UK mission showcases WA defence businesses on global stage

Minister Papalia returns to the United Kingdom to lead defence industry delegation from Western Australia and deliver a keynote speech to the inaugural Australian British Chamber of Commerce Defence Catalyst event.

Carolyn Gallop by Carolyn Gallop,

September was an especially busy month for the Defence Industry portfolio.  We welcomed Minister Papalia back to the UK over 10 – 19 September 2023, this time leading a mission to promote Western Australian defence industry businesses at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) expo and at the inaugural Australian British Chamber of Commerce Defence Catalyst event in London. The Minister also had the opportunity to meet with  the Rt Hon, Stephen Smith, Australia’s  High Commissioner to London and  with the Rt Hon. Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, the UK Minister of State (Indo Pacific).

DSEI is held biennially and this year was the largest expo ever with more than 1,500 exhibitors from all over the world, highlighting defence and technology growth areas, as well as the development of new technologies. The Australian stand was the largest ever with over 100 companies represented including a number of our own from WA:  AVI Pty Ltd, Blacktree Technology, Blue Ocean Marine Tech Systems, Critical Infrastructure Technologies, DUG Technology Pty Ltd, Onetide, Radlink Communications and TraumaSim Group. We welcomed these companies to London through hosting them in the London office and took the opportunity to introduce them to  potential investors and possible partners. We look forward to providing ongoing support to these companies in their ambitions for growth.

During the mission, Minister Papalia and the entire delegation raised WA’s profile as a destination for defence industry investment and partnership. These meetings also strengthened the State’s existing relationships with key stakeholders including  with; representatives from the US and UK governments on the sidelines of DSEI, and senior management from various relevant defence companies.  Minister Papalia had the opportunity to  meet with the United Kingdom’s First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Ben Key, who delivered one of the keynote addresses at DSEI emphasising the need to harness new technologies in the digital age.

At the inaugural ABCC Defence Catalyst held the week after DSEI, Minister Papalia, the only Government Minister from Australia who travelled over to the UK for this event, delivered one of the catalyst’s keynotes at which he spoke about WA’s defence capability and strategic partnership with the UK.  Agent General, John Langoulant AO chaired a session on defence infrastructure and the importance of long term planning; and Director Defence Industry, Defence West, Justin Fromm gave a talk on the opportunities in WA especially related to Submarine Rotational Force West.

Western Australia will hold its own Indian Ocean Defence and Security Conference in Perth from 24 – 26 July 2024.  If you would like to hear more about this conference please contact Carolyn Gallop (Carolyn.gallop@wago.co.uk).