Future of defence relies on bi-partisan support

30 June, 2017

A long-term bi-partisan commitment from Government on defence spending is crucial to allowing industry to plan long-term investments to deliver technological and efficiency improvements, says BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer Glynn Phillips.

Phillips will be guest speaker at a special event on July 11. CCI has joined forces with the Business Council of Australia to roll out some of the big names in business for its exclusive Lighthouse Leadership Series.

He will be joined by Coca-Cola Amatil Group Managing Director Alison Watkins and Australian Unity Group Chief Executive Officer Rohan Mead at the powerhouse event to be held at the Hyatt Regency.

While Australia is globally competitive in the defence industry, Phillips believes it can improve its position further by maximising Australian industry involvement in all of its projects, which increases innovation and lowers costs.

He says that Australia needs to recognise that when it comes to defence its advantage is in high quality, high technology, bespoke products.

“Growing the capability of Australian industry is pivotal in how BAE Systems has undertaken its business in Australia over the past 60-plus years,” he says.

“We have one of the largest supply chains, purchasing around $360 million worth of goods and services from around 1600 suppliers, which supports over 1500 Australian jobs through our supply chain expenditure.

“Our partnership with our suppliers, will ensure that we continue to provide the ADF with the capability edge that it requires now and into the future.”

Philips says he loves working in the defence sector because of commitment to the mission of providing the ADF with the capability it requires to protect Australia’s national security and global interests.

“I get to work with tremendously talented, innovative, motivated and passionate people every day – I think it is one of the unique attributes of the defence sector,” he says.

“When you engage day to day with ADF you really come to understand the importance of what we do in the defence industry.

“But we always rightly recognise that we are not the war fighter – it is the ADF who do the really difficult job, but they do rely on us to give them the capability advantage to deliver the mission.”

Phillips says BAE Systems Henderson facility has recently completed one of the most complex naval ship (Anti-Ship Missile Defence) upgrades ever undertaken in Australia.

“From the first ship to the last, the capability that was established on this program, through the recruitment of highly skilled employees and training provided to support the complex work undertaken, will be pivotal in future work on the ANZAC fleet,” he says.

Phillips’ top five leadership tips:

  1. Always be true to yourself and your principles. Never compromise on them.
  2. Be open and honest at all times. Be authentic.
  3. Empower people to succeed – set them the challenge but let them determine how to solve it.
  4. You are only as strong as your team – so build the one you need to succeed and make sure they do the same.
  5. Be prepared to take a risk on progressing people. I am CEO because people took a risk on me. So, do that for others.

►Don’t miss your chance to hear from not one but three of Australia’s brightest leaders – book your tickets to CCI’s Lighthouse Leadership Series here.