2022 has been a busy year as we have welcomed being able to get out and about again. After a long period of lockdowns, false starts and over-reliance on Zoom, the return to in-person meetings and events has been even more important as we introduce our new Associate Director, Callum Wright. Callum joined us in September, replacing Claire Davis, who has returned to DSTG. We thank Claire for the hard work and inspired leadership over the last two and a half years, doing a great job through the worst of COVID.
We have also seen a number of new Liaison Managers join us this year, and we thank all the Liaison Managers, past and present for their vital role in the relationship between DSI and their universities.
- Past Liaison Representatives: Zoran Najdovski (Deakin University), Zara Harmon (Monash University), James Davern (Swinburne University of Technology), and Frances Taylor (Australian Catholic University).
- New Liaison Representatives: Sean Miller (FedUni), Jenny Bungur (Swinburne University of Technology), Navid Mohajer (Deakin University), Ashleigh Homer (Australian Catholic University), Ryan Cross (University of Melbourne) and Jessica Ware (La Trobe University)
This year has seen the Victorian State Government generously commit a further three years funding for DSI. We are proud to be able to work with the Government and all our partners and stakeholders in supporting the development of a robust and innovative local ecosystem supporting Australia’s national security needs. Thank you to Unni Menon and all the members of the Defence Capture Team for their support.
Following a successful pilot in late 2021, 2022 has seen the introduction of our Undergraduate Intern program as an ongoing activity with our delivery partner, Ai Group CET. The program provides valuable work experience for the students, exposes them to the opportunities afforded by SMEs in the sector and develops a valuable skills pipeline.
In March, DSI made a long-delayed trip to Tasmania. Crossing the state over 5 days, the trip allowed us to see first-hand the great defence capabilities located in the Apple Isle, in both industry and the University of Tasmania. Thank you to colleagues at the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian State Government for a great tour. If you’d like to know more about who we visited: https://defencescienceinstitute.com/news/dsi-march-2022-tasmania-tour/.
We were thrilled to host a networking function for delegates visiting Melbourne as part of the ADSUN DSTG Edinburgh & Fishermans Bend 3-Day Tour program in June. More than 60 delegates from across the country, representing industry, government and universities participated in the ADSUN tour. As part of a jam-packed, whistlestop tour of DSTG Edinburgh and Fishermans Bend sites, the evening marked a welcome return to events.
After the last couple of years we were also pleased to get back to Indo-Pacific in Sydney (May) and Land Forces in Brisbane (October). It was great to catch up with old friends and make new ones. The return to in-person PitchFests at the expos was welcomed by all. To be part of this exciting opportunity to get your ideas in front of potential customers and investors at Avalon in 2023, register at https://defencescienceinstitute.com/funding-opportunity/eoi-avalon-2023-pitchfest/.
July saw the first Australian Defence Science, Technology and Research Summit (ADSTAR) in Sydney. DSI sent a delegation of ten postgraduate students and early career researchers so they could present their work in as part of the E-Poster program, learn about the breadth of Defence S&T research interests and start building networks for the future. A highlight for the group was the opportunity to meet Chief Defence Scientist Prof Tanya Munro and her Japanese counterpart, Dr Shigenori Mishima.
2022 has seen our first activity in partnership with CSIRO – running a Victoria & Tasmania cohort of the Innovate to Grow program. A free program for SMEs to help them finesse and develop R&D activities, we are looking forward to watching the participants future progress.
We have also been very happy this year to be able to meet with our Advisory Board face-to-face again. With a number of new Members and guest presenters, it has been a big year for the Advisory Board, culminating in the hosting of our final meeting for the year by the Victorian Space Science Education Centre.
The end of 2022 sees us farewell our long-term home at 204 Lygon Street. Worry not, lovers of Lygon Street coffee – we are not going far. Building works permitted, from late January we will be in our new home, just around the corner in Pelham Street. Stay tuned for more info.
As 2022 draws to a close, we wish everyone a joyous and safe holiday season and look forward to continuing to work together in 2023.