WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The State Government of Victoria, Australia today announced that it is expanding its presence and expertise in the North American Defense & Aerospace industry with the strategic appointment of Karen Loughran as Manager, Defense & Aerospace for North America. Based in Arlington, VA, Loughran will be responsible for promoting Victoria's defense and aerospace leadership among North American-based companies.
The new Australian presence in Washington, D.C. is set against the backdrop of the upcoming U.S.-Australian global security talks scheduled to take place in Melbourne, Victoria next week. Late last week the U.S. State Department announced that the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, will visit Victoria on November 6 for the 25th anniversary of the annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) to discuss regional and global security issues. They will be meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, and Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith.
With more than 300 companies that supply products and services to the defense industry, Victoria boasts proven capabilities in military vehicle design and manufacturing, aerospace design and component manufacturing, autonomous systems design, munitions production and protective personal equipment design and manufacture.
Loughran, a native of Australia, brings more than 20 years of experience in business development for U.S. government and commercial organizations, including several aerospace companies, to her position with the State of Victoria. In her current role, Loughran will provide links for North American defense and aerospace companies looking to identify investment opportunities in Victoria. She will also provide guidance and information on the business development approvals process, statutory coordination, business site location services, business infrastructure and utility requirements and the Victorian investment climate, among other insights.
"Ideally situated to service the broader Asia-Pacific markets, Victoria is quickly becoming the defense hub of Australia, already home to the Australian operations of major industry suppliers such as BAE Systems, Boeing and Lockheed Martin," said Victor Perton, Commissioner to the Americas for the State Government of Victoria. "Karen will be instrumental in promoting Victoria's proven defense capabilities, supply chains, skilled workforce and supportive government among U.S. defense companies. We look forward to Karen's leadership in Washington, D.C."
Victoria is also playing a leading role in the global Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program, with 12 Victorian companies already supplying a variety of components to the $300 billion program. To date, the Australian industry overall has won more than $200 million in contracts for the JSF Program, with more than half of these going to Victorian companies, which are expecting to see an additional $10 billion in opportunities as a result of the program.
In addition to serving as the home to the Australian operations of companies such as BAE Systems, Boeing, GKN Aerospace and Lockheed Martin, Victoria is also home to several large research organizations such as Australia's Defense Material Technology Center and the Defense Science & Technology Organization's division for aeronautical, maritime and homeland security laboratories.
In 2009-2010, Victoria's defense and aerospace industry generated $2 billion in revenue, boasted approximately 9,000 workers and around $240 million in exports. For more information on the state's defense and aerospace capabilities, visit http://www.invest.vic.gov.au/aviation-aerospace.
For business inquiries regarding Victoria's defense industry, contact: Karen Loughran, Manager, Defense & Aerospace for North America, State Government of Victoria, Australia (703.682.6830, firstname.lastname@example.org); or Victor Perton, Commissioner to the Americas, State Government of Victoria, Australia (415.856.0552 ext. 103, email@example.com).
About Invest Victoria
Invest Victoria is the investment promotion agency of the State Government of Victoria, Australia. Invest Victoria provides a single entry point to a range of business and investment services for companies wanting to set up or expand their business operations through foreign direct investment (FDI) in the state of Victoria.
The agency operates U.S. offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. For locations and contact information, visit http://www.invest.vic.gov.au/offices.
For more information on Invest Victoria's services, visit http://www.invest.vic.gov.au.
Media Contacts: Michelle Craig, Nyhus Communications for Invest Victoria, 206.323.3733; firstname.lastname@example.org,
SOURCE Invest Victoria