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.

Working Groups

The Defence Council convenes various Working Groups and fora that bring Government, Defence and industry representatives together to inform policy development, exchange information with thought leaders and develop the shared interests of Defence and industry.

  • The Exports Working Group covers Defence export issues, including export promotion as well as regulation and compliance.
  • The Commercial, Contracting and Ethics Working Group covers Defence commercial, contracting and ethical issues.
  • The Security Working Group covers Defence-related security, and to help build the security resilience of our industry.

Defence Council Management Team 

Andy Keough, CSC 

Chairman, 2018 - Present 

Andy joined the RAN Naval College in 1985 and graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy in 1987 with a BSc. Andy transferred to submarines in 1989 and later commanded two Collins class submarines, HMAS WALLER (1999-2000) and HMAS SHEEAN (2004-05). 

In between commands, Andy served on the staff of Commander US Submarine Force Pacific (COMSUBPAC), in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where he developed tactics and provided training for the US Navy Submarine Fleet. 

In 2006, Andy joined the staff of Fleet Headquarters as the Fleet Submarine Operations Officer, responsible to the Fleet Commander for the operations of the submarine force. Andy retired from the RAN in 2007 and, after a brief stint with Thales, joined ASC. From 2009 to 2015, Andy was responsible for establishing the business improvement capability, before assuming responsibility ASC’s operations in WA, which included maintenance and training for the Collins class submarine fleet. 

In August 2015, Andy commenced his role as the Chief Executive Defence SA where he was responsible for attracting and promoting defence industry in South Australia and the managing of the Techport maritime precinct. Andy commenced his current role in November 2017 as Managing Director, Saab Australia. 

Andy has an MBA and was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in 2006 for his leadership whilst in command of HMAS SHEEAN. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia and the Chair of the South Australian defence industry Indigenous Employment Cluster. 

Chris Williams 

Deputy Chairman, 2018 - Present 

Chris commenced his career by spending 11 years in the Australian Navy as a Submarine Navigator and Warfare Officer. On leaving the Navy, Chris transitioned into industry where he managed and directed a number of technical naval, renewable energy and oil and gas projects. 

Chris is the Managing Director of H.I.Fraser, a sophisticated defense sector advanced manufacturing and maintenance gas and fluid system business with global relationships. Chris particularly enjoys working with the exceptional, technologically astute people who make up the H.I. Fraser team. 

H.I.Fraser has won a number of awards under Chris’s leadership including 2010 Australian Manufacturer of the Year, 2015 SAGE Zenith Machine Builder of the Year, and 2016 Institute of Engineers Innovation Award. 

In addition to Chris’ Managing Director role, he sits on the Federal Government Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) Advisory Board, is Deputy Chair of the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) Defence Council, is an Industry Board Member of the NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN), and was the founding Chairman of the Sydney Aerospace and Defense Interest Group (SADIG). 

Through international travel and working with teams and organisations across the globe, Chris has a truly international perspective of leadership, management and mentoring best-practice..... and a joy of international cuisine, language, red wine and rugby. 

Chris is very passionate about Australian manufacturing and his dream is to meet more Australian manufacturers at Dallas Fort Worth, Tokyo, Pusan and Changi airports on their way to winning work overseas. 

Chris was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 by the Governor General for exceptional service and leadership as a submariner, has an MBA (2009 Deans List) and BSc (Hons) Ocean. 

Kate Louis 

Executive Director, 2017 - Present 

Kate was appointed Executive Director of the Ai Group Defence Council and Head of Defence and Industry Policy at the Australian Industry Group in August 2017. 

Kate joined the Department of Defence in 1997 as a graduate in contracting. 

Kate has extensive experience with Defence capability development having worked as Director, Chief of Staff, and Assistant Secretary within Capability Development Group, Capability Investment and Resource Division. This experience has equipped Kate with the knowledge and skills to manage the development of major capital equipment acquisition submissions for the Government. 

In June 2010 Kate commenced her first SES role as the Assistant Secretary Investment Analysis. As the Assistant Secretary Investment Analysis, Kate was responsible for overseeing and directing the activities of the Investment Analysis staff in the contestability function and preparation of Ministerial and Cabinet submissions for the acquisition of new major capital equipment. 

In April 2014 Kate was appointed as Assistant Secretary White Paper Enterprise Management to develop industry related Defence policy including Shipbuilding and the Defence Industry Policy Statement. 

Having acted in the position of First Assistant Secretary Defence Industry Policy Division from 19 November 2015 Kate was formally appointed to the position on 01 March 2016. Kate was responsible for the effective implementation of the Government’s approach to Defence Industry policy. 

Kate has a Bachelor of Laws (1st Class Honours) and Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University. 

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