• Northern Australia Defence Summit 2024

    Hosted by the NT Government, this policy-driven event will look at the opportunities for Australia’s Defence industry in Northern Australia.

    8 May 2024
    Darwin Convention Centre



This year’s Summit will focus on the ever-important strategic position of Northern Australia, its role in the wider Indo-Pacific region, and its significance to Australia’s security. Alongside this, the conference will cover a range of topics considering ADF Capabilities in the North, investment in infrastructure projects, Defence as a driver for local economic growth, and the challenges of developing and sustaining a sufficiently skilled workforce to support Defence operations.

The conference will provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the role of Defence in Northern Australia and current and future developments in the region.

The Summit will hear from Ministers, senior Defence personnel, industry leaders, SMEs, academics, and strategic analysts.


The Hon Pat Conroy MP
Minister for Defence Industry & Minister for International Development and the Pacific


Platinum Sponsor



Tuesday 16th May 2023

Enjoy the picturesque surroundings and gorgeous view of the Darwin horizon at Parliament House as the Chief Minister welcomes attendees to the 10th Annual ADM Northern Australia Defence Summit.

Hosted by: The Hon Natasha Fyles MLA, Chief Minister, Northern Territory Government

17:30 – 19:00 | Main Hall, Parliament House

KEYNOTE ADDRESS | Chief Minister’s Welcome Address

The Hon Natasha Fyles MLA, Chief Minister, Northern Territory Government


Conference Day | Wednesday 17th May 2023


Registration opens

You can collect your name badge at the Welcome Reception and fast track your entry into the Summit.



 Ewen Levick, Publisher, Australian Defence Magazine


OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

Allan Schmidt, Defence Adviser, Sitzler



The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Assistant Minister for Defence



The Hon Natasha Fyles, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory


KEYNOTE | Current and future Defence infrastructure projects in Northern Australia

  • The extent of Defence investment across the region
  • Economic and social impact on local communities and industry
  • Upgrades to Defence Estate and Infrastructure
  • Timeframes, benefits and expected outcomes from underway projects

Air Commodore Ron Tilley, Director-General – Capital Facilities & Infrastructure Branch, Department of Defence


PANEL | Defence as an economic driver across Northern Australia

  • Defence spending and investment and the value of this to the local economy
  • Defence industry and manufacturing in the region
  • Opportunities for export and access to international markets for local SMEs
  • Local workforce participation and programs in place to support this
  • Constructing and developing Northern Australia’s infrastructure

Mick Crossman, Senior Advisor – Defence, Austrade
Don Roach, Defence & Industry Engagement, Defence Jobs Queensland
James Bear, Senior Director, DefenceNT, NT Government
Moderator: Allan Schmidt, Defence Adviser, Sitzler


KEYNOTE | Bolstering Army’s littoral brigade capability

  • Engagement and collaboration with local maritime business
  • Enhancing amphibious operations
  • Interoperability between Army & Navy
  • The impact of technology on army littoral capability

LTCOL Mathew Gill, 1st Brigade, Australian Army


Morning Tea & Networking Break


Integrated Campaigning

  • Integrated Nationally
  • Integrated with Industry and Academia
  • Integrated with Allies and Partners
  • Civil Maritime Security

Rear Admiral Justin Jones, CSC, Commander Maritime Border Command – Commander Joint – Agency Task Force – Operation Sovereign Borders- Commander Joint Task Force 639, Royal Australian Navy


PANEL | Northern Australia in a national security context

  • The geopolitical and geographical significance of Northern Australia
  • How do local Defence facilities contribute to Australia’s national security and the future development of these?
  • Protecting Australia’s borders: Detecting illegal activity, advancements in technology and collaboration with international partners

Colin Drysdale, Assistant Commissioner North, Australian Border Force
Rear Admiral Justin Jones, CSC, Commander Maritime Border Command – Commander Joint – Agency Task Force – Operation Sovereign Borders- Commander Joint Task Force 639, Royal Australian Navy
Moderator: Nick Tate, Director – Integrated Infrastructure, PwC


The Defence Strategic Review and the Infrastructure Response in the North, a Sitzler Perspective

With the release of the Defence Strategic Review (DSR), announcements around submarines and basing, there is a noticeable refocus on renewing the concepts around Defence capability across Australia.

The refocus has seen many strategic commentators outline the need for providing suitable infrastructure in the north, enhancing our existing air bases, occupied and bare, and more broadly, looking at how we support and defend the northern approach to Australia, protect sea lanes, and ensure our right of sovereignty is maintained.

