Meet Elisha, the General Manager of Commercial Operations at Southern Launch.
With a diverse role covering areas such as work health and safety, security, logistics (imports and exports) and computer networks, Elisha has overall responsibility for ensuring the success, safety and organisation of Southern Launch projects.
Hear what she enjoys most about her job and her advice for starting out in the industry.
What does a typical day look like for you?
What I love most about my role with Southern Launch is the broad variety of responsibilities on a day-to-day basis, one week I could be in our head office in Adelaide, managing the daily operations of the company, the next I could be on site managing the logistical operations of a rocket launch!
How did you start your career?
My background is in logistics and supply chain, I studied Business Management and loved the complex operations of logistics, both nationally and internationally, I love finding a solution to a problem. I now manage all logistical requirements of Southern Launch, including moving rockets into Australia.
What do you love about your job and working in the space industry?
It’s a dream to work in the space industry; I visited Cape Canaveral and Space X about six years back and never imagined that it would be a possibility to work in the private space sector right here in South Australia.
Being pioneers of Space in Australia, I love both the thrill and the challenge of being able to be a part of something that has never been achieved in Australia before, and writing our own chapter in the history books.
What is the most exciting project you’ve been involved in?
Our TED launches from Koonibba are something that I’m most proud of achieving. In the middle of a global pandemic, to be able to import three rockets and launch infrastructure from the Netherlands, and launch not one, but two space-capable rockets from Aboriginal lands in the span of a couple of hours, just proves what we, at Southern Launch, are aiming to achieve. Fast, affordable and safe access to space.
What makes South Australia’s space industry so special?
The space community we are creating in South Australia is so amazing; everyone is so supportive, from private companies to local government to the defence industry, we are working together to create history right here in SA.
I have worked all around the world over the past 12 years but being able to come home and work in the space industry makes me incredibly proud to call Adelaide home.
What advice would you give to women interested in a career in the industry?
There are endless opportunities for careers in the space industry, so never presume that you need to be a space engineer to work in space. Whatever you have a passion for, we will likely need in the future; from logistics, admin, tech, design, manufacturing…
My advice is to come to as many community and industry events as possible and reach out to all the local companies, meet people from the community, there are some amazing women mentors in the Southern Australian space industry.
Dream big, don’t hold yourself back and know that you are capable of anything you set your mind to.