AIDN SA Celebrates its 17th Annual AIDN SA Young Achiever of the Year Award.
On the 6 December 2023, AIDN SA celebrated its 17th Annual AIDN SA Young Achiever of the Year Award (YAA) in combination with the Christmas Party.
Proudly sponsored and supported by Defence SA and Aurizn, the AIDN Young Achiever Award is a national competition recognising the outstanding work of young professionals under the age of 30, working in Defence Industry and alongside, or directly with, the Australian Defence Industry and are making meaningful impact in their business and to Defence.
Since 2005, the Young Achiever Award has showcased the outstanding performance, leadership, and achievements of many talented individuals within the Defence Industry sector from across the nation.
2023 reached new levels of recognition and competition, with eleven young professional nominees submitted from AIDN SA Member organisations. On the night, professionals across the Defence Industry, Government and Academia gathered to celebrate the achievements of:
- Andrew Tasker, Aurizn
- Annabelle Chambers, Asension
- Callum Martin, Asension
- Emmanuel Morfiadakis, DEWC Services
- Enzo Rugai, Aurizn
- James Knowles, Aurizn
- Jonathan Hedger, Aurizn
- Lachlan Porter, Asension
- Tait Reid, Aurizn
- Tristan Van Hoof, Asension
- William Voss, Asension
AIDN SA would like to congratulate Jonathan Hedger, from Aurizn, as the winner of the 2023 AIDN SA Young Achiever of the Year Award. Jonathan is currently working as an Associate Research Scientist working on a leading technology acceleration project for optical sensing. His job entails locating critical gaps in the technology and addressing them with potential scientific solutions. Jonathan’s passion and commitment to the Defence Industry is evident, and with a growing thirst for knowledge and responsibility, AIDN SA are keen to watch Jonathan’s career grow.
In his address to the function, AIDN-SA President Graham Priestnall OAM said, “the AIDN Young Achiever Award is a unique award in that it recognises young professionals across the defence industry which encompasses many industry sectors, such as engineering, services, manufacturing and innovation. However, all candidates share common traits, they are smart, driven, excel in their fields and have the potential to be future leaders.”
He also stated, “the AIDN YAA is a national competition and tonight’s winner, will go on to represent South Australia as a finalist in Canberra next year.” Priestnall thanked Defence SA for sponsoring the AIDN-SA YAA and Aurizn for their sponsorship of the function.
Chief Executive of Defence SA, Richard Price, said the agency was proud to sponsor the Australian Industry & Defence Network Young Achiever Award once again.
“A highly skilled and sustainable workforce is critical to the success of our defence industry and it is great to see the commitment and talent coming up in the workforce and the meaningful contribution they are making to building our sovereign defence capability,” Mr Price said.
“Today’s young achievers are tomorrow’s defence industry leaders, and I would like to congratulate Aurizn’s Jonathan Hedger for the outstanding achievement of being recognised as this year’s AIDN SA Young Achiever.”
Jonathan will go on to represent South Australia and compete for the national title at the AIDN National Dinner to be held in Canberra in 2024. To date, AIDN has recognised 17 national winners from participating Australian Defence Industry SMEs and Prime organisations. The competition is a great launchpad for young professionals seeking to enter Defence and Defence Industry through promoting careers within the sector.
AIDN SA would like to give a special thanks to our judges for this year Dr David Ormrod, Director of Information Warfare, Defence SA, Gordon Edwards, Director and Founder of Heavypoint Pty. Ltd., and Greg McDougall, Consulting Director, Jacobs.