Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

11 August 2017

Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth

New Defence Advocate to promote Tasmanian capability

The Hodgman Government continues to back our capabilities in the defence manufacturing and contracting sectors and has now appointed a dedicated Defence Advocate to raise the profile of Tasmania’s capabilities among key decision makers in Canberra and internationally.

Rear Admiral (Rtd) Steve Gilmore, AM, CSC has accepted this key role to strengthen the linkages between the defence services, defence primes and our local industries to advance Tasmania’s contribution towards the $30 billion a year national defence investment.

Real Admiral Gilmore has recently finished full time service after a long and distinguished defence career that included many years at the most senior levels of the Australian Defence Force, both at home and in service abroad.

As our Defence Advocate he will provide a strong and trusted voice for Tasmanian industries and service providers.

Rear Admiral Gilmore will provide strategic advice on focusing our engagement activities to further attract Defence, public and private investment whilst also identifying opportunities and knowledge of the sector in general.

He will work closely with Tasmanian industry to identify capability, better match industry to defence needs and to share advice and information with potential contractors.

This role will be invaluable in assisting government and industry stakeholders in navigating the Defence processes and practices in order to be at the forefront of future contributions and participation.

The Rear Admiral has extensive experience in strategic policy and strategy analysis and development, capability planning, operations and training requirements through senior command and leadership appointments spanning the past 20 years. He is well-known and respected across government, industry and military circles in Australia and abroad.

We know that our local manufacturing industries are the best in the business with growing reputations both nationally and internationally.

We also know there is a much bigger contribution Tasmanian businesses can make for Australia’s national defence.

We have long backed our state’s capabilities and innovations in the Defence sector and again they are on show cementing what should be our increased participation in Australia’s own Defence and national security capability generation programs.

Industry responses

“CBG is thrilled with the appointment of Steve Gilmore as Tasmania’s defence advocate.

CBG got to know Stephen Gilmore during his posting at the Australian Embassy in Washington and we are pleased to know that he will be sharing his experience advocating for Tasmanian defence capability within Australia and internationally while also providing guidance and intelligence back to Tasmania.”

  • Javier Herbon, Managing Director, CBG Systems Pty Ltd.

“I congratulate the Tasmanian Government for its foresight and vision in appointing a Defence Advocate for the Tasmanian business community.

The appointment of former Rear Admiral Steve Gilmore, who has an excellent track record of achievements in defence, will be a significant game changer for Tasmanian businesses in our efforts to obtain defence contracts and build a stronger defence industry.

This is exciting news and comes at a critical time for Tasmania's defence industry which will benefit enormously from the extensive experience and expertise of such a talented person.”

  • Dr Jeffrey Hawkins, Managing Director, Pivot Maritime International.

Steve Gilmore AM, CSC

Rear Admiral (Rtd.) Steve Gilmore, AM, CSC joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1977 from Adelaide, South Australia. Studying at the RAN College, Jervis Bay, he completed secondary, tertiary and initial professional education and training prior to graduating in 1981.

As a specialist Seaman with his early experience in the Fleet centred on Bridge watchkeeping/navigation duties. He is a qualified and most experienced Principal Warfare Officer and completed three consecutive postings at sea as Operations Officer in both Australian and British warships.

From 1992-1994, he served in Maritime Headquarters as a Fleet Gunnery Officer and in the Sea Training Group. This position included both development of operational policy/strategy. He was subsequently posted as the Executive Officer (second in command) of the Guided Missile Frigate HMAS MELBOURNE. Promoted to Commander in 1996, he was appointed as the RAN Liaison Officer to the United States Navy (USN) Doctrine Command in Norfolk, Virginia where he served in the International Cell alongside officers representing a number of navies. In this role, he participated in the development of both USN and multinational maritime doctrine and strategy.

On return to Australia, Commander Gilmore was posted to Maritime Headquarters as Commander of Plans during 1998-1999. In this role he led the planning activity for all Australian Defence Force and Navy operations and exercises involving major fleet units. This included involvement in the strategic/operational planning for Australia’s role in the 1999 East Timor Intervention. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2000 Queens Birthday Honours list for his service in this position. Steve Gilmore assumed command of the ANZAC class frigate HMAS ARUNTA in 2000.

