AMGC’s appointed NT Director hits the ground running and launches new fund
AMGC has welcomed a new team member – Charmaine Barrett who joined in September to the newly created position of Director, Northern Territory.
A local Darwin business champion with over 25 years’ experience, Charmaine joins AMGC from the Industry Capability Network (ICN). During her 15-year tenure at ICN, Charmaine was promoted through the ranks, holding positions such as Operations Manager and Business Development Manager for the NT.
Charmaine’s involvement in the Territory’s industrial community has been long established. Her resume includes co-founding Top End Steel Supplies and being a Director of a NT welding and fabrication business for more than a decade.
Hands-on Experience Plus Broad Industry Insight
It is her particular combination of hands-on manufacturing experience and broader industry insight that makes Charmaine uniquely positioned to help local manufacturers.
“I’ve been very keen to get out and visit our local manufacturers to ensure I have an intimate knowledge of our ecosystem. It’s exciting to see the pockets of innovation that already exist. Having a local AMGC presence means that the NT manufacturing industry now has dedicated support—whether that’s facilitating collaboration with other local and national manufacturers, our program funding, or our Manufacturing Academy,” said Charmaine.
“The biggest challenge for NT manufacturers is where we’re located—we’re so far away from the rest of Australia that market demand can be a challenge. AMGC can definitely support NT manufacturers through fostering collaborative relationships with manufacturers right across the nation with companies that have ‘been there, done that’ experience. The power of knowledge and collaboration can help you overcome the challenges you might be facing.”
Fast-Tracking Investment and Commercialisation
In her new role with AMGC, Charmaine is leading the joint AMGC-Northern Territory Government $8.75 million program to fast-track investment and commercialisation of advanced manufacturing opportunities across the Territory over the next five years.
According to Charmaine, there are exciting opportunities for NT manufacturers to prepare themselves for. “There are lots of activity and plenty of projects on the horizon in the NT. So, if businesses are wanting to take advantage of these opportunities as a supplier, now is the time to look for the gaps in the NT’s supply chains and proactively build capability in those areas. In particular, defence and resources are driving the economy at the moment—looking at these supply chains will help Territory manufacturers prosper.”
Propelling NT Manufacturing to the Next Level
Charmaine believes that every Australian manufacturer has the potential to be advanced and is excited to help NT manufacturers add even more value to their products and services so that they can compete on the world stage.
“I’m keen to demystify what advanced manufacturing looks like in the Territory. There is a preconceived idea that manufacturing is limited to making products. In reality, manufacturing extends to the pre- and post-production phases, widening the scope of opportunity to encompass a whole range of companies,” said Charmaine.
“I can see the potential for NT businesses to leverage what AMGC has to offer to take their operations to the next level.”
“A lot of businesses may see advanced manufacturing as buying a big robot and automating processes, but it’s so much more than that. It’s often the small operational changes that can make the biggest difference,” said Charmaine.
New fund recognises the rapid rise of northern territory manufacturing
Applications are now open for the Northern Territory Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem (AME) Fund.
The Fund is designed to increase investment in, and the output of, the advanced manufacturing ecosystem in Northern Territory, and create new highly skilled jobs.
Grants will be provided to commercialise new products and processes. This includes transitioning a new product or process from the pilot or prototype stage to full commercial operations, as well as supporting early stage, small scale and pilot research projects.
Funding will range from $25,000 up to $500,000 (or more based on scale and impact) and must be matched by industry. Projects should include collaboration with a research partner and a minimum of one industry partner.
Charmaine, along with her AMGC colleagues, will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, 13 October 12h00 (ACST) to Understanding the AME Fund. Registrations are now open, and it is free to attend.
To be eligible for funding, you must hold an Australian Company Number (ACN) and an Australian Business Number (ABN). You must be non-tax-exempt and be registered for GST. You must be an entity incorporated in Australia, where the principal activities occur in the Northern Territory.
Small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) are eligible to apply. Larger organisations (200 or more employees) may be accepted only if they demonstrate an impact on the Territory’s manufacturing ecosystem.
Your project must align with one or more of the NT Manufacturing Priorities, and your application must clearly identify the level of local job creation expected from your project.
How to Apply
To apply for the Northern Territory Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund, you will need to complete the online application form.
Before you start your application, be sure to read the Guidance to Applicants
Applications opened on 21 September 2021, and close on 30 June 2026.
For further information: