We’re making the state’s defence industry the strongest and most capable in Australia.
To do this, we need a mix of leadership, expertise, experience and local insight to identify and help unlock opportunities for industry growth.
That’s why we’ve recruited some of Australia’s foremost defence leaders to advise the Queensland Government on growing the sector.
We’ve also established three expert advisory bodies: an overarching Minister’s Advisory Council on Defence Industry and Jobs, and two regionally focused boards for the north and south of the state.
These three bodies and our advisors provide strategic advice about defence industry development and investment attraction. They focus on delivering the Queensland Defence Industries 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan and its three main strategies:
- growing our defence industry capabilities
- promoting our defence industry capabilities
- increasing our defence industry contribution to the national and global markets.
Strategic Defence Advisors
With a wealth of combined military experience, our Strategic Defence Advisors bring to Queensland strong insights into the world of defence and industry. They provide high-level advice to the Queensland Government on identifying and attracting strategic project opportunities to our state. Queensland’s strategic defence advisors are:
Rear Admiral Simon Cullen AM CSC (Ret’d): Strategic Defence Advisor for Sea
Rear Admiral Simon Cullen (retired) was appointed as Queensland Strategic Defence Advisor – Sea in October 2017.
He served in the Royal Australian Navy for 38 years, with key appointments including Chief of Staff to Commander Joint Task Force 633 in Baghdad, Iraq, Deputy Commander of the Australian Fleet, Inaugural Director General Maritime Operations at Headquarters Joint Operations Command and Deputy Commander of the Combined Task Force for Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).
Simon is Vice Chairman of the Board for the Institute for Regional Security and active in a number of naval associations.
He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia and United States Legion of Merit.
Major General Simone Wilkie AO (Ret’d): Strategic Defence Advisor for Land
Major General Simone Wilkie (retired) was appointed as Queensland Strategic Defence Advisor – Land in March 2020.
Simone served in the Australian Army for 35 years, holding a diverse range of leadership positions across military operations, education, human resources, telecommunications, health and logistics. She has seen active service in Cambodia, Iraq and Afghanistan, and was the National Commander of Australian troops serving in Afghanistan.
Simone is on several boards including Chair of Defence Technologies at Deakin University.
She was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia, Commendation for Distinguished Service for her work in Afghanistan, and United States Bronze Star for her service in Iraq.
Air Vice-Marshal Neil Hart AM (Ret’d): Strategic Defence Advisor for Aerospace
Air Vice-Marshal Neil Hart (retired) was appointed as Queensland Strategic Defence Advisor – Air in March 2018.
Neil is a former Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF) fighter pilot with senior leadership, command and operations management and expertise in all aspects of air, space, information, cyber and electronic warfare. Senior appointments included Deputy Chief of Air Force, Director-General Capability Planning, Head Force Structure Review and Head ‘One Defence’ Implementation. Neil is a board member of the Australian Defence Force Airworthiness Board.
He is a Member in the Military Division of the Order of Australia.
Minister’s Advisory Council on Defence Industry and Jobs
The role of the Minister’s Council is to enhance the Queensland Government’s understanding of local-to-global defence industry needs, opportunities and challenges. The council members include Queensland’s three Strategic Defence Advisors and senior defence industry and organisational leaders. Together, they’re responsible for advising government on increasing strategic defence industry opportunities and capabilities in the state.
North and South Queensland Defence Advisory Boards
The regional advisory boards report to, and are overseen by, the Minister’s Council. They have been established by the government to explore regional defence industry and supply chain opportunities in greater detail.