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DMTC Annual Conference 2023
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John O'Callaghan

Chair - Defence Council Victoria and Defence Science Institute Advisory Board


Professional Bio

John (Johnno) O'Callaghan is the Chair of the Defence Council Victoria and Defence Science Institute Advisory Board. He has over 30 years’ experience in senior public and private sector roles. In 2019, he was appointed as the Victorian Defence Industry Advocate. In this role he provides strategic defence industry advice to the Victorian Government, as well as assisting Victorian based defence industry companies to navigate, among other things, the complex Department of Defence procurement process.
For five years until 2017, Johnno was Executive Director of the Australian Industry Group Defence Council, the leading organisation representing the interests of defence industry made up of the CEOs of Australia's defence industry companies.  He chaired the Defence Council's Contracting Working Group focused on improving defence capital procurement with attention to intellectual property, liability, insurance and reducing red tape.
Prior to this, Johnno was the Government Relations Manager for Virgin Blue (now Virgin Australia) and the Corporate Affairs Manager at Bonlac Foods (now Fonterra).
Johnno's extensive public sector roles have included as Assistant Secretary, Major Capital Procurement in the Department of Defence; Senior Adviser to former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, the Hon Kim Beazley AC; and Senior Parliamentary Adviser to Kim Beazley's Leader of the House of Representatives role.
His academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts from Australian National University and a Certificate of Management from Canberra TAFE.