Perth-headquartered Acting Consulting Training Australia, which works with major safety forums across Australasia to align new live theatre productions with the requirements of industry, has received a grant from the Department of Commerce's Industry Facilitation and Support Program to boost the capabilities of SMEs to service the defence industry sector, based on its experience with oil and gas.
ACT Australia and New Zealand managing director Susan Fleming, who is also a founding committee member of Women in Oil and Gas, said it was the "right time" for Australian companies to be the catalyst for best practice exchange.
"Our productions are used by oil and gas operators, subsea projects, construction and engineering," Fleming said.
"All the safety culture issues we consult on and design our workshops around, are issues for the defence industries also.
"We understood these lessons learned would also be relevant to the growing defence projects in WA, having worked with Department of Defence forums in Canberra in 2016."
The company works with Safer Together in Queensland, the Inaugural Interdependent Safety Forum and the collaborative Offshore Project Safe forum in WA.
Part of the funding will go towards redesigning the defence industries of the company's 'Leading Incident Investigations' course featuring skilled actors, also already used across oil and gas in Australia.
ACT said oil and gas health and safety priorities would still be the chief focus and new plays reflected this, including customised theatre and film projects that also addressed mental health and security issues in late 2016, and for 2017 two new plays - Longford and Pipeline - based on the conflicting priorities of exploration, production and shutdowns.
Fleming, whose background involves education and economics, said critical delivery schedules in 2017 would be key areas of focus for the industry going forward.
ACT was incubated at the Curtin University 'Ignition' program. With support from a small grant from the WA government, the idea was "challenged and supported" and became a reality within months.
"This is critical in the start-up environment," said Fleming, who will be involved in discussions around SME development next Tuesday at AOG in Perth led by National Energy Resources Australia.
ACT will also be supporting the ‘diversity and inclusion' agenda at the conference.