© 2019 by EDS Consultants Pty Ltd T/A De Stefano & Co  |  PO Box 8131, Grange SA 5022  |  ABN: 30 609 433 829



Emilio De Stefano

MEng BEng (Hons) BMgmt MIEAust CPEng MIET

Director and Principal

Emilio is Director and Principal of De Stefano & Co. An experienced and award-winning executive and Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng), Emilio's industry experience commenced in 2005 with Tenix Defence - Electronic Systems Division. After completing a double degree in a Bachelor of Electrical and Mechatronic Engineering and a Bachelor of Management at the University of South Australia, Emilio joined BAE Systems Australia in 2007. His experience extends to the complex discipline of electronic warfare in various hardware engineering, systems engineering and engineering leadership roles. At the age of 27, Emilio became one of the youngest engineers to be accorded a Technical Authority at BAE Systems Australia.
In 2011, Emilio undertook the South Australian Defence Industry Leadership Program (SADILP), and shortly afterwards became General Manager at Smart Fabrication. It was during this time he completed his Masters of Engineering, while also leading Smart Fabrication through significant growth and cultural transformation. This saw the company experience record year-on-year growth and also resulted in Smart Fabrication winning two prominent awards; the National Manufacturers’ Monthly “Business Transformation” award in 2014 and the DTC Most Outstanding SME award in 2015.
In 2014, Emilio was awarded a grant by the Industry Leaders Fund to study at the prestigious, Stanford Graduate School of Business. Here he undertook the Executive Program for Growing Companies - a general management curriculum centred around educating business owners and senior executives in sustainable business growth.

An accomplished keynote speaker, Emilio leverages the lessons he has learnt from his Stanford experience as well as those from business and life, engaging audiences nationwide on topics including entrepreneurship, risk-taking, leadership and business.

Emilio is a past Chair of The Institution of Engineering and Technology SA & NT Local Network and has held various positions on the national board. Outside of De Stefano & Co, Emilio is Co-Founder of Adelaide Gardening Group, a provider of turn-key garden and grounds maintenance solutions to the commercial and strata management sector.

Professional Expertise and Interests:

  • Strategic planning

  • Tender response development and review

  • Grant applications

  • 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


Ken Fong

BAcct BEng MBA (Pending) MAICD

Senior Associate

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 assists both Chinese and Australian companies as a business consultant. In this role he assists clients with the Preparation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Financial Statements, 'westernising' company accounting policies to align them to International Accounting Standards, pre-audit preparation and project management support.


Fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese, Ken's language skills have enabled him to undertake audits on a number of Chinese entities in preparation to be listed on either the ASX or NSX. 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). He has a Bachelor of Accounting and a Bachelor of Electrical and Telecommunications Engineering.

Professional Expertise and Interests:

  • Grant applications

  • Management accounting

  • Financial modelling, forecasting and analysis

  • Virtual Chief Financial Officer (Virtual CFO) positions

  • Business / financial process and policy development

  • Business advisory

  • Internal auditing

  • Option analysis

  • Business case development

  • Risk management

  • Evidence-based decision making

  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)


Leigh Whicker

MBA AdvDip Rural Bus Mgmt

Senior Associate

Leigh is an experienced Field Engineer and business development professional. With a career spanning some 25 years, he has extensive experience in agribusiness, major oil and gas projects (both domestically and internationally) and the defence sector.

Commencing his career in the agribusiness sector as a Jackaroo on stud and commercial properties in SA, WA and QLD, Leigh has held operational and commercial roles that extend to commodities export as well as international trade in Europe, South East Asia and the Pacific Rim. He spent 6 months on secondment in Paris with the import agent for retail giant Carrefour Group.

Moving into oil and gas in 2005 as a Field Engineer for Halliburton, Leigh worked on offshore and onshore projects specialising in well interventions and production enhancement throughout Kazakhstan, South East Asia, Papua New Guinea, Australia’s North West Shelf and its Bowen Basin. He was also involved in early works on the CO2 injection program for Chevron Barrow Island on the Gorgon project. After 6 years, Leigh moved into commercial roles with Cameron (now a Schlumberger company) in surface flow control and sub-sea infrastructure where he negotiated sales and service contracts with the likes of Woodside and Chevron within Australia. After 2 further years in a senior management role with Ferguson Group, Leigh relocated back to South Australia taking up a role in the defence sector with QMS Connect, an asset integrity service supplier for Collins Class submarines.

Recently, Leigh has dedicated his efforts to assisting SMEs in the defence, mining and energy sectors with business development, commercial and supply chain capabilities.


Leigh has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and an Advanced Diploma Rural Business Management.

Professional Expertise and Interests:

  • Grant applications

  • Strategic planning

  • Business collaboration and teaming

  • Brand and marketing strategy

  • Business development and sales strategy

  • Product / service commercialisation

  • Tender response development and review

  • Business case development

  • Interim management (e.g. BDM, GM, etc.)

  • Process improvement and operational excellence


Tracy Pierce



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 bidding process, from developing tender documentation to coordinating bid teams, and managing the ESD’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.

Prior to joining De Stefano & Co, Tracy spent 9 years with defence industry association, the Defence Teaming Centre (DTC), most recently as Director Member Services and Marketing and Editor of Defence Business magazine. During her time at the DTC she oversaw the member engagement program, marketing and communications, and represented member capabilities to primes, government and other 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:

  • Strategic marketing and communications

  • Tender response development and review

  • Grant applications

  • Membership growth and retention

  • Brand development

  • Project management

  • Business improvement


Louisa Canning

BA (CommMediaMgmt)

Marketing and Grants Administration Officer

Louisa is the Marketing and Grants Administration Officer at De Stefano & Co. She supports the De Stefano & Co team through a range of marketing initiatives including website management, graphic design, social media administration, writing, editing and proofreading. Along with her marketing expertise, Louisa has experience in preparing successful grant applications for SMEs, including the Export Market Development Grant.

Louisa has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media Management from the University of South Australia, and undertakes a range of development activities to ensure she keeps ahead of changes and trends in the marketing industry. With over 13 years of marketing experience, Louisa is passionate about strategy, brand development and supporting organisations to build their capacity and sustainability through clear and empowering communication.