Marine safety conference program now on the Web
The preliminary program for the national Marine Safety Conference 2010 program is now posted on the Web at www.nmsc.gov.au
The conference, themed ‘Safe Passage to a Marine Nation’, is the sixth to be successfully hosted by the National Marine Safety Committee (NMSC).
NMSC CEO Margie O’Tarpey said this year’s program reflects an exciting response from speakers and sponsors to make the Perth conference (22-24 August) a ‘must’ on this year’s maritime calendar.
“Over 35 speakers are now confirmed with presentations on the latest in commercial and recreational boating safety from around Australia, the Pacific – and beyond,” Ms O’Tarpey said.
“In addition to Irish Water Safety’s CEO John Leech, British Columbia’s FishSafe Manager Gina Johansen and Michigan State University’s marina research specialist Dr Ed Mahoney, the US Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division Head, Jeff Hoedt will present on the second day”.
The Federal Minister for Transport Anthony Albanese has been invited to address the conference and WA Transport Minister Simon O’Brien is expected to attend. The development of the Single National Jurisdiction will form the basis of a timely plenary panel on the first day with AMSA and Australian Maritime Group (AMG) input.
Canadian FishSafe project manager, Gina Johansen said she is looking forward to sharing what she has learned in order to inspire others to work with the people they are trying to reach with a safety message.
“Our model is being adopted Canada-wide and we believe that this common sense approach promotes ownership of safety as opposed to regulatory-driven models that promote compliance – it’s simple and it works,” she said.
“I look forward to meeting safety professionals from all over the world and learning from their experiences”.
John Leech from Irish Water Safety also hopes to meet many of the Australians working and involved in the marine environment.
“Ireland and Australia have enjoyed strong connections between each other’s nations for a very long time,” he said, “and the exchange of ideas can act as a stimulus for change and improvement in all our organisations to further reduce the unnecessary drownings and aquatic accidents that occur each year”.
Local WA industry presenters include MJ Kailis’s Engineering Manager Terry Hewitt, Senior Marine Surveyor Denis Brookes and Marine Safety Education Officer Fiona Heart while specialists such as the head of Marine Rescue NSW Glenn Finniss, Bureau of Meteorology’s Peter Dexter and NMSC’s Principal Technical Adviser Mori Flapan are among many others bringing their expertise to Perth.
Both Fiona Heart and Denis Brookes from WA’s Department of Transport will bring local perspectives to the broad topic of managing marine safety in more remote areas or in less accessible parts of the boating community. Mr Brookes’ topic covers the problems encountered in surveying and complying with statutory survey requirements in remote areas of Western Australia.
His colleague Ms Heart will explore the challenges faced by Indigenous Australians and other members of the broader community who may have limited access to boating safety education.
“I’ll be sharing the methods we’ve devised to ensure that safe boating practices are achieved across the whole of Western Australia,” she said.
Currently on secondment from the NSW Police Force, Glenn Finniss has taken on the role of acting Commissioner, Marine Rescue NSW. He views the conference as a way of bringing together people from all areas and different perspectives, yet with the same goal – marine safety.
Mr Finniss explained that Marine Rescue NSW is the integration of the former Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol, 14 individual marine units of the Volunteer Rescue Association of NSW, and the NSW Flotillas of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard.
“The integration has been an almost career-long ambition for me, as I just couldn’t understand why we had three different volunteer marine rescue organisations, competing for money, support and the airwaves”, he said, “but the most important and challenging aspect for me is to provide these volunteers with some creditable recognition and support, not only from the boating public but from government”.
The program also includes innovators such as Queenslander ABC TV’s New Inventors’ 2009 winner Colin Chamberlain with his Environmental Safety Propeller and New Zealander Ray Chanmugam with his fully automated boat gangway.