As the Department of Defence and government adapt to achieve these objectives, we look at the response necessary and how we, as an industry can enhance our support where required, while addressing the constraints and opportunities for the North at present and into the future

Anita Borella, Defence Sector Engagement Lead, Sitzler




How is Defence contributing the regional development and investment in infrastructure and transport?

The Hon Luke Gosling MP, Chair of Standing Committee on Regional Development


Address from Navy

CAPT Moses Raudino, Commanding Officer – HMAS Coonawarra, Royal Australian Navy


PANEL | The role of local communities in Defence activities across Northern Australia

  • How engaging with local communities enhances the effectiveness of defence strategies
  • Cultural engagement and inclusion of indigenous communities; outlining the value and perspective this offers Defence
  • Environmental impacts: considering how best Defence can ensure minimal impact on the areas it operates
  • Supporting emergency response efforts and enhancing local community ability to manage emergencies

LTCOL Steve Medlin, Commanding Officer, NORFORCE
Naomi Anstess, General Manager – Indigenous Business Growth, Northern Territory Indigenous Business Network
Moderator: Rekeesha Fry, Senior Manager, PwC’s Indigenous Consulting


Afternoon Tea & Networking Break


Cyber Territory Skills Hub

  • How will this aim to meet training and skills needs in the NT workforce?
  • What opportunities will this bring?
  • Engagement will local industry

Dr Teresa Schwellnus, Team Leader – Commerce & IT, Charles Darwin University


PANEL | Challenges and opportunities for the growth of Northern Australia’s Defence Industry

  • Population challenges and attracting people and businesses to Northern Australia
  • Capacity to educate and skill the workforce
  • Supply chain and logistics obstacles
  • Developing advanced and additive manufacturing technologies and facilities

Stephen Goodall, Chief Policy Officer, Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce
Dr Stuart Thomson, Director for BD ad Strategic Partnerships, Charles Darwin University
Tracey Lines, Assistant Infrastructure Commissioner of the Northern Territory Infrastructure NT – Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Northern Territory Government
Matt Punch, Director – Integrated Infrastructure, PwC Australia
Moderator: Emma Nesbitt, Managing Director, Actio Group


Closing Remarks from the Chair

Allan Schmidt, Defence Adviser, Sitzler


End of Conference & Networking Drinks


Early bird available until 29 March 2024.

SME is organisation with fewer than 200 employees globally
A local SME is one based in the Northern Territory with fewer than 50 employees

Department of Defence and Australian Defence Force – Free

Please register for Department of Defence and Australian Defence Force pass by emailing info@informa.com.au

A conference pass includes admission to each of the sessions, the networking functions both pre and post-event.

Packages Early Bird Full Rate
Conference pass – Standard Industry Rate $1,995 + GST $2,195 + GST
Conference pass – SME Rate $1,295 + GST $1,495 + GST
Conference pass – Local SMEs Rate $395 + GST $495 + GST

Networking Function

DefenceNT Networking Function

DefenceNT, in collaboration with Australian Industry and Defence Network, the Chamber of Commerce, Master Builders, the Indigenous Business Network and Industry Capability Network, will host a networking function following the Defence Summit.

This will provide a great opportunity to engage with key decision makers from Government and industry while enjoying a drink and canapes at Wharf One Food & Wine, one of Darwin’s best waterfront venues.


Darwin Convention Centre
10 Stokes Hill Rd,
Darwin City NT 0800
(08) 8923 9000

Book accommodation with HotelMaps
To access the best available rate, book here.


ConnectMe • Networking enhanced

All of our events utilise a bespoke dynamic smartphone app, ConnectMe – which guarantees attendees a premium event experience. Logins are sent prior to the conference commencement allowing you to check who’s attending, schedule in meetings and catch ups, participate in live Q+A and interactive polls, and much more. ConnectMe ensures you never miss a beat prior, during and post event.


Our Commitment to Sustainability

In Australia, we are committed to running our events in an environmentally and socially responsible way. Across Informa Connect we are focusing on the short and long-term sustainability impacts we have on customers and colleagues alongside the communities we work in.

We recognise that it’s not just about the way we produce our events and products but recognising that we have a role to play in providing a space to work in partnership together with our markets to inspire the sustainable development of the industries we serve.

To read more on our latest sustainability reports and Faster Forward initiatives – click here.