Executive Team

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Executive Team2020-12-11T21:54:58+10:30

Defence SA’s executive team brings together a wealth of diverse experience and talents charged with providing strategy and policy advice to Government to promote the growth of Defence and defence industries in South Australia.

  • Richard Price
  • Reg Carruthers
  • Rob Barnett
  • Jessica Hernandez
  • Richard Price
  • Reg Carruthers
  • Rob Barnett
  • Jessica Hernandez
  • Richard PriceChief Executive

    Richard Price was appointed Defence SA Chief Executive in October 2017. In this role, he was simultaneously appointed to the position of Chief Executive of the South Australian Space Industry Centre (SASIC).

    Richard has worked within the defence and public safety sectors for over 25 years and has international industry experience in leadership, business development and engineering.

    Prior to joining Defence SA and SASIC, Richard led a Stockholm based business unit for Saab AB with operations in Sweden, Denmark, Australia, South Africa and the UK. The focus was the global market for communication and control room solutions.

    Before moving to Sweden in 2013, Richard was Managing Director of Saab’s Australian operations.

    Richard is an engineering graduate of the University of Wales (BSc Hons, 1985) and a graduate of the Melbourne Business School Advanced Management Program (2006) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (2010).

    Richard is the Chair of Autism SA who help each person on the autism spectrum live the life they choose in an inclusive society.

  • Reg CarruthersExecutive Director, Defence and Space

    Reg Carruthers commenced with Defence SA as Director, Aerospace in October 2016 with a focus on growing the aerospace industry in the state. Reg is also one of the founding members of the South Australian Space Industry Centre (SASIC) executive team and works across Government supporting the space industry. In February 2020, Reg was appointed Executive Director Defence and Space where he works with all Defence SA sector leads, Workforce and Skills, and Government Relations to support and grow the defence and space industries in the State.

    Reg joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1981, graduating from the RAAF Academy in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science. After graduating as a Navigator, he completed numerous tours flying the AP3C Orion on operations and exercises nationally and internationally. He completed a three year exchange program flying the CP140 Aurora in Canada, and completed numerous commands including 28 active reserve squadron, the 92 Wing detachment in Butterworth Malaysia, 10 Squadron RAAF Edinburgh and the AP3C Operational Task Group on active duty in the Middle East Area of Operations.

    Reg’s last military command was as Commander of the Aerospace Operational Support Group (now Air Warfare Centre) responsible for electronic warfare, cyber, intelligence, aviation medicine, aviation publications and flight test, weapons and engineering squadrons, as well as the Woomera Test Range.

    Reg has completed staff positions in policy and plans and as staff officer to the Chief of Air Force, as well as an instructor on the Australian Command and Staff College. He is a graduate of the Australian Staff Course and a Distinguished Graduate from the US National War College. He has a Masters in Defence and Strategic Studies (Canberra) and Masters of Science (National Security Strategy) Washington DC.

    After 31 years in uniform, Reg transferred to the Public Service as Director of the Woomera Test Range in 2012, overseeing the project to modernise range systems and the establishment of RAAF Base Woomera.

    Reg remains an active member of the Air Force Reserves and as a Group Captain is Honorary ADC to the Governor General.

  • Rob BarnettExecutive Director, Corporate Services

    Before joining the South Australian Government in 2004, Rob Barnett enjoyed an extensive career in the banking sector, culminating in a range of senior roles in administration, business planning and finance. Rob has extensive experience in financial management and corporate administration, holds a Bachelor of Business degree, and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia.

  • Jessica HernandezDirector, Marketing and Communications

    Jessica Hernandez commenced with Defence SA as Events Coordinator in October 2011. Primarily responsible for the coordination and execution of Defence SA minor events, sponsorships and trade shows, Jessica was part of the broader Marketing and Events team. Jessica’s role expanded to include marketing activity for the agency, and now, in her role as Director Marketing and Communications she is responsible for the oversight and management of all marketing and communication activities for Defence SA and the South Australian Space Industry Centre.

    After tertiary education, where she completed a Diploma of Event Management, Jessica began her career in events with a South Australian professional conference organiser, All Occasions Group, in 2006. Her role as Senior Event Coordinator saw her coordinating all aspects of conferences and events around Australia for a wide variety of associations and private companies for up to 2,500 delegates at a time.

    Prior to joining Defence SA, Jessica worked for Advantage SA (formerly SA Great) as Program Manager. In her role at Advantage SA, she managed the successful Speakers In Schools program, exposing South Australian students to the vast range of career opportunities available within the state and the South Australian of the Year and Regional Awards Programs recognising the excellence and innovation of individuals and businesses.

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