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Honours) Degree, as well as a Masters in Business Administration. He is a graduate of the Australian College of Defence and Strategic Studies and a Graduate Member of the Institute of Company Directors. His core expertise lies in operational management and strategy and business development. Mr Davis was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in 2001.

  • Air Vice-Marshal (Ret.) Alan Clements

    Air Vice-Marshal (Ret.) Alan Clements transitioned from the Royal Australian Air Force in 2020 after almost 35 years of service. Most recently, Alan served as the Defence Attache and Head of Defence at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC. There, he was the senior most military officer charged with coordinating the bilateral defence partnership between the US and Australia.

    He is an experienced Senior Executive with strong values based leadership focussed on driving high level team performance. He has broad experience across operations, education, training, safety, whole of government, international relations and industry sectors. Alan was selected and trusted by the senior Defence leadership team to lead cultural and organisational change at executive level in high profile operational, education and safety organisations.

    Alan is an F/A-18 Fighter pilot and Squadron Commander (77 Squadron) with extensive experience as a qualified flying instructor from ab-initio through to F/A-18 pilot training. He has held Command roles at every rank up to Air Vice-Marshal. He has operational experience as the Chief of Staff of Australian National Headquarters in 2002, and as the Battle Director in the Combined Air Operations Centre in the Middle East during 2010.

    Alan was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for leadership during role as Commandant of the Australian Defence Force Academy. He was also awarded the US Legion of Merit (Officer) for his role as the Australian Defence Attache to the USA.

    His tertiary qualifications include Aircraft Accident Investigation Management from the Cranfield University (UK), and Masters in Management from the University of Canberra (AUS).

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