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Get a career kick-start in the defence industry


01 May 2023

Students are being connected with local defence companies to gain valuable work experience in real-life scenarios through $10,000 scholarships.

Students completing degrees in science, technology, engineering, maths or business may be eligible to apply for the South Australian Government’s Defence Industry Scholarship Program.

The program, which supports the development of a defence-ready workforce in South Australia, gives $10,000 scholarships to successful applicants to help with work placements.

Gabrielle Annese, who completed an internship at Nova Systems and is now employed there as a Digital Engineering Support Officer, said receiving a scholarship had given her career in the defence industry a kick-start.

Ms Annese said she was inspired to join the defence and aerospace industry by her grandfather, who was involved in the Blue Streak missile system testing at Woomera in the 1960s.

“The scholarship and internship opportunities have supported me to gain valuable experience to kick-start my career in the defence industry, while allowing me to grow my connections through the Defence SA alumni network and the wider Nova Systems community,” Ms Annese said.

“I’m fortunate that there is a world of opportunities for me to explore in defence right here in South Australia and I would love to aid in the continuing development of SA’s new space and defence era.”

Nova Systems Chief People Officer Shelley Willsmore said it had given the organisation access to “some of the best and brightest young South Australians” who are financially supported while studying and gaining real-life experience through internships.

“The Defence Industry Scholarship Program is an excellent initiative to grow the future workforce of the defence industry,” Ms Willsmore said.

“As South Australia is the defence state, it puts us in a great position to encourage students into defence careers.”

Since the Defence Industry Scholarship Program began, 64 students have completed placements with a total of 17 companies. It has close to an 80 per cent rate of students being offered employment with their host employer.

The program also provides financial assistance to small and medium defence businesses to support the administration costs of student placements.

The program is administered by the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group).