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New crane and tender for Navigator

Capability of Navigator to increase with new crane and tender, and changes to the SMT leadership team.

New crane fitted to Navigator

Global issues continue to challenge many of us in 2022, however, we’re pleased to report that the new crane for Navigator (SMT’s flagship) has finally arrived.

The primary purpose of the new crane is to extend SMT’s capacity for training onboard crane operations. However, it will also be used to load the Navigator’s tender, which is currently being built by James Onn of Tas Marine & Metal Fabrication.

Load testing the new crane on the SMT vessel, Navigator.

James is well known in the Tasmanian Seafood Industry and amongst other things, he is an active commercial diver and experienced commercial vessel operator.

It is because of this knowledge and experience that we are confident that James will design and construct a great training vessel. 

We are also hopeful this will be the first of many boats that James builds for the industry.

The new tender (yet to be named) will be sponsored by TSIC’s Stay Afloat initiative and it be used to highlight mental health support for the Seafood Industry.

James and the new tender under construction.

Recent changes at SMT

Sam Ibbott is taking a back seat for a while. 

Sam has been the chair of SMT for the past 8 years and at the recent AGM, stepped down as the Chairperson to spend more time focused on his own business and personal interests.  In stepping down Sam is handing over the association in good shape to the incoming Chair, Ian Miles.  

During Sam’s tenure as chair, SMT has grown with its industry partners, to become the Tasmanian Seafood Industry’s preferred training provider and the largest provider of training to the Seafood industry in Australia.  

We thank Sam for his devotion and service to SMT, and his good humour will be missed by all.  Sam will stay on as a Member of the SMT and we will continue to gain great value from his experience.

New SMT Members and Officers

Not unlike Sam Ibbott, Ben Cameron stepped back into the role of Member, after a recent tenure as an elected Officer.

Ben did not re-nominate for an Officer position, as he is placing a larger focus on his new role at Yumbah and his rapidly expanding family.  Ben’s knowledge of financial planning was invaluable to both SMT and CEO during the COVID period, during which he stepped up to play a key role in ensuring the association remained viable.  We’re glad that Ben will remain on as a Member of SMT, as he will continue to offer his, and the views of the Oyster industry, to SMT.

At the recent AGM, we farewelled Nat Cheequee, who has served as a Member of SMT over the past 2 years. Nat was part of the team that helped navigate SMT through the COVID period of 2020 and the recovery in 2021.  We wish Nat and her family all the best with her new role, based in Sydney.

Meet our new Members

We also welcomed new Members Matt Whittle, Shane Fava, Scott Parkinson and Rory Byrne. The new faces bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to SMT, offering strong promises for the future of the organisation.

Shane Fava completed an undergraduate degree in Marine Science and then entered the marine sector via salmon aquaculture, initially in southern Tasmanian, before continuing in the industry in both Scotland and Ireland.  This was followed by stints in both the marine research (lobster) and industry advocacy (TSIC) sector before moving into fisheries management and research and roles in Northern Australia and PNG. Now, his focus is on research strategy development and opportunities for global engagement at CSIRO.

Scott Parkinson is passionate about the seafood industry with a career of over 33 years, across research and development, commercial operations and sales.   Scott has worked in a number of aquaculture sectors throughout his career including, Tropical Rock Lobsters, Oysters, Pearl Oysters, Salmon and Abalone. Scott’s current role as CEO of Ornatas Pty Ltd involves the development of a new industry by commercialising Tropical Rock Lobster aquaculture, made possible by 20 years of scientific breakthroughs by the University of Tasmania (IMAS). 

Matt Whittle has worked in the salmon industry for eight years in a variety of roles having started in marine operations and is now Group Manager of Sustainability at Huon Aquaculture. Prior to working in the aquaculture industry, Matt worked in various roles in the maritime industry, including working on tourist vessels in QLD, a crew member on the Australian Institute of Marine Science research vessel and for multiple years conducting biosecurity inspections of large vessels at international shipping ports.  Matt has not only come on board as a Member, but he has been appointed a position on the board of SMT.

Rory Byrne is the well-known former CEO of SMT.  In retirement, Rory took on a directors role at Tasmanian Abalone Council Limited, for which he now represents as a Member of SMT.  It is great to have him on board as a Member with his wealth of industry experience, and we are sure he is not going to let us forget the past.

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