About MMHN

Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network (MMHN) is a non-political, not-for-profit, member-based ‘umbrella’ organisation (i.e. a Network) that brings together individuals and stakeholder groups from marine, maritime heritage, education, tourism, corporate and community sectors, all of which share a commitment to fostering greater recognition of, and knowledge about, Melbourne’s rich maritime heritage and maritime industry sector – past, present and future.

MMHN is a catalyst to advocate for the better management of maritime matters. It seeks to sharpen the focus on the richness of Melbourne’s maritime heritage and the crucial role of its port facilities in delivering social, cultural and economic benefits to Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Melbourne has in effect turned its back on its rich maritime heritage. Melbourne was, and is still, a great port city. Trade by sea was, and is still, crucial in underpinning Melbourne’s economic prosperity. Melbourne remains the nation’s largest port. This cultural and economic strength in Melbourne has not been adequately acknowledged in the public realm and thus far remains undervalued and inadequately exploited by government. Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network (MMHN) was formed to address these ‘deficits’ and to facilitate cooperation, collaboration and coordination across stakeholder groups.

In the twenty-first century MMHN is committed to ensuring Maritime Melbourne, so critical to our future national prosperity, is accorded due recognition by:

  • Celebrating Melbourne’s rich maritime heritage,
  • Recognizing the critical economic importance, strength and expertise of Melbourne’s diverse maritime industry,
  • Using these strengths to ‘rebrand’ Melbourne.


The MMHN’s vision is for Melbourne to be celebrated as a city with a rich maritime heritage that shapes our future.


MMHN is a limited liability company governed by a board of directors. Its Australian Business Number (78 631 878 772) was registered on 10 May 2019.

MMHN was registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) on 23 October 2019. Being registered means that MMHN is a recognised charity, with its registration record listed on the ACNC Charity Register. The registration also allows us to display the Registered Charity Tick, which shows our commitment to being transparent, accountable, and well run. Only registered charities can display the Tick.

The MMHN Board consists of up to 12 directors. The directors are elected by the membership, in accordance with the Constitution. The directors elect the Chair and appoint the Secretary (and other office-bearers). With guidance from the Board, MMHN’s projects and programs are progressed through internal Board Committees and through MMHN Special Advisory Groups.


MMHN Constitution 

The MMHN has a Constitution which can be downloaded below.

MMHN signed the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change, 2 April 2021.

MMHN Patron

Dr Kevin Fewster CBE AM FRSA

Dr Kevin Fewster is a leading international figure in maritime and history museums and maritime heritage. From 2007-2019 he was the Director of Royal Museums Greenwich (RMG), the world’s largest and most visited maritime museum precinct. Comprising the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory, the historic clipper ship Cutty Sark, the beautiful early 17th century Queen’s House, the Caird Library and the Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre, RMG (pre Covid) attracted 2.7 million visitors each year to its venues in the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. See more. 

MMHN Board

Dr. Jackie Watts OAM

Jackie Watts is the inaugural Chair of the Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network Board. She holds a Doctorate in Education (RMIT), postgraduate qualifications in Teaching & Librarianship (University of Melbourne) and a Bachelor of Arts (La Trobe University). Her areas of professional expertise include secondary & tertiary education, librarianship, research, vocational education and training (VET), professional development, commerce and community activism.

Jackie has experience in both the non-profit & for-profit sectors, on and off-shore. Jackie served on  Melbourne City Council  between 2011 – 2020, and in 2012 became the first Chair of the Knowledge City Portfolio and Deputy Chair of the People City Portfolio holding these positions  until leaving Council in 2020. These portfolios represented the most significant economic and socially progressive areas of work on Council. Jackie also represented Council with the Bay Municipalities Association of Victoria and is currently a Board member of Offshore and Specialist Ships Australia(OSSA). Jackie is a staunch advocate for greater transparency, electoral reform, heritage preservation, gender equity, responsive and respectful community engagement and genuine representative democracy at all levels of government.  She has a keen and abiding interest in heritage recognition, preservation and celebration, and in particular, maritime heritage.

Ross Brewer

Ross Brewer has over 50 years experience in various facets of the shipping industry.

Having gone to sea as a deck apprentice with P&O, he then went on to work in the P&O London office where he became a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. On returning to Australia following 6 months in the New York offices of Associated Bulk Carriers, Ross developed the Australasian business for Anderson Green (later Anderson Hughes) a P&O Company. Ross became Managing Director of P&O Maritime, which encompassed the P&O Specialist Ships (Offshore Oil & Gas, Antarctic & other scientific vessels, Defence, bulk carriers, towage) until retirement.

After retirement he was appointed to the Board of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) until his retirement as Deputy Chairman in 2013.

Ross is now Chairman of Offshore & Specialist Ships Australia a company formed to collect, preserve and publicly display memorabilia associated with the Maritime Industry.

Dr. Haya Al Daghlas

PhD, B.Sc. Eng. (Civil), MEngProjMgt

Haya Al Daghlas is a project management professional who has a PhD from the University of Melbourne, School of Engineering, Department of Infrastructure. Haya has a combination of a strong passion for engineering and project management, along with thorough experience in best project management practices gained both locally and overseas, enabling her to take leadership roles in wide ranges of engineering projects from concept to completion, change management, critical stakeholder management, and the application of the various leadership tools towards achieving optimum project delivery. Haya is also part of the Parks Victoria leadership team as the District Manager Waterways.

