10 April 2024

Cath Roberts appointed as member of Defence SA Advisory Board

| Andrew McLaughlin
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AVM Cath Roberts (Ret'd)

AVM Cath Roberts retired as the inaugural Commander of Defence Space Command in late 2023. Photo: ADF.

Former senior Royal Australian Air Force officer Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts (Ret’d) has been appointed as a member of the Defence SA Advisory Board for an initial two-year term.

The highly regarded AVM Roberts retired as the inaugural Commander of Defence Space Command in late 2023 after a 40-year career in the RAAF.

An aerospace engineer by trade, AVM Roberts also held senior positions as the Head of the New Air Combat Capability (F-35 JSF) project, Head Aerospace Systems Division and Head of Air Force Capability.

Throughout her career she has been a passionate advocate for STEM and for promoting the benefits of a STEM education to women inside and outside of Defence.

As such, 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.

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She was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in 2004 for her contribution to aviation safety and 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.

Defence SA Acting Chief Executive Reg Carruthers said the appointment came at a critical time 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,” he 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.”

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AVM 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,” she added. “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.”

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