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“Vocational education can support people to achieve whatever it is they want to,” Steve Moon
In this month’s newsletter we continue a series of profiles featuring the Chairs of each of the 11 Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) we support.
This month we profile the Chair of the Maritime IRC, Steve Moon
How did you come to work in the Maritime industry?
I joined the navy at 15 as an electrical apprentice. I worked with power generation and distribution systems aboard many of the Royal Australian Navy’s vessels, including destroyers, patrol boats, landing craft. I even had a short stint on submarines. That lead to a maritime career, including as a ships master and engineer, of more than 40 years.
What is your current role?
I am the Managing Director of Projects Global, an independent maritime consultancy that provides project management, marine engineering, crew training, audit and compliance services. Our focus is on marine tourism and the domestic commercial vessel sector. My job includes managing the field operations component of four extended-voyage research vessels and their crews, who are assisting the Australian Government to control the crown-of-thorns starfish, the coral-eating predator threatening the Great Barrier Reef.
For several years I ran a training program in the Torres Strait and Cape York on behalf of the Queensland Government. We trained over 200 seafood harvest divers in sustainable fishing practices and occupational diving techniques. And now I am Chief Executive Officer and Senior Partner in RAID Asia. RAID is a recreational and technical diver training agency which operates in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India and Philippines.
What is the best part of your job?
We all like to make a difference; however having the opportunity to see your work actually make that difference is the most rewarding experience you could ever hope for. Whether it is to assist with the preservation of one of our greatest natural wonders – the Great Barrier Reef – or to provide opportunities to those less fortunate, the adrenaline rush is real.
Why are you an advocate for Vocational Education and Training?
Vocational education makes a difference to people. It gives them access to learning a new set of skills to support them in achieving whatever it is they want to achieve. This could be anything from teaching people how to plant their crops to ensure that they have enough food to feed their communities to teaching seafarers how to work safely and respect the marine environment.
By introducing formal training qualifications into the maritime industry, for example for Able Seafarer deckhands and engineers, the IRC is creating better career pathways for these workers, as well as keeping them safe and ensuring the Australian industry complies with international codes.
What has your organisation done to develop the skills of your workforce?
We have been able to empower people throughout the maritime workforce by delivering excellence in our training, coaching and mentoring programs for the maritime operations. This includes focusing on safety management, marine safety, environmental protection and training commercial seafarers and operators to achieve successful project outcomes. Similarly, developing skills helps keep occupational, technical and recreational divers safe.
What are you passionate about? What makes you smile?
My family is my number one passion; I love spending time with my children and my grandchildren, who often make me smile. A close second is my association with the sea and all the pleasure that brings. I am very passionate about the preservation of the marine environment, so felt greatly honoured when I was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2016 for my contribution in this field. The most challenging experience I have had in the international arena was after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami when we worked with local fishermen and farmers to rebuild their coastal communities. What was gratifying was to be able to help these people not only regain their livelihoods but also to introduce them to environmentally sustainable practices and new skills.