In addition to major Task Group deployments (across the Asia Pacific region), a highlight of this period was the award of the prestigious Gloucester Cup, which recognised ARUNTA as the Navy’s best and most operationally proficient major fleet unit in 2000. Promoted to Captain in 2001, he attended the Defence and Strategic Studies Course at the Australian Defence College during 2002 and graduated with a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies from Deakin University.

Captain Gilmore was appointed as the Director of Maritime Combat Development in December 2002. This senior leadership position demanded oversight of detailed capability and user needs documentation and strategy across a very broad range of major maritime projects including the Air Warfare Destroyer, Amphibious Ship, ARMIDALE class Patrol Boats and replacement underway replenishment vessel. Close work with the (then) Defence Material Organisation, Defence Science and Technology Organisation, international and Australian Defence Industry and with Government was an integral part of this role.

Captain Gilmore was promoted to Commodore (one star rank) in January 2005 and appointed to the position of Director General Navy Strategic Policy and Futures (DGNSPF) in Navy Headquarters. This role required the development of Navy and Maritime policy and strategy that shaped RAN future capability, operating concepts and international engagement (particularly with the US, UK, NZ and across the Asia Pacific).

The promulgation of Navy’s PLAN BLUE (the Service’s 30 Year Strategic Plan) was a key outcome of this posting. Selected to command international coalition Task Force 58 in the Northern Persian Gulf, Commodore Gilmore was deployed as part of Operation CATALYST between April and August 2005 and was responsible for the conduct of all maritime security operations across the Northern Arabian Gulf.

Commodore Gilmore was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2006 Queens Birthday Honours list in recognition of his operational service and leadership as Commander Task Force 58. Commodore Gilmore became the Commander of Navy Systems Command in September 2007 and was promoted to Rear Admiral in June 2008.

In this role he commanded all Navy shore bases and facilities across Australia and was responsible for Navy Human Resource management matters and all individual training for the Navy’s workforce (of over 14,000 personnel), workplace health and safety, engineering policy and Navy communications/electronic warfare . This required management of an annual operating budget of some $160M. Interaction with national academic and engineering organisations/institutions was a requirement of this leadership position.

Rear Admiral Gilmore was appointed as Commander Australian Fleet from October 2009 to December 2011. Responsibility was focussed on Navy capability generation and war fighting policy, strategy, doctrine, tactics and standards across all RAN submarines, surface ships and aircraft. Fleet Command also held responsibility for all Navy training (individual and collective) and included around 12,000 personnel.

Rear Admiral Gilmore served as the Deputy Chief of Joint Operations from December 2011 to November 2013. All operations and major exercise activity conducted globally and in Australia was carried out under the command of JOC and as such, RADM Gilmore played a leading role in the oversight of these major defence and security activities.

RADM Gilmore held the position as the Head Australian Defence Staff (Washington) and Australian Defence Attaché at the Embassy of Australia, in Washington DC, from January 2014 to 2017. Management of the Australian Defence Department and ADF interactions with the United States was a focus of the role. This included oversight of Defence Capability & Sustainment Group’s Embassy lead activities which managed over 400 active Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contracts with the US involving expenditure of around $15M per business day and interactions with many US Defence Industries and organisations. Assistance with Australian company interactions within the US was also a part of this broad position.

Participation in ‘Defence to Defence’ strategic policy development and implementation was another fundamental part of this leadership posting. RADM Gilmore retired from full time service in May 2017 after 40 years with the Department of Defence and Royal Australian Navy.

Steve Gilmore has a Master of Arts degree in Strategic Studies (Deakin University); Graduate Diploma of Applied Science; Diploma of Leadership & Management and a Diploma of Maritime Studies. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2006; was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in 2000 and the US Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal in 1997. Steve has been a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Director’s (MAICD) since 2007. Steve’s Board/non-executive Director roles have included Councillor of the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme.

Rear Admiral (Rtd) Steve Gilmore, AM, CSC was appointed as Tasmanian Defence Advocate in August 2017.

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