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New Head – Defence & Industry Policy at Australian Industry Group

After a long and successful career in the Department of Defence, Kate Louis has been appointed as Ai Group's new Head of Defence & Industry Policy with responsibility for Ai Group's Defence Council.

Kate was previously First Assistant Secretary Defence Industry Policy where she established signature Defence industry programs, including the Centre for Defence Industry Capability and the Defence Innovation Hub.

Kate Louis said: "It has been a privilege for me in Defence to meet many small and large businesses, which continue to impress with their capabilities, capacity and determination to support the Australian Defence Force. I look forward in my new role to working closely with Government, Defence and Ai Group members to provide support for the capabilities of Australian industry. This is a transformative time for businesses in Australia and Ai Group will be working with members to help ensure exceptional outcomes across a range of critical policy and Australian industry issues," Ms Louis said.

Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said: "We are very pleased to welcome Kate into our team at Ai Group. It's a critical time for Australian industry with a broad range of opportunities to supply and sustain the substantial upgrades to Australia's defence capabilities that have been announced. We are determined to leverage from these opportunities to build competitive expertise that can yield benefits both domestically and abroad for Australian business and the Australian workforce," Mr Willox said.

The Australian Industry Group Defence Council is the principal voice for our defence industry. Member companies' activities cover the whole array of defence business – from systems and platform development, manufacture and through-life support and facilities construction through to providing base services and support for ADF personnel.

The activities of the Australian Industry Group Defence Council are guided by its National Executive which comprises the CEOs of Australia's leading defence companies, working with and supporting the ADF.

In her new role Kate succeeds Johnno O’Callaghan, who has retired after a long career supporting Australian industry.

The Australian Industry Group Defence Council is pursuing three main goals:

  • Recognition of Australian Defence Industry's major role in supplying equipment to, and support of, the Australian Defence Force as well as meeting Australia's national security objectives.
  • Ensuring that the technological knowledge and innovation of Australian defence companies, including SMEs, is formally recognised by all levels of government and the wider community.
  • Continuing to foster the skills and expertise of Australian defence industry, including for priority industry capabilities and as a source of critical support to the Australian Defence Force in meeting its many operational responsibilities.


Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347