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Our Team

AMOU / Our Team

Executive Council

President

Captain Tim Higgs

From the very beginning of Tims career, he always knew he wanted to make the move off the deck to the bridge and it was in 2002 he got away to sea, on blue water vessels as a TIR with Teekay Shipping. In 2005, he went to work in the offshore oil & gas industry and continues to work in the field today.

In 2008, Tim grabbed the opportunity to complete the Second Officers Watch-keepers course in Newcastle and in 2012 did the Chief Officer and Masters Course at Australian Maritime College.

Seeing the opportunity to improve our industry, Tim was first elected as a National Offshore Delegate to the Executive Council in 2010. Then in 2014, he was elected to President the AMOU. He’s been actively involved in the AMOU since joining in 2008 and taking particular interest with issues in the oil and gas industry.

Since being on the Executive Council of the AMOU, Tim has a good overall view of the issues Australian Officers face and is determined to protect, improve and secure our industry and our jobs. His vision is to create a level playing field and fairer employment opportunities and conditions for all of our membership whether it be international blue water shipping, coastal shipping, the oil industry, or the many roles our members fill within the port services parts of industry.

Modernising the union’s outlook and the way it operates and negotiates on behalf of members is another key focus for Tim.  He says, ‘We’re getting smarter and more strategic by improving our services and member engagement as well as representing members effectively across all sectors with improved EA’s and lobbying, to improve our industry and create secure jobs in all states and territories.

‘Taking care of members at work and at home with professional advice, insurances, training, and welfare support is our renewed vision. We’re also focused on being adaptive to the inevitable changes in the industry such as automation and ensuring our Officers and members are well trained and competitively well advanced to take on the new challenges.

‘I look forward to working with you to take on these exciting new challenges pushing harder to revive our industry and as always, protecting, securing and advancing your interests.’

Mobile: 0407 184 944

Email: tim@amou.com.au

 

Vice President

Captain Kerry G. Bullock

Kerry has been an active member of the Merchant Services Guild/AMOU since 9 March 1982. He had previously served as the MSQ Cairns Pilotage Services AMOU Delegate and North Queensland Port Pilot Council Member. Prior to being elected as AMOU National Vice President he was elected and served a full term (4 Yrs) as an AMOU Executive Council Member.

His qualifications include a current Master Class 1 (Unlimited), Senior Marine Pilot Cairns with Unrestricted and Check Pilot Licences for the ports of Weipa, Cairns, Karumba, Mourilyan, Cape Flattery and Pilot for oversize passenger ships in excess of 240mtrs LOA for the Port of Cairns.

Kerry’s professional career progressed over a number of years through the ranks from a QLD Master Grade 4 until achieving a Master Class 1 (unlimited). He is currently employed by Ports North Pilotage Services Cairns as a Senior Marine Pilot in the Cairns Region and has been a Marine Pilot for over 10.5 years.

His previous employment has included Small Coastal Cargo Vessels, Barrier Reef Tourist Vessels, High Speed Craft (Catamarans and Hovercraft), Tugs (Port), Offshore Oil and Gas (including DP operations), Cable Laying, Cargo ships, Offshore Safety Consultant and Shipping Consultant. He has also worked as a Master in Australia, Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam) PNG and South America.

His vision for the AMOU is to see the union as a professional organisation that clearly has the interests of its members at the heart of its being. The AMOU is currently being modernised to better respond to and deal with the massive changes and challenges that the maritime industry currently faces.

Kerry serves as part of an Executive Council and its leadership that is willing to make difficult decisions in the interests of the organisation and its members. Importantly for him, he believes that the current restructuring is essential to reflecting and achieving the objectives and needs that our membership expects and deserves.

Kerry strongly believes that the future of our organisation and how it must operate is vastly different to that of only a few years ago. With this in mind it is clear