Haya, an Australian Jordanian Palestinian, obtained her B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Jordan in 2009. In 2016 Haya completed her master’s degree in Engineering Project Management at the University of Melbourne, School of Engineering, with first-class honours. She is also the 2016 Julian King Award recipient, the Dean’s Honours list 2016, the Research Training Program Scholarship 2017, and Melbourne School of Engineering Studentship 2018.

Hon Martin Dixon

Martin was a teacher, principal and educational administrator for 19 years before being elected to the Victorian Parliament as the Member for Dromana and then Nepean for over 22 years before retiring in 2018.

During his parliamentary career Martin served as Opposition Whip, Shadow Minister for Education, Skills, Tourism and Employment as well as other portfolios. He was Minister for Education from 2010 – 2014.

Since his retirement Martin has pursued his interests in travel, boating and aviation. He has also mentored new Members of Parliament in the Pacific region as part of the UN Development Plan. Martin is also a member of OSSA.

Dr David Goodwin

Associate Professor David Goodwin has a long association with the maritime sector. In his corporate career prior to entering academia, David held positions with leading Australian shipping businesses BHP Transport and the Australian National Line, working as a corporate lawyer and in public policy roles. He also ran shipping businesses. From 2005 to 2010 David was based in Singapore as Vice President Corporate Affairs of Neptune Orient Lines Ltd, operator of the APL business, then the world’s fifth largest container shipping company.

David is currently Head, Industry and External Engagement with Victoria University, where he teaches and researches in the field of business ethics and corporate governance, as well as business law. He maintains a commercial practice as a Barrister, specialising in maritime and international trade law. David is a former Vice-Chair of the Australian Boys Choral Institute and is the Immediate Past President of the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand and a Trustee of The Morella Calder Education and Scholarship Trust.

Michael O’Brien CSC

Major General (Ret.)

Michael O’Brien is a Vietnam veteran, had a 37-year Army career culminating in reaching the rank of Major General. Michael was in charge of Army logistics. He supervised the rebuilding of two ships for the Royal Australian Navy. He also supervised the recovery and identification of the bodies of 250 soldiers from the group burial at Fromelles, France on behalf of the Australian Government. He was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross. His other management experience included being on the Board of a successful credit union for over 20 years, was Chair a stock exchange listed company as well as running an antiquarian bookshop for 17 years. He has tertiary qualifications in science and management, has written several books on history and is a frequent lecturer on cruise ships. He is on the board of several not-for-profits and has helped convene Melbourne Rare Book Week since 2012 in partnership with ANZAAB, the University of Melbourne and eight other literary institutions.

Michael has tertiary qualifications in science (Bachelor of Science (Military) and management (Master of Defence Administration, Cranfield, UK)

Andrew Raftis

Andrew is the Chief Risk Officer at UniSuper and has run risk, audit, compliance and financial control functions, working in insurance, superannuation and asset management for 30 years in Australia and internationally. He developed an interest in marine insurance and shipping while working in New York, Singapore and Hong Kong and other river-based port cities.

Andrew is a qualified lawyer and risk manager and holds Law and Commerce degrees, a Post-Grad Diploma in Commercial Law and a Certificate in Risk Management. He is an experienced board advisor and director and is currently a policy committee member of the AMP Employee Super Plan; and a member of the Governance, Audit & Risk Committee member of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.  He picked up French and German while on his foreign assignments.

Dr Liz Rushen AM

Liz Rushen is a historian, researcher and author with a PhD in history from Monash University and qualifications in business studies (RMIT University) and teaching (University of Melbourne). She is a Research Associate in the Faculty of Arts, Monash University, a former Chair of the History Council of Victoria, a former Executive Director of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, and has served on many historical and community boards and committees. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021, Liz was appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) for significant service to community history and heritage preservation.

Liz is widely published in the field of migration history, women in colonial Australia and the social history of the Port Phillip District (Victoria). In 2018-19 Liz was awarded a Creative Fellowship by the State Library Victoria to research the life and writings of Edmund Finn (‘Garryowen’). Her latest book is John Marshall: shipowner, Lloyd’s reformer and emigration agent (Anchor Books Australia, 2020).

Jacyl Shaw

With 20+ years experience across industry, government and higher education, Jacyl is Global Director of GHD Digital’s innovation practice.

Prior roles include a higher education strategic adviser, corporate lawyer and Supreme Court Judges’ Associate. Co-founder of several start-ups, Jacyl holds a BA, LLB, LLM and a Masters (Enterprise). She received numerous scholarships and awards in 2019 including Universitas 21 Scholarship (2016) to study innovation precincts and Microsoft Executive of the Year (2019) in the Women in Digital Awards.

Jacyl is an accomplished MC, speaker and facilitator and is passionate about making complexity accessible through creative storytelling.

Commodore Greg Yorke CSC

Greg Yorke is a current serving senior officer in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). He has served in numerous operational and strategic roles across the RAN, including two most successful Commands, HMAS Gladstone in 1990 to 1992 and was the commissioning Commanding Officer, HMAS Arunta and in command from 1998 until 2000. Greg was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross for his leadership role as Chief Staff Officer (Operations) Maritime Headquarters during operations in Iraq in 2003.

He transferred to the Active Reserve in 2006 and commenced a second career as a Management Consultant where he has undertaken many and varying roles. During this time Greg remained engaged with the RAN undertaking Reserve tasking. He was promoted to Commodore in June 2016 and assumed a full-time position within the Navy Strategic Command.

Greg was appointed by the Chief of Navy as the Senior Naval Officer Victoria to date 1 January 2018, a position he retains today.

Greg holds a Master of Business Administration (Project Management) and a Master of Arts (Strategic Studies).