Revolving Doors

Tony Fraser

Tony Fraser

Australian Defence Force | Military | Revolving Doors

Tony Fraser was in the Australian Army for 34 years, including a final stint in Defence’s weapons buying arm as Head of Helicopter Systems. From there he exited to industry, leading Finmeccanica’s Australian operation (now Leonardo) then moving to Airbus Australia. Both corporations were in the consortium supplying Defence with $3.5 billion of new helicopters. In November 2018, Fraser moved back into government as the Head of Defence’s weapons buying group.

Current Positions

Co-Chair, Advisory Board, Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) (Nov 2018–Present)

Deputy Secretary, Head of Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, Department of Defence (Nov 2018–June 2022)

Previous Positions


Head of Country, Australia and New Zealand, Airbus (9.10.17–26.9.18)

Managing Director, Airbus Australia Pacific (1.7.15–9.10.17)

Director, Airbus Australia Pacific Limited, a subsidiary of Airbus Helicopters (1.7.15–26.9.18)*

Director, Selex ES Australia Pty Ltd (a Finmeccanica company) (21.12.12–30.6.15)*

Head of Region, Finmeccanica Australasia (2012June 2015)

* ASIC record


Australian Army (1977-2011)

Fraser’s final 5½ years with the Australian Army were spent with the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), the government’s arms buying organisation, including four years as inaugural Head of the Helicopter Systems Division. During this period, he also led the team assisting David Mortimer in the review of defence procurement and sustainment (Mortimer Review). He also served in the dual role appointment of Head, Commercial Enabling Services and Head Program Control and Assurance, which saw him responsible for DMO input for project Cabinet Submission development and clearance.

Related Items

Airbus and Finmeccanica (now Leonardo) are in a consortium (NH Industries) which manufactured, and now sustain, the trouble-plagued MRH90 helicopters acquired by Defence. See ANAO audit and ABC report for more information.

Michelle has had a long career in writing and research, initially in the financial services sector producing plain language investor communications. For the last 10 years, she has been involved in research and campaigning for various organisations seeking to reduce warfare and militarism.

An abiding interest has been the prevention of corruption via increased transparency and accountability. She is currently researching the links between current and former politicians, public servants and military personnel, and weapons-making corporations.

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