DEWC celebrates 10 years in electronic warfare business

From humble beginnings at the kitchen table to South Australia’s Technology Park, DEWC Services has solidified its place as one of defence industries preferred partners in electronic warfare.

Providing services to solve emerging challenges in electronic warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, DEWC Services commits itself to deliver the ADF with capabilities to ensure those who put their lives at risk can succeed in their mission and have the best chance of a safe and successful return home.

Celebrating 10 years, DEWC Services CEO and RAAF veteran Allan Dundas looks back at the decade in which his passion to protect our defence personnel grew into the highly regarded DEWC Alliance of Companies. With more than 100 national and international contracts completed, Allan reflects on the origin project which still underpins the company’s modern values and purpose. In 2005, Allan led an engineering team that took on a rapid acquisition to provide electronic warfare upgrades for the RAAF P-3 Orion Aircraft, enabling new self-protection systems to be used in the Middle East. “We had a very short timeline to upgrade the aircraft and add survivability systems so that if they were shot at by surface-to-air missiles, they had an ability to defeat those threats and survive,” Allan said.

Attending the deploying forces’ farewell, Allan’s team witnessed the results of their efforts firsthand, acknowledged by the Defence Minister in front of crew and their families for the vital services they had delivered to keep our personnel safe. “That’s the most satisfying type of work and it’s what drives us every day. You feel like you’ve contributed directly to Australia’s success in the battlespace, and we work hard to ensure our soldiers, sailors and aviators come home to their families,” Allan said.

Fuelled by their passion for problem solving, professional mastery and collaboration, DEWC Services have continued to facilitate a myriad of Defence projects spanning Joint Strike Fighter capabilities, Wedgetail survivability systems, Naval Romeo Programming and a series of Radio Frequency and Electro-Optic Countermeasures as well as Countermeasure Development & Validation programs. Rapidly expanding their services, facilities, and staff over the decade, DEWC Services was recognised for their commitment to deliver client outcomes, awarded with the Australian Defence Industry Awards consultancy of the year 2019.

Allan reflected on the magnitude of his teams’ achievements. “Awards aren’t something that we’ve ever been focused on, the job itself is rewarding, but as we grew it became important to get the positive message out to both our customers and to our own people, to reward and celebrate their success. We beat out some very large companies for consultancy of the year, it was pretty exciting to win and that was where we first stopped to celebrate our success, it made our people proud of each other.”

DEWC Services collected several accolades in 2021, ranking ninth Best Workplace in Australia, receiving five Australian Defence Industry finalist placings and Business Manager Deb Penaluna presented with South Australia’s Woman Leadership Award.

Acknowledging people are the lifeblood of his business, Allan is devoted to maintaining considered recruitment and investment in his team to continue sustainable growth and success. “Our growth is constrained by getting the right people, growing the right leaders, and giving all of our staff meaningful work.”

Seeking out people with the right passion, DEWC Services has attained the elusive corporate cornerstone of high employee retention, with many of their establishing staff still part of the team. “Some of our earliest staff who worked on the original projects in 2012 are still with us, and that’s the sort of passion and loyalty we drive,” Allan said.

Investing heavily in training the next generation, DEWC Services now conducts in-house courses through sister company DEWC T&E which runs the School of Information Operations (SOIO). “Our business requires a highly specialised skill set, so we focus on immersing our new employees, many of which are industry graduates, to ignite their passion, provide mentoring and instil a sense of purpose. This is why people stick with us, the empowerment, trust and willingness to go the extra mile for each other. It’s also why our clients stick with us, because we build relationships of trust,” Allan said.

Underpinned not only by a staff of subject matter experts, the DEWC Services team is further reinforced by veteran employees from across the services, providing an intimate understanding of the ADF and seamlessly blending both corporate and military worlds. “Having seen many of my friends and colleagues go into harm’s way, it’s the very reason we work so diligently to make sure we get the right outcomes, it’s in our blood as veterans to protect our community,” Allan said.

DEWC Services is postured to continue its growth trajectory, with the company planning to build its own 2,000 SQM facility, expanding partnerships with industry leading universities and undertaking larger military contracts. “The future of DEWC is really exciting, we’ve got such a broad network of clients and an abundance of opportunities to collaborate across Defence and to solve the issues they’re throwing our way,” Allan said. “We’re already working on fifth-generation tech, there’s really no limit to how far we can go.”