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Director Defence Industry - UK - job post

Defence SA
United Kingdom
Fixed term contract
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Job details

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Job type

  • Contract


United Kingdom

Full job description

Defence SA Job reference:
Location: The Strand, London, UK
Job status: Up to a three year contract

Join South Australia's Defence SA as the Director, Industry in London. Drive defence sector opportunities between South Australia and the UK.

  • Promote UK defence industry engagement in South Australia through strategic initiatives.
  • Drive exciting defence industry collaboration.
  • Represent South Australian defence sector interests in the UK and Europe.

The Opportunity
Join the dynamic team of the South Australian Government as the Director Defence Industry – UK. Located with the South Australian Office of the Agent General on The Strand, London, this key role will develop opportunities in the defence sector between South Australian and UK companies. It involves identifying potential business ventures for South Australian companies in the UK defence sector and identifying opportunities for UK based defence companies to operate in South Australia.

The role will report to the Executive Director, Defence and Space who is based in Adelaide, South Australia and the Office of the Agent General in London. The role will develop defence industry opportunities relating to both Pillars of the AUKUS security partnership and other strategic defence initiatives and projects.

The successful candidate will have an excellent understanding of investment attraction and international financial decision-making processes and will be able to articulate South Australia’s advantage as a defence industry destination. Working in collaboration with government agencies, industry partners, and key stakeholders, you will play a vital role in driving economic growth and enhancing South Australia's global presence.

About Defence SA and South Australia:
South Australia, known as 'The Defence State', proudly hosts around 30% of Australia's defence industry. Notable projects such as the construction of the BAE Systems Hunter Class Frigate and the maintenance of the Collins Class Submarine, alongside the pioneering SSN-AUKUS nuclear powered submarines, ensure a substantial work pipeline for decades to come. With a critical mass of world-class defence industry and a vibrant culture of innovation, South Australia leads the charge in cutting-edge technology development.

At the core of South Australia's defence industry landscape is Defence SA, the state's primary government agency overseeing all defence matters. Serving as a central point of contact for defence and defence industry stakeholders, we streamline interactions across the South Australian Government, seizing investment opportunities across defence industry sectors including shipbuilding, cyber and systems, defence science and research, and space.

South Australia stands at the forefront of the nation's defence and space industries, renowned for its innovation, top-tier research and development, and highly skilled workforce. With a proud history of delivering some of Australia's largest and most complex defence projects, Defence SA's mission is clear: to continue maximizing investment and job opportunities in the Australian and global defence markets.

In close collaboration with Defence and industry partners, Defence SA targets investment and expansion opportunities, supports the delivery of major defence projects and facilities, and advocates for growth of the defence sector within the state. Furthermore, we play a crucial role in advancing the Australian Government's strategic defence policy by enhancing local industry participation and ensuring the presence of state-of-the-art infrastructure and a highly skilled, industry-ready workforce to support defence projects.

About the Office of the Agent General
South Australia is represented in the UK and Germany with our trade and investment office in London, headed up by David Ridgway, Agent General for South Australia. It offers a range of services including facilitating UK and European foreign direct investment into South Australia and providing in-market knowledge, connections and advice.

With significant private sector experience, the team serves as a hub for events, contacts, business intelligence and industry knowledge. It is also a committed point of contact to assist South Australian companies access a range of export opportunities in the UK and Europe.

The Office of the Agent General works to:

  • facilitate European investment in South Australia
  • assist South Australian organisations to establish networks in Europe
  • facilitates opportunities for the export of South Australian goods and services to Europe
  • encourage European migration to South Australia
  • support the expatriate South Australian community in Europe.

Key Accountabilities:

  • Develop and implement a strategy to promote opportunities by leveraging major defence projects and emerging opportunities, including AUKUS in the United Kingdom and Europe.
  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with key defence sector stakeholders including government agencies, industry, industry associations, businesses, and investors.
  • Provide expert advice and support to South Australian based defence businesses seeking to expand internationally, including market research, identification of opportunities, and guidance on market entry strategies.
  • Facilitate trade missions, business delegations, and networking events to showcase South Australia's capabilities in the defence sector.
  • Monitor market trends, regulatory changes, and competitive landscapes in the UK defence ecosystem to inform strategic decision-making and identify emerging opportunities and challenges.
  • Collaborate with internal teams and external partners to coordinate participation in trade and investment promotion activities, including supporting marketing campaigns, seminars, and trade shows in the defence sector.
  • Represent South Australia at international defence conferences, seminars, and other events to promote the state's competitive advantages and foster relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Participate and lead public speaking and engagement activities to promote opportunities in the defence sector.
  • Prepare reports, briefings, and presentations for senior management and government officials to communicate progress, outcomes, and recommendations.
  • Coordinate VIP visits.
  • Manage resources, including budgets to support initiatives.

In addition to your demonstrated ability to deliver the key accountabilities, in order to succeed in this role, you will need:

  • Proven experience in international business development, trade promotion, or investment attraction, preferably within a defence, government or diplomatic context.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the global defence industry, global trade dynamics, investment trends, and economic development strategies.
  • Strong networking and relationship-building skills in the defence sector in the UK and Europe with the ability to engage effectively with diverse stakeholders at all levels.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, with the ability to convey complex information clearly and persuasively.
  • Highly developed communication, representation and interpersonal skills are essential.
  • Strategic thinker with the ability to analyse market data, identify opportunities, and develop innovative solutions to achieve objectives.
  • Demonstrated experience in successful client/customer relationship management is required.
  • A proven and natural leadership approach; you will have the ability to lead, work collaboratively and build positive working relationships.
  • The ability to work independently within broad priority guidelines.
  • The ability to work in a cross-cultural setting.
  • To exhibit a high level of emotional intelligence and well-developed political acumen.
  • To be adaptable and flexible to meet organisational demands.
  • Highly developed strategic management skills.

Join us in driving South Australia's international agenda and contribute to the state's prosperity and economic resilience on the global stage. Apply now to be part of our dedicated team!

Our Commitment to Diversity
The South Australian Government is committed to building a flexible, diverse and inclusive culture, planning for and promoting diversity. We welcome and encourage applications from diverse community groups and ages including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, LGBTIQA+, people with disabilities, women and other diversity groups.

Special Conditions
This role is based in London and will require the successful applicant to demonstrate flexibility regarding domestic and international travel in order to achieve organisational success. This is a contract / term vacancy up to 36 months. The incumbent is required to enter into an annual performance agreement. Work outside of normal hours will be required as will domestic and overseas travel involving overnight absences. A current UK driver’s licence is required.

Essential Qualifications
Tertiary qualifications in Business, International Relations, Economics, or related field. Masters degree preferred.

Must be fluent in written and spoken English.

To be negotiated based on experience

Phone: Ilona Horan on +61 402054257

Application Instructions
All applications must be submitted online via

If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit your resume, together with a covering letter (no more than 2 pages) outlining your skills and experience giving consideration to the key selection criteria in the specific technical knowledge, experience and skills in the job and person specification. Applicants must submit a completed “Pre-Employment Declaration in the SA Public Sector” form.

Applications close: 12 July 2024 11:45 PM

- Pre-Employment Declaration.pdf
- Job and Person Specification.docx

Job Type: Contract
Contract length: 36 months

Work Location: In person

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