Australian Uncrewed Systems Industry Champions 2022

29 March 2022

AAUS is proud once again to recognise individuals and organisations that have made a significant contribution to the Australian uncrewed systems industry.

For the 2022 awards, over 80 nominations were received for the 7 award categories highlighting the strength of our rapidly developing industry.  The finalists made impressive reading and judging panel had a very difficult job in determining the winners.

This years awards were presented at the AAUS Gala Dinner held at Hotel Realm Canberra on the evening of March 29, 2022.

We congratulate the AAUS Industry Champions 2022.



The Leadership Award recognises individuals or organisations that lead the way with advocacy work that strives to improve the commercial and / or technological viability of the unmanned system industry.

Dr Andrew Tridgell (The ArduPilot Foundation / Aerial Robotics Australia) for his work as Lead Developer for ArduPilot, an open source autopilot software project in widespread global use.  Andrew has been a driving force in the evolution, accessibility and democratisation of uncrewed systems globally for over 10 years. 

Dr Andrew Tridgell (Aerial Robotics Australia)


The Innovation – technology Award recognises organisations that have developed drone technologies including drone systems or sub-systems that has had a significant positive impact for end users or the broader uncrewed systems industry.

Ascent Vision Technologies Australia for the development of the CM234 Spitfire gimbal,  a light weight, 4-axis stabilised, seven sensor imaging system.  Designed, developed, and produced in Australia, the CM234 originated with Defence Innovation Hub contract P18-937600, and was later selected for incorporation into the Land 129 Phase 3 program to support Australian Defence customers. 

Eric von Keudell, Kyle Ross and Evert van Schuppen (Ascent Vision Technologies Australia)


The Innovation – Operations Award recognises organisations or individuals that has developed novel and innovative operational capabilities to benefit customers. 

AVCRM for development of 4 new modules for its RPA operational and compliance management platform.  The 4 newly developed modules that are unique to AVCRM include an Integrated Auto Authorisation System for operations within the regulatory distance of a controlled airport for both Australia and New Zealand; an Auto Telemetry Syncing and Processing System for automatic RPA logs and customisable flight assessment; a Schedule Maintenance System, which is compliant to all categories of RPA including above 150kg (Type Certificate); and Integrated GPS Track and Monitoring System for Operational Control rooms.  

Chris Clark, Isaac Palmer and Jonathan King (AVCRM)


The Education & Safety Award recognises individuals or organisations who demonstrate leadership in educating the unmanned systems industry with particular emphasis of developing a safety-focussed culture.

Aviassist for the design and implementation of a SORA (Specific Operational Risk Assessment) training workshop for those operators seeking complex approvals, including Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations. The program is specifically aimed at those operators seeking complex approvals from the regulator and those wishing to upskill their knowledge. 

Rowan Kimber, Ross Anderson and Kendyl Blue (Aviassist)


The Social Impact Award replaces the Humanitarian Achievement Award and recognises individuals or organisations who demonstrate a mission, capability or technology that has a positive impact on society or has focused on the betterment of the uncrewed industry as a whole.

Dendra Systems for its work to empower humanity to restore the balance of our natural world by creating the tools needed to drive scalable ecosystem restoration. Dendra works around the world to restore land on behalf of global natural resource companies as well as public agencies and governments, to accelerate the rate at which we bring back natural ecosystems for land that has been degraded and is vulnerable to ecosystem restoration threats.

Rhonda Bulmer (Dendra Systems)


The NextGen Achievement Award recognises young individuals (under 35 yo) that demonstrate elite capability and leadership in their field within the uncrewed systems sector.

Mathew Gardiner (Shoal Group) for his important technical roles with Shoal Group leading development spirals on a number of key projects with the Australian Space Agency and the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG).  

Mathew Gardiner (Shoal Group)


The Diversity & Inclusion Award recognises individuals or organisations who have made an outstanding contribution to supporting diversity and fostering inclusion within the uncrewed systems industry.  This is a new award for 2022.

Dr Karen Joyce (She Maps, Geonadir and James Cook University) for her leadership and advocacy work for diversity and inclusion within the uncrewed systems industry and more broadly geospatial sciences and STEM. 

Dr Karen Joyce