New Defence SA Advisory Board member

Air Vice-Marshal (retd) Cath Roberts AO CSC has been appointed to the Defence SA Advisory Board. Ms Roberts had a decorated career of more than 40 years in the Royal Australian Air Force as an Aerospace Engineer.

She joins the Defence SA Advisory Board with extensive experience and knowledge in space capability analysis, project management, governance, airworthiness and safety, contracting, diplomatic postings and networking across Defence, Government, industry and academia.

Ms Roberts has had postings as Head Aerospace Systems Division, Head of Air Force Capability and was the inaugural Commander of Defence Space Command responsible for consolidating space capabilities across defence and enhancing space operations in Australia.

Defence SA Acting Chief Executive Reg Carruthers said the appointment came at a critical juncture for South Australia’s defence and space industries.

“Cath will bring real insight into the needs of the Defence Force and ensuring our defence and space industry has the capability to support those requirements,” Reg said.

“Her experience in aerospace capability, capability acquisition and recently in establishing space capability in Defence will be a real asset to our existing high calibre knowledge base on the Defence SA Advisory Board.

“With growth of the defence and space industry workforce our current highest priority, Cath’s passion for inspiring the next generation of women to consider a career in STEM is also strongly aligned to our strategic objectives for workforce development.”

When commenting on the appointment, Ms Roberts said she was looking forward to supporting the development of South Australia’s defence and space industry capability.

“I have strong ties to South Australia and look forward to seeing the State grow in its contribution to our nation’s security and prosperity,” Ms Roberts said.

“My time in Defence has provided me with a deep knowledge of space and aviation which will complement the skills of the Defence SA Advisory Board and enhance broader growth opportunities for South Australian industry.

“Workforce is at the heart of growing industry capability. Growing and skilling the workforce, particularly in STEM, is a passion I look forward to continuing in my work with the Defence SA Advisory Board.”

Ms Roberts was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross for her contribution to Aviation Safety in 2004 and she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2022 for her service as Head Aerospace Systems Division and Head of Air Force Capability.

Ms Roberts officially started with the Defence SA Advisory Board in March 2024 for an initial two-year term.

Learn more about the Defence SA Advisory Board