Defence and Industry
Study Course 2023
Charity Gala Dinner And Auction
6pm Pre-dinner Drinks In Foyer
Dinner from 7:30pm
Thursday 7th December 2023
Reserve your seat for a three-course dinner with drinks
Join leaders from AirForce, Army & Navy for a night of fun, entertainment and giving.
The primary aim of the Defence & Industry Study Course (DISC) is to promote a better understanding and engagement of both Defence and industry. The course has participants from the Australian Defence Force (ADF), Defence, other Federal and State agencies, and industry.
Defence recognises industry as a fundamental input to capability and as such industry plays a significant role in developing, delivering and sustaining the capabilities described in the recent Defence Strategic Review 2023 (DSR23).
Mark Wood, Glyde Metal Industries’ GM, was pleased to represent Glyde Metal at this six month long program. Here’s his summary of the week and how it positions this Melbourne metal fabrication company to partner and collaborate with Defence and other organisations in successfully delivering and sustaining our armed forces’ capability.
DISC One • June 23
Sunday – Day One
Fifty-four DISC participants from all states and territories made base camp in Melbourne and after a quick welcome lunch the DISC work commenced early on Sunday afternoon. The cohort divided into smaller groups to discuss a range of topics including questions subsequent to publishing of the DSR23.
With such a diverse range of participants there was the opportunity to better appreciate some of the largest changes in defence capability and acquisition since WW2.
Monday – Day Two
Monday commenced a short distance from base camp with speeches from senior stakeholders within the defence supply chain. DISC gives each participant insights into a wide range of areas within the defence sector realm .
After lunch, the cohort split into two and travelled by bus to a variety of manufacturing sites around the outer east of Melbourne.
Group one (codenamed Black Ochre) toured Marand whilst Rust Grey visited Rosebank Engineering, formerly Ruag Australia – both groups alternatively visiting the innovative Spee3d in Dandenong South. The diversity of the advanced manufacturing at these sites was impressive.
Tuesday – Day Three
An early morning trip to Deakin in Geelong where Ph.D. students in the research labs are creating innovative solutions within robotics, augmented reality and advanced simulation; these labs are an amazing resource where clever technology is designed and developed .
After lunch, the bus turned back to Port Melbourne and Sypaq Systems who boast 200+ personnel and have pivoted into the manufacture of low-cost drones that can be flat packed, sent abroad and assembled in the field. This secure facility demonstrated how a business was able to manufacture a new product, enter a new market and be successful.
Last stop Tuesday afternoon was AVT Australia, North Melbourne. AVT manufacture miniaturised Gimbals attached to drones and military aircraft in Australia and overseas. The gimbals contain high-resolution cameras and lasers which AVT manufacture on premises – this tour showcased the advanced manufacturing capability of an SME who been operating less than 15 years.
Wednesday – Day Four
A 7am start for the group heading to the Land Engineering Agency (LEA), Monegeetta, Victoria. This large and comprehensive vehicle proving ground one hour north of Melbourne incorporated countless Vehicle Trials facilities including:
• 1st Class Roads
• 2nd Class Roads
• Cross Country Tracks
• Steep Descents
• Obstacle and Handling Precincts
In addition, there are many laboratories onsite, such as:
• Large EMI/EMC Chamber – Static Demo Mode
• MEL Hot and Cold chambers – Active Demo Mode
• HVTE & MEL – Light Active Demo Mode
• Tilt Table – Static Demo Mode (wheel lift)
• Large C of G Table – Static Display – No Vehicle
• ELAF – Body Armour/ Terminal Effects and Weapon Display
After lunch, DISC was bound for Launceston, Tasmania.
Thursday – Day Five, Davenport, TAS
Six sites were on the itinerary for the group to inspect today.
First Stop: Elphinstone Group, Burnie – an Australian privately held company with $1.5B annual sales manufacturing specialised heavy materials-handling equipment for mining; a sophisticated operation that includes metal fabrication, CNC machining, painting and assembly.
Next, Jayben Group, an SME manufacturing road-sweeping trailers and other light-duty towed equipment. Jayben won a defence contract to design and manufacture trailers to launch and recover drones – the prototypes were large dual-axle units.
After that was Storemasta, a sheet metal manufacturer specialising in dangerous goods storage cabinets from a few cubic meters to shipping container size. Storemasta’s capability includes a robotic production line with automated welding and assembly capability.
Next stop was Tasmanian Minerals Manufacturing and Energy Council (TMEC). A not-for-profit running training and support programs for local members that includes assembly and welding from novice to advanced certification. A well-resourced facility with modern equipment including virtual and physical welding machines.
Onto Mader International who are converting and manufacturing about one third of Australia’s 750 ambulances per annum and supplying to most mainland states and territories. Mader convert Toyota Landcruiser 80 Series into small Ambulances right up to larger dual-axle units via an onsite turnkey operation.
Sixth and last stop – Pivot Maritime International, manufacturing maritime simulation systems that are amongst the world’s best. Pivot built a full-size ship simulation bridge within two forty-foot containers for defence and commercial maritime purposes. The simulation includes 360 degrees of large screens, surround sound and a vibrating floor – impressive!
Friday -The Final Day
First stop – Definium Technologies, a remarkable small company that design and manufacture printed circuit boards, communication and other electronic solutions. The printed circuit boards (PCB) are fed electronic components (capacitors, diodes, etc.) via a tape style reel, with hundreds of different rolls simultaneously feeding parts into the machine. Definium are the only PCB manufacturer and bespoke electronic solution provider within Tasmania.
Last stop – The Australian Maritime College, Launceston. The testing and evaluation tools on this site included a 100-metre-long towing tank to assess maritime design performance; an 8 metre-high impact test rig to simulate underwater collision, as well as a variety of water based drones.
After a presentation and tour there was time for a quick lunch before boarding the bus to Launceston airport for the many flights returning the DISC back home.
DISC brings together and exposes participants to key aspects of the environment in which the Australian Defence industry needs to navigate, collaborate and partner to successfully deliver and sustain defence industry capability – a full agenda and busy week left the cohort with lasting memories.