Who is TFTC?

The collaboration has a focus on creating a supportive and inclusive industry environment as well as developing skills that will allow participants to thrive in Defence Industry.

“We need to increase the representation of women in Defence Industry to better reflect Australian society and strengthen the retention of the women Defence has recruited and trained, particularly in the areas of STEM” Minister Marise Payne, 2018 Launch Keynote Speaker.

The collective goal of the TFTC is to grow and enhance capability.

The TFTC runs the TFTC Mentoring Program, an award winning mentoring program for women working in the Defence Industry.

TFTC was recognised for their contribution to industry as the recipients of the Support/Services Essington Lewis Award in 2017 (pictured below).

TFTC Steering Committee

Amelia De Angelis

COO, Kinexus

When TFTC was first conceptualised in 2014, Amelia De Angelis knew she had to be involved. After working with a mentor early in her career, she has experienced first-hand how impactful that relationship can be. Initially, Amelia worked to turn TFTC from a concept into a reality and has since helped the program grow year on year. In addition to her role as Chairperson of TFTC, she has a full-time role as COO at Kinexus and is a mum to three kids. In her spare time she volunteers at a local community services organisation that supports vulnerable people, especially women and children.

What TFTC means to me:
The opportunity to shine a light on women who inspire others.

Commodore Rachel Durbin

Director General Engineering, Navy

Commodore Rachel Durbin joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1993 as a Marine Engineer. She spent her sea-time onboard HMA Ships Westralia, Anzac, Canberra and Perth deployed on operations in the Persian Gulf, conducting exercises in North and South East Asia, fisheries operations in the Southern Ocean and border protection off Northern Australia.

Commodore Durbin was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), Master in Engineering Management, Master in Arts in Strategy and Management and is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology. She is married to Scott and the mother of two wonderful children who keep her eternally busy with family activities and sporting commitments.

What TFTC means to me:
The TFTC program is a great opportunity to encourage and inspire women to achieve the potential they don’t know they have.

Chahida Bakkour

Head of Airspace Platform, Airservices

Chahida has spent the last 12 years working within the Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems support domain in both technical and leadership roles. She has lead diverse teams of software and systems engineers, providing frontline engineering support and project support to real time, regulated, large-scale ATM systems.

She has in depth experience leading through major organisation change within technology teams and has nine (9) years of board experience for non-for-profit, community-based organisation.

Chahida is great role model, breaks down several stereotypes and has been a mentor on the TFTC program for 3 years.

What TFTC means to me:
Being part of TFTC means I get to be contribute to the creation of generational change through the ripple effects of mentoring.

Cathy Riach

Cathy previously worked for the Morgan & Banks group. She holds qualifications in human resources and workforce planning. She is also a certified member of the Australian Human Resources Institute and sits on the committees for Women in Aviation & Aerospace and TFTC.

What TFTC means to me:
Having been a member of the TFTC Steering Committee since its inception, I’m incredibly proud of the unique development opportunity the program has afforded not only BAE Systems employees but also those within our industry.

TFTC Program Facilitators

Leading Well are a talented, experienced team of coaches, mentors and leadership facilitators passionately committed to the work they do.
Leading Well have been involved with TFTC since its inception in 2015, facilitating all peer cohort meetings since.

Vanessa Fudge

Vanessa is the founder of coaching and consulting firm Leading Well. She has been designing and facilitating enterprise and industry mentoring programs for over 10 years and loves every one of them! Vanessa has been involved with TFTC since its inception 6 years ago when she facilitated the original meeting with the Steering Committee and the decision that the program had a vision to “grow and enhance capability of women engineers in the Defence Industry”. Through her extensive experience in mentoring, Vanessa has found that companies that thrive ensure they raise the overall wellbeing of their people. She is passionate about quality facilitation and raising the bar on coaching standards.

Dean Mason

Dean brings 20 years of facilitation and coaching experience, people often leave his workshops reporting they feel ‘empowered’, ‘invigorated, ‘clear’, and ‘confident’. Based in Melbourne, Dean has been delivering workshops for TFTC’s Melbourne group since 2017. He considers mentoring an essential building block for everyone’s professional development and has been a facilitator for several industry-wide and in-house mentoring programs. The freedom participants have to explore both technical and relational skills development according to their current career goals, combined with the natural community building that occurs, is what Dean enjoys most about being involved with TFTC. Dean draws on a wealth of organisational and coaching experience, with a grounding in mindfulness practices, to facilitate conversations that foster positive forward movements for everyone involved.

Sonya Trau

Sonya is a dynamic, intuitive and highly experienced leader in the coaching and mentoring industry in Australia. With more than 12 years and 10,000 hours of coaching, mentoring program and facilitation experience, Sonya heads up Leading Well’s Queensland team. In addition to facilitating numerous successful local and Australia wide mentoring programs over the last 10 years, together with Leading Well founder Vanessa Fudge, Sonya co-created Leading Well’s full white label end-
end mentoring program used by organisations across the country.


Sponsoring Organisations


Register Your Interest

If you’re interested in participating in a future TFTC Mentoring Program, we’d love to hear from you. Applications for our next program will open shortly. Participation is limited so be sure to register your interest early so you’re not disappointed.

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A group of pioneering Defence organisations collaborate to work towards a collective goal of growing and enhancing capability.