Ken Evans (Chair Judge) – Marine Consultant, Ken Evans Consulting
Previously Sales & Service Director of Mercury Marine looking after Australia, NZ and Pacific. A founding member of OEDA (Outboard Engine Distributors Association ) covering Australia and NZ and still a Board member. Ken runs Ken Evans Consulting, doing various Marine works. Ken works part time as he is semi-retired and needs time for, snow skiing, surfing, boating and travel. Ken also holds the World Waterspeed record for a single Outboard mono hull boat. Set in 1987 and still standing.
Joe Akacich – Managing Director, Blackpond Marine Consultants Pty Ltd
Joe Akacich was born and raised in Cairns, Australia in 1959. After completing his education at St. Augustine’s College he joined the Royal Australian Navy completing his trade as a Fitter and Turner. In 1995 he was approached to repair and refit the 35m vessel “Myway”. This was when the team that became Blackline Shipping Pty Ltd was formed. Joe in his capacity as Founder and Managing Director of Blackline Shipping was using his extensive experience and knowledge to advise owners, Captains and crew of many vessels from all over the world. In 2006 Blackline Shipping was brought under the umbrella of Viking Industries to become part of their Marine Division, with Joe heading this division, which encompassed Brisbane Shiplift, Cairns Slipways, FMCA, Marine Applications and Blackline Shipping. In 2008, Joe formed Australian Marine Enterprises, AME, with the intention of leaving the business to his very learned and close colleagues hands and concentrate on his own personal endeavours. 2010 brought about the conception of BlackPond Marine Consultants, under this banner Joe has been able to offer his wealth of marine experience in the form of consulting, project management and business mentoring.
Barry Jenkins – Government, Industry and International Relations, Mulpha Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show
Barry Jenkins has been associated with the marine industry in Queensland for many years. Completing his apprenticeship as a Fitter and Turner majoring in Master General Engraving he operated Engraving Unlimite, a small company that was a subcontractor to Evans Deakin Shipbuilding in Brisbane. Wanting to “dip his toe in the water” he joined the Adelaide Steamship Company as an apprentice deck officer and completed two and a half years of his Third Mates Ticket before involuntarily leaving and returning to the sign making and sheet-metal fabrication company. Time as a professional musician and extensive training in hospitality led to running the Vice Regal and VIP Suites at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. Combining all these skills Barry joined Sanctuary Cove in 1988 to head up the Food and Beverage Department which later became the Events Department incorporating the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. He currently consults to the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show and Yacht & Boat Korea in the area of international relations and product development. Industry involvement includes Past President of Marine Queensland, Past President of the Australian Marine Industries Federation, Founding Chairman of Super Yacht Base Australia and is presently a director of the Australian International Marine Export Group. At the Australian Marine Industry Awards 2009 he was presented a Highly Commended Award for Export Industry Champion.
Steve Mitchell – Naval Architect/ Marine Consultant
Steve has been involved in many of the various fields of the marine industry. His work life took a change in the early 80’s when he became involved in the charter boat industry in Sydney where he started working directly as skipper for Jeff D’albora. Soon after he moved on to work for some of Australia’s leading business men with a career culminating with working for Alan and Eileen Bond right through till after the Americas Cup in Perth. Steve’s career took another turn again in the marine industry, when he undertook the Advanced Diploma in Naval Architecture. Here he worked for Sydney’s leading Naval Architect, Sean Owen, and when Sean took up the role as Senior Naval Architect for Queensland Transport, Steve became a fellow director of the company and ran the NSW side of the business. Whilst teaching at Hunter TAFE in Newcastle, Steve was approached by Sydney City Marine to fill in for the recent vacancy as the company’s Commercial Manager, Dockmaster and Naval Architect where he worked until earlier this year. During this time he served for a short while on the board of the ACMG. Since leaving, Steve has gained his accreditation with AMSA as an Initial and Periodic Accredited Surveyor where he provides the services to most of Sydney’s charter boat companies, soon to be taken over fully by AMSA and the private industry.
John Zammit – Founder and Publisher, Shipmate Marine Directory
Founder and Publisher of Shipmate Marine Directory – the recreational boaters essential guide; available in print and online and currently in its 10th edition. John also publishes and is Editor of Shipmate News, a twice-monthly Australia wide marine blog and e-newsletter. John has previously been the editor of marine publications including The Exporter (AIMEX) and Fishing Lines (VRFish) magazines. An experienced boater, John has cruised extensively along the east coast of Australia in his own boat and as skipper on others. He’s highly regarded for his detailed boat reviews and marine articles that appear regularly in national marine magazines and has written extensively for Tradeaboat, Club Marine, Ocean and Boating Business magazines as well as online articles, including for Myboatinglife.com.au. Prior to turning his hobby and passion for boating into a lifestyle business, John founded and ran a successful commercial furniture and fit-out business incorporating import and retail arms through multiple locations, for 22 years. John’s background was originally in engineering and later in computers.
Anton Helmke– Trade Adviser, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)