Joined by program delivery partners, The Office of Defence Industry Support from the Department of Defence, AusIndustry and Defence Jobs Queensland, the year-long pilot program will combine resources and industry experts to deliver advisory services tailored to each business, as well as mentoring, events and support on defence and cyber maturity.
“We acknowledge the barriers SMEs experience in entering the Defence sector and this unique program intends to break down those barriers to ensure these talented businesses have the tools, support and mentoring they need to be successful,” said Scott Carpendale, vice president and managing director, Boeing Defence Australia.
“This program first continues our efforts to cultivate a vibrant and sustainable Australian Industry Capability supporting a resilient supply chain, which is vital to Boeing Australia’s growth and our nation’s security.”     
The first SME cohort covers a range of critical capabilities across air, sea, land, space and cyber domains in the areas of autonomous systems, simulation, prototyping and manufacturing, artificial intelligence and software engineering, and cyber and information security.
The businesses include: seven majority Indigenous-owned businesses; three majority women-owned businesses; three majority veteran owned businesses; and four businesses who are signatories to the ‘Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program’.
“To have a strong and robust sovereign capability, a diverse supply chain is necessary—our suppliers need to reflect our nation,” said Adam Goodes, founder and CEO of Indigenous Defence & Infrastructure Consortium.
“Diversity breeds creativity and alternative thinking, which will help strengthen Australia’s defence and infrastructure.”
Jasmine Riddle, owner and chief operations officer of JRS Manufacturing – a majority female and veteran-owned business – said taking part in the program offered the opportunity to upscale their business following their inclusion in Boeing’s Advanced Defence Aerospace Manufacturing Network.
“The program will give us access to top industry leaders and advisory services and prepare us to take on future work in defence industry,” said Riddle.
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