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Our team

Emilio De Stefano

Emilio De Stefano

MEng (MilitarySysInteg) BEng (Hons) BMgmt MIEAust CPEng

Director & Principal
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An experienced executive and Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng), Emilio has over a decade of industry experience across a variety of industry sectors including defence, oil & gas, water and infrastructure. Having practiced in organisations ranging from start-ups to large, multi-national corporates, in both technical and executive leadership roles, Emilio has an innate knowledge and understanding of people, culture, leadership, business and what it takes to succeed in any environment.

 

Emilio has Bachelor level qualifications in engineering and management and has undertaken numerous postgraduate programs including a Master of Engineering in Military Systems Integration, the South Australian Defence Industry Leadership Program and an Executive Program at the prestigious Stanford Graduate School of Business.

 

Prior to establishing De Stefano & Co in 2015, Emilio spent four years in the role of General Manager at a leading South Australian manufacturer, which saw the company experience record year-on-year growth, become a key player nationally and win two prominent awards in 2014 and 2015, including the national Manufacturers’ Monthly Endeavour Award in the category of Business Transformation.

 

Emilio is also a Past Chairman of the Institution of Engineering & Technology SA&NT Local Network, a past member of the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FACCI) Aerospace, Defence & Aviation (ADA) Sub-Committee, a member of the Industry Leaders Fund (ILF) and a 2021 InDaily 40 Under 40 award recipient.

Professional expertise and interests:
 

  • Strategic planning

  • Tender response development and review

  • Structuring companies for growth

  • Business collaboration and teaming

  • Business advisory

  • Business / process improvement

  • Business case development

  • Board / advisory board positions

  • Business development

  • Project management

  • Systems engineering

  • Engineering management

Jeremy Watkinson

Jeremy Watkinson

GCert Cyber BCom MAISA

Head of Protective Security Services
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Jeremy is an experienced cyber security consultant with highly developed team leadership, stakeholder engagement, planning, project management, and technical skills. He is a Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) specialist, able to assist with technical security assessments for classified environments, cyber security strategy and implementation and security training. Jeremy has worked with Commonwealth and State Government, defence industry, and leading global software and cloud services providers.

 

As De Stefano & Co's Head of Protective Security Services, Jeremy lives and breathes all things related to the Defence Industry Security Program (DISP), supporting clients by managing the entire DISP process, beginning with the initial gap analysis, all the way through to the submission of final documents and finally, membership attainment and ongoing compliance. In addition, Jeremy is also a Member of the Australian Information Security Association (MAISA).

 

Prior to specialising in cyber security, Jeremy had a long career in the Australian Defence Force and the Commonwealth Government, including management and specialist technical roles in international diplomacy, communications, trade policy, law enforcement, regulatory compliance, border security, visa processing and intelligence analysis. Many of these roles used technology as an enabler, and Jeremy has carried this passion and interest into his cyber security career.

 

Always open to opportunities to learn and grow professionally, Jeremy is currently studying for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam. Outside of work, Jeremy is the President of the Port Adelaide Rowing Club.

Professional expertise and interests:
 

  • Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) membership attainment support

  • Protective security

  • Information Security Manual (ISM) Entity Assessment and IRAP Gap Analysis

  • Essential Eight compliance

  • Cyber security strategy and implementation

  • Security training development and delivery

David Kameniar

David Kameniar

GradDipLegPrac LLB BBus (EcFinTrade) AssocDegLangCultStud MAISA

Senior Associate & Security Officer
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David is a business and security professional with a background in law and defence security advisory, as well as program and project management. Working across security engagements at De Stefano & Co, David specialises in the delivery of DISP membership attainment support and physical security uplift services.

 

Proficient in advising senior executives – from SMEs through to multi-nationals – on uplifting defence security within their organisations, David is a Member of the Australian Information Security Association (MAISA) and has recently completed the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s Essential Eight Assessment Course through TAFECyber. He is also an experienced presenter, having delivered presentations on the Essential Eight and DISP in collaboration with the SA Business Chamber (prev. Business SA), ICN SA and the Defence Teaming Centre.

 

Prior to joining De Stefano & Co, David spent 5 years working in various roles within the Australian Centre for Business Growth at the University of South Australia, managing the centre’s world class business growth programs focused on growing Australian SMEs. David most recently led the centre’s program operations, as well as sales and recruitment. 

 

David has completed a double degree in Law and Business (Economics, Finance & Trade) as well as an Associate Diploma of Language and Cultural Studies, achieving written and speaking competency in French. David has also completed further legal training with a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice.

Professional expertise and interests:

  • Program and project management

  • Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) membership attainment support

  • Essential Eight compliance

  • Protective security

  • Stakeholder engagement and management

  • Business improvement

  • Business planning

  • Event management

Ken Fong

Ken Fong

MBA (Pending) BAcct BEng CertCybSec (Pending) MAICD

Senior Associate
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Ken is an accounting and engineering professional with 13 years of international experience. He has worked in Defence Electronics at BAE Systems Australia and at BDO Chartered Accountants, where he was part of both the Audit and Advisory teams. Ken's audit experience is diverse, including industries such as Construction, Manufacturing, Retail, Hospitality, Agriculture and Local Government.

 

During his time in Advisory, Ken advised clients using Data Analytics for evidence-based decision making, operational decision-making and analysis for potential fraud. He has extensive experience in Financial Modelling (producing Forecast and Option Analyses) and Risk Management; identifying key enterprise-wide and operational risks as well as developing and implementing risk management strategies, frameworks, policies and processes.

 

Ken is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is currently completing his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) through the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and his Certificate IV in Cyber Security at TAFE SA. He has a Bachelor of Accounting and a Bachelor of Electrical and Telecommunications Engineering.

Professional expertise and interests:
 

  • Cyber security

  • Management accounting

  • Financial modelling, forecasting and analysis

  • Business / financial process and policy development

  • Business advisory

  • Internal auditing

  • Option analysis

  • Business case development

  • Risk management

  • Evidence-based decision making

Les Shearn

BMgmt DipBus DipOH&S GAICD

Senior Associate
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Les is an accomplished professional with over 25 years in strategic and operational roles within both large multi-nationals and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). His areas of specialisation include organisational design and development, change management, defence industry market-entry and business growth. Les has diverse sector experience including engineering, broadcasting, manufacturing, construction, production, heavy maintenance, warehousing and logistics.

 

Les has a business focused, practical and highly consultative approach which enables him to identify core issues, develop strategies and deliver solutions. Les is creative and outcome oriented with a passion for developing strategies and programs focused on employee engagement and business growth.

 

With an ability to combine commercial acumen with an understanding of the key drivers for organisational effectiveness, Les thrives on working alongside a business or individual to analyse a problem and develop a practical solution to transform a business or individual for the better. He has worked across a diverse range of industries within Australia and Internationally that has provided him with extensive business experience, expertise and understanding of solutions that impact positively on the bottom line of any business.

 

Les has a Bachelor of Management, a Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S), a Diploma of Business and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Professional expertise and interests:
 

  • Strategic planning

  • Business development

  • International engagement and market entry

  • Business growth advisory

  • Organisational design and development

  • HR management

  • Change management

  • Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) membership and accreditation

  • Interim management (e.g. BDM, Operations Manager, etc.)

  • Board / advisory board positions

Les Shearn

Mick O'Neill

BEng (Hons) MBA

Senior Associate
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Mick is a strategy, business growth and economic development professional with over 30 years’ experience in Defence, ICT, State and Local Government. 

 

Starting his career as an engineer and project manager for Defence companies including AWA Defence Industries, Mick then built on his strong commercial foundations to become a champion of innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration. Mick pioneered the ‘Industry Cluster Development’ model, which encouraged collaboration between related industries to generate higher economic growth across South Australia. The model helped to build a competitive advantage for the state in key industries, as well as the establishment of a number of industry bodies such as the Defence Teaming Centre, and the Water Industry Alliance.  

 

Mick has held executive roles in growth and investment for the Department for Trade and Investment, Department of State Development, Adelaide City Council and as a strategic adviser for Flinders Partners. He has also provided strategy, innovation and commercialisation advice to both the private sector and Government.

 

Mick has a Bachelor of Engineering (with Honours) and a Master of Business Administration. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Professional expertise and interests:
 

  • Business growth advisory

  • Strategic planning

  • Grant applications

  • Business collaboration and teaming

  • Business case development

  • Project management

Mick O'Neill

Kyle Whenan

BIntRelPolSc

Associate
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Kyle works part-time as an Associate at De Stefano & Co whilst also working in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as an Air Surveillance Operator, a role he has held for over four years. In this role, Kyle uses advanced electronic and radar equipment. Through his work in Defence, Kyle has developed a strong understanding of the importance of good governance and high-level security practices, making him a valuable resource for our Defence security and protective security clients. Prior to joining the military, Kyle held roles in the hospitality and manufacturing sectors.

 

As well as being a strong believer in professional development, Kyle is also passionate about leadership and professional mentoring. Kyle has completed a Bachelor of International Relations and Political Science at Flinders University. This degree saw Kyle undertake a 6-week internship in the United States Senate, providing him with an opportunity to develop his understanding and passion of Defence, Government and policy, and how all they intersect.

Professional expertise and interests:

  • Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) membership attainment support

  • Program and project management

  • International relations and foreign affairs

Kyle Whenan
Louisa Canning

Louisa Canning

BA (CommMediaMgmt)

Associate
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Louisa is an Associate at De Stefano & Co, supporting the team and our clients with grant applications, Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) memberships and more.

 

With a background in marketing and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media Management from the University of South Australia, Louisa also coordinates a range of marketing initiatives for the business, including website management, graphic design, social media administration, event management, writing, editing and proofreading. 

 

Louisa is experienced in preparing successful grant applications for SMEs, including the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) program and the Skilling Australia's Defence Industry (SADI) Grant. By utilising her high-level communication skills, Louisa ensures that each application is well-written, accurate and best represents the applicant in order to achieve a positive outcome.

Professional expertise and interests:

  • Strategic marketing and communications

  • Grant applications

  • Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) membership attainment support

  • Business development

  • Project management

  • Brand management

Tracy Pierce

MBA DipMgt DipPM AMAMI CPM

Associate
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Tracy is a marketing and communications professional with 15 years of defence experience. Starting her defence career with Tenix Defence - Electronic Systems Division (ESD), Tracy was part of the Business Development team managing the bid process, from developing tender documentation to coordinating bid teams, and managing the division's marketing activities. Following on from her time with Tenix Defence, Tracy worked for BAE Systems Australia as part of the Corporate Affairs team, managing and coordinating internal and external communications for the Joint Business Unit.

Before joining De Stefano & Co, Tracy managed events and communications for the Naval Shipbuilding College (NSC) and prior to this, spent 9 years with defence industry association, the Defence Teaming Centre (DTC). Tracy served as Director Member Services and Marketing and Editor of Defence Business magazine during her time at the DTC, overseeing the member engagement program, marketing and communications, and representing member capabilities to prime defence contractors, government and SMEs in Australia and overseas.

A graduate of the 2013 South Australian Defence Industry Leadership Program (SADILP), Tracy is also a Certified Practising Marketer with the Australian Marketing Institute and holds Diplomas in Project Management and Management.

Professional expertise and interests:

  • Strategy development

  • Strategic marketing and communications

  • Tender response development and review

  • Brand development

  • Project management

  • Business improvement

Tracy Pierce

Braeden Clark

Business Development Manager
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Braeden is a seasoned professional with a background in business development and leadership within the telecommunications and ICT industries. As De Stefano & Co’s Business Development Manager, Braeden plays a pivotal role is assisting clients to navigate our service offerings across security, strategy, development and grants. 

 

Before joining De Stefano & Co, Braeden held numerous key positions, building his expertise and guiding businesses to succeed through the implementation of targeted strategies. Over his years as a leader within the telecommunications industry, he was able to cultivate a collaborative work culture, enabling his team members to thrive and develop, resulting in not only a great team environment, but heightened business growth.

 

By collaborating closely with De Stefano & Co’s clients, Braeden aims to drive efficiency, assisting with the facilitation of seamless project deliveries. His consultative methodology allows him to pinpoint fundamental challenges, devise strategies, and implement effective solutions to help Australian SMEs navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the defence industry.

Professional expertise and interests:

  • Business development

  • Business growth advisory

  • Strategic planning

  • Business planning

  • Operations management

  • Sales management

Braeden Clark
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