Strengthening Australia’s Defence Sovereignty

Join AmCham for a Defence Dinner and Summer Sundowner on Thursday 7 March in the Perth CBD. 




Austal Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg will provide a keynote address before joining a panel discussion alongside Defence’s Head Patrol Boats and Specialist Ships Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm AM CSM RAN. 

Learn from the Australian Department of Defence and Austal about the importance of:

1.Developing Australia’s defence industrial base.

2.Why Australia needs strong defence companies.

3.The importance of a national defence industrial policy.

4.The benefits of partnerships between defence and industry.  


Dr Richard Freer OBE, Managing Director, Public Infrastructure Australia

Bechtel Corporation

Richard brings over 25 years of extensive experience in various roles within the UK Government and Bechtel, a global engineering and construction company. He holds an MA in Chemistry and a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Oxford University. Richard joined Bechtel in 2013 and has since served in project management positions across different countries, focusing on infrastructure, power, and defence sectors.

Before Bechtel, Richard had a distinguished career in the UK Civil Service, primarily in defence and foreign policy. He managed programs related to the UK nuclear propulsion system, contributed to the Strategic Defence Review of 1997/98, served as a Political Adviser with the NATO Stabilisation Force in Bosnia, and held various policy and advisory roles related to defence and nuclear matters. Richard also served as Private Secretary and Policy Advisor to the UK Prime Minister, specializing in nuclear and defence issues, before joining Bechtel.

Throughout his career, Richard has demonstrated expertise in project management, technical challenges, policy formulation, and international relations, making him a valuable asset to Bechtel and the sectors it operates in.


Paddy Gregg, Chief Executive Officer


Patrick (Paddy) Gregg was promoted to the position of Austal’s Chief Executive Officer on 1 January 2021, following 4 years as Austal’s Chief Operating Officer. Paddy is a highly regarded senior leader with significant project management, manufacturing and business experience acquired within the high-technology nuclear defence industry, Rail Industry and Naval Shipbuilding Industry. Prior to joining Austal, Paddy was the Route Delivery Director (Western) for Network Rail in the United Kingdom. In this role he was responsible for all major infrastructure enhancements and renewals on the Route. Paddy has extensive experience in the naval sector having worked for BAE Systems Submarines, based in Barrow-in-Furness. Paddy was the Head of Project for the second Astute Class hunter killer nuclear submarine build. In this role he worked closely with both the Ministry of Defence and Navy to ensure the project was successfully delivered. As Chief Operating Officer at Austal, Paddy had responsibility for the shipbuilding and sustainment operations in Australia, Philippines and Vietnam. This responsibility covered both new build of commercial and naval vessels, and the sustainment stream of the business focussed support for Australian Border Force and Royal Australian Navy. As Chief Executive Officer, Paddy joins the Board of Austal Limited and oversees a global company comprising 5 shipyards and 8 service centres in 4 countries, with more than 5,000 employees worldwide. Paddy is a Chartered Engineer and fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, with a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and a Masters in Business Administration from the Warwick Business School.


Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm AM, CSM, RANHead Patrol Boats and Specialist Ships 

 Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment Group 

Rear Admiral (RADM) Wendy Malcolm commenced as Head Patrol Boats and Specialist Ships within Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment Group on 2 November 2022. Born and bred in Victoria, Wendy joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 1987, graduating from the Australian Defence Force Academy in 1989 having completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Physics. Wendy trained as a Supply Officer (Maritime Logistics Officer) at HMAS Cerberus in 1990 and saw service ashore and at sea. During the period 1995-1998, Wendy was involved with setting up the in-service support for the Anzac Class frigates through the Anzac Class Logistics Office within Naval Support Command. Between 1998-2000, Wendy served as the Supply Officer in the guided missile frigate HMAS Newcastle including operational service in East Timor as part of Operation WARDEN. Wendy was posted to the Directorate of Naval Officers Postings from February 2000 to December 2001 and during this period completed a Masters in Commercial Law. A challenging and rewarding posting in the then-Defence Materiel Organisation followed as the Project Manager for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Project during the period of this weapons introduction into service. Wendy was promoted to Captain as Director Anzac Systems Program Office in 2010. In this capacity, she was responsible for maintenance, logistics support and in-service engineering for the RAN’s eight Anzac Class frigates and shore facilities in Fleet Base East (Sydney) and Fleet Base West (Rockingham). Wendy was awarded a Conspicuous Service Medal in the 2015 Australia Day Honours List “for meritorious devotion to duty as the Anzac System Program Office Director”. Wendy left the Navy in 2015 to take up a position with Saab Australia as the Transition Manager for the new support enterprise for the Anzac ships, before returning to Navy in 2017 and appointed as Director General Specialist Ships with responsibility for sustainment of Patrol Boats, Pacific Patrol Boats, Hydrographic Vessels, Minehunters, Mine warfare and diving systems.  On 7 December 2018, Wendy was promoted to Rear Admiral and appointed as Head Maritime Systems within Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group with responsibility for acquisition and delivery of all specialist, patrol, and minor maritime vessels. Wendy was appointed  a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours List “for exceptional service in surface ship sustainment in the Australian Defence Force”.


 State Series Partners 




7/03/2024 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM
W. Australia Standard Time
ANZAC Club 28 St Georges Terrace PERTH, WA 6000 AUSTRALIA


Thursday, 07 March 2024

5:00 PM - 7:30 PM
7/03/2024 5:00 PM
5:00 PM - 7:30 PM
7/03/2024 5:00 PM

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