Board of Directors

Mr Mark Stevens

Non Executive Director/Chairman of the Board

Mr. Stevens is the Founder and Managing Director of Arican and is one of Australia’s leading Defence advisers and commentators. He is a 1984 graduate of the RMC Duntroon and served for ten years as an infantry officer. Since 1995, Mr Stevens has worked primarily as a management consultant and adviser including appointments as the Defence lead for IBM Australia and then across Asia Pacific. Since forming his first advisory business in 1999 he has led over 250 deals into Defence and in 2018 was instrumental in originating the first acquisition by Private Equity of an Australian Defence Industry company, Marand Precision Engineering by CHAMP. Further, Mr. Stevens has a detailed understanding of XTEK’s business operations having led a Strategic Review of the Group in July 2021. The Board believes that Mr Stevens will provide outstanding strategic guidance as XTEK continues to sharpen its focus on the core Defence and Law Enforcement markets.

Mr Christopher Pyne

Non-Executive Director

Christopher Pyne brings a wealth of commercial, political and global defence experience to XTEK, having served as a Member for Parliament (MP) for over 25 years, from which he retired early last year. Mr. Pyne served as the 54th Australian Defence Minister and was responsible for delivering the $200 billion build-up of Australia’s military capability, the largest in Australia’s peacetime history. He assisted in developing the 2016 Defence White Paper and implementing the Integrated Investment Program.


Mr. Pyne was elected to Parliament in 1993 and served as the Member for Sturt for 26 years. During this time, he was in the Liberal Party Leadership Group for ten years, Leader of the House of Representatives for six years, and served in Cabinet for six years. Mr. Pyne has worked to ensure the growth and sustainment of Australia’s Defence Industry, and thus implemented Australia’s Defence Export Strategy, Defence Industrial Capability Plan, and the Naval Shipbuilding Plan. He also created the Defence Cooperative Research Centre, the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, the Defence Innovation Hub, and the Next Generation Technology Fund. Additionally, he is the driving force behind the recent establishment of the Australian Space Agency.


Mr. Pyne is the current Chairman of Pyne and Partners and Principal of GC Advisory, consulting to business in the domain of government and political engagement. Both are headquartered in Adelaide, South Australia but operate nationally and globally. He is an Industry Professor in the University of South Australia Business School specialising in Defence and Space. Before entering Parliament, Mr. Pyne practised as a solicitor at Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Thomson Geer.

Mr Chris Fullerton

Non-Executive Director

Mr. Fullerton has extensive experience in investment, management and investment banking and is a qualified chartered accountant. He worked in Hong Kong and Singapore for 15 years before returning to Australia in 1992. He is an investor in listed equities and private equity and has been a non-executive director of a number of ASX listed companies, and his unlisted company directorships cover companies in the property investment and agriculture sectors.

Brigadier Mark Smethurst DSC, AM(Ret'd)

Non-Executive Director

Brigadier Smethurst’s significant experience spans over 35 years in Australian Army, with 27 years as a Senior Special Forces Officer and he was the Deputy Commander of the Australian Special Forces Command. He commanded the NATO Special Forces in Afghanistan and was the Deputy Chief of Operations for the US Special Operations Command. Prior to leaving the Australian Defence Force in March 2017 he was Head of Preparedness/Director General of Joint Force Analysis, responsible for developing Future Concepts, Experimentation, Lessons and Preparedness.


Brigadier Smethurst is a member of, and Advisor to the Global SOF Foundation and is Chairman of the Commando Welfare Trust. More recently he was appointed as a Strategic Advisor to the XTEK Board of Directors. He is well positioned to continue his assistance to XTEK both within the Australian and international contexts.

Mr Ben Harrison

Non-Executive Director

Mr Harrison has 15 years of experience in advising and investing in companies. He commenced his career as a Project Manager for a large international engineering consulting firm working on a number of infrastructure projects in Australia and South East Asia. Mr. Harrison later moved into investment banking, working for a leading corporate advisory house where over a 5 year period he executed over $2.0 billion in capital market transactions and $5.5 billion of public M&A transactions. He is a founder and Chief Investment Officer of Altor Capital and is active in the private equity sectors in Australia. Mr Harrison currently holds board and advisory roles with several private and public companies. Mr Harrison’s extensive investment and financial background knowledge will provide additional financial experience to the XTEK Board.

Mr Lawrence Gardiner

Company Secretary

Mr. Gardiner served with the Australian Army and specialised in the fields of logistic management and explosive ordnance disposal operations. In addition to his military service, Mr. Gardiner also served with the Australian Federal Police (AFP), performing senior executive roles in the areas of counter terrorist first response and protective security operations. Mr. Gardiner is a current member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.