Keynote Speakers

Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead AM, RAN

Head Navy Capability, Australia

Title: Capability Acquisition Reform


Rear Admiral Mead joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1984 and proceeded to sea in 1986. He specialised in Mine Clearance Diving and Explosive Ordnance Disposal and after serving as Executive Officer of Clearance Diving Team One he undertook Principal Warfare Officer (ASW) training. A succession of warfare postings then followed, including: Anti Submarine Warfare Officer in HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Arunta, Fleet Anti Submarine Warfare Officer and Executive Officer of HMAS Arunta.

In 2005, he commanded HMAS Parramatta and saw active service in the North Arabian Gulf as part of Operation Catalyst; for this his ship was awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation and he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia. He undertook studies at the Indian National Defence College in 2007 after which he assumed the appointment as Australia's Defence Adviser to India. Promoted to Commodore in July 2011, Commodore Mead deployed to the Middle East where he commanded Combined Task Force 150, responsible for maritime counter terrorism. Upon his return to Fleet Headquarters in 2012, he served as Commander Surface Force. In January 2015, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and assumed the position as Head Navy Capability.

Rear Admiral Mead holds a Masters Degree in International Relations, a Masters Degree in Management and a PhD in International Relations. He has published a book on Indian national security.

Dr David Kershaw

Chief of Maritime Division, Defence Science and Technology Group - Department of Defence

Title: Science and Technology Support for Naval Shipbuilding.


David Kershaw started in Defence as a Cadet Engineer with Navy Material in 1987 and transferred to the then DSTO in 1989 following completion of a B.Sc(Hons) in Physics and a B.E in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering. From 1989 through to 1999 he worked in the area of torpedoes, torpedo defence and undersea warfare, covering circuit analysis through signal processing to operations research. During this time he also completed a PhD in Tracking Systems.

Dr Kershaw was appointed as Head of the Torpedoes & Torpedo Defence Group in 1999 before also assuming responsibility for Undersea Warfare Operations Analysis in 2002.  During 2003 and 2004 he was the Navy Scientific Adviser before returning to DSTO Edinburgh as the Air Warfare Destroyer S&T Adviser in 2005 and 2006. From September 2006 through January 2007 he was acting Research Leader in Surface Ship Operations with a focus on Combat Systems.

In 2007 Dr Kershaw was appointed as Head of the Torpedo Systems Group within the Undersea Sensors and Weapon Systems Branch in Maritime Operations Division.  In this role he had responsibility for all DSTO support to torpedoes and torpedo defence for the RAN. He then became Head of the Submarine Combat Systems Group in May 2010 before assuming the role of Research Leader Submarine Systems and SEA 1000 (Future Submarine) S&T Adviser in July 2011.  He was promoted to the position of Research Leader Undersea Command and Control in July 2014.

David was appointed as Chief Maritime Division with Defence Science and Technology in May 2016.

Dr Margaret Law

Submarine Capability and Strategy Manager, ASC Pty Ltd

Title: How Innovation can change a submarine business performance paradigm.


Dr Margaret Law has a PhD in physics and over 20 years experience in science and technology leadership within the Defence industry. Margaret began her career as an Opto-Electronics Scientist for Vision Abell, later Tenix Defence and was instrumental in the delivery of bespoke laser and electro optic systems that were at the forefront of technology for the time.

After 11 years with Tenix, Margaret joined ASC Pty Ltd. At ASC, Margaret has held a number of different roles, all with a focus on innovation and capability development. In her current role as Submarine Capability and Strategy Manager, she has established ASC’s Science and Technology Outreach program and sought to identify and implement future innovation, capability development and technology enhancements.

Rear Admiral Tony Dalton

General Manager Ships, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group - Department of Defence

Title: Australia's Naval Shipbuilding Project - an Update.


Rear Admiral (RADM) Tony Dalton is General Manager Ships. In this role RADM Dalton oversees the acquisition of Navy’s future fleet of combat and combat support vessels.

RADM Dalton has decades of Defence experience having joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1980 as a direct entry aviation midshipman. He has amassed over 5500 military
helicopter flying hours and has extensive experience as a Sea King and Seahawk flight pilot, a display pilot and as a qualified helicopter instructor. He served as Executive Officer of 816 Squadron in 1996 and Commanding Officer of 805 Squadron in 2001.

RADM Dalton has held a number of senior operational and acquisition and sustainment management positions including Commander Fleet Air Arm in Navy, Head Helicopter Systems Division in the then Defence Materiel Organisation and Head Joint Systems Division in the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group.