Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 1 2013 Contents Australia Day Achievement Medallions
acknowledge the outstanding contributions
and performance of public sector staff each
year. Defence talks to one 2013 recipient.
By Aurora Daniels
WHEN working in a team of only three people to bring a
20-year-old IT system up to date and work new laws into
an old framework in a few short months, what keeps you
going in those 10-hour days in the office?
Chocolate and a sense of humour of course, says
Louanne Holmback-Piggott, who along with her team
members received an Australia Day Achievement
Medallion for their work in the Defence Export Control
“I would never have gotten through without Leonard’s Tim
Tams. They made it all worthwhile,” she laughs.
Louanne, Leonard Wills and Karen Bell are set to change
the lives of many exporters and the team’s DECO
“Defence actually administers parts of the Customs Act on
behalf of Customs, which is something many people don’t
know about the Department,” Louanne explains.
“Firearms, parts of planes, some chemicals, encrypted
radios ... and not just products for use in Defence either.
“In the past, if an exporter provided a list three pages long
of products to be exported from Australia as part of their
application, then DECO staff had to type it all in by hand.
We have been running on a paper system up until now.”
Moving to forms being emailed into the system directly is
leaps and bounds ahead and brings the area on par with
DECO is implementing additional controls, which until now
have not been looked at in Australia and are hard to define.
“W ith the new Defence Trade Controls Act 2012, we will
be controlling intangible information, such as emails and
faxes involving intellectual property. We have also added
in brokering and brokers which are often not located in
Australia, which can add other issues,” Louanne says.
“It was a phenomenal task to overhaul the whole system
and it was much overdue,” Louanne says. “It has been a
very constructive working partnership with CIO Group to
get the first phase of the new system defined.”
Louanne is still working with Leonard and Karen on
finalising the Tiger Team’s efforts as they step into phase
two, which will be rolled out by the middle of this year.
She has enjoyed every minute since she resumed her
career with Defence as an APS3 six years ago.
“My husband Ian was in the Army so I followed his career
for 10 years while I was a mum to my three children. I
actually worked for Bunnings looking after 11 stores for
eight years before I decided I missed Defence. I had been
working with DSD when I met Ian,” Louanne recalls.
“The idea was just to sit at APS3 and get told what to do,
but I guess I’m just not that sort of person,” she laughs.
“I loved working in DECO so when I was asked to take
on the Tiger Team it was a big decision for me. I thought
it was an important job and I was told I could pick my
people. Karen has the history in the area, I had the
procedural knowledge and Leonard took on the IT side of
things – so I decided to take the plunge.”
Husband Ian is glad his wife’s long hours have paid off.
“She works very hard and is very smart. It didn’t really
shock me that she received this medallion because she
does deserve it. What I admire most about Louanne is
how quickly she makes friends and they stay friends for a
very long time. She is very caring about her staff too,” he
Louanne says it is thanks to Leonard and Karen that the
team received recognition for their work.
“We all pulled some very long hours, especially Leonard. I
am proud of the contribution we’ve made. DECO and the
Tiger Team made it an absolute pleasure,” she says.
“This is my first award from Defence and it is really lovely
to have had our work noticed, although we don’t expect a
pat on the back.
“As long as Defence industry notices and tracking exports
are easier, then it will all be well worth it.”
The full list of Defence recipients of 2013 Australia Day
Medallions is on page 16.
THE Department of
Defence is responsible for
administering controls on
the export of defence and
dual-use goods, and the
granting of authorisations
to export, in the form of
permits and licenses.
Within Defence, this role
is done by the Defence
Export Control Office
DECO’s mission is to
ensure Australia exports
l Providing advice on the
control status of goods
l Issuing permits and
licences for the export
of controlled defence
and dual use goods
l Authorising end-user
certificates for the
import of controlled
defence and dual-use
l Providing assistance
approvals for foreign-
sourced defence items
l Delivering outreach
programs to assist
exporters in meeting
their obligations under
the relevant regulations
l Contributing to
efforts to prevent
the proliferation of
weapons of mass
proliferation and export
Issue 1 2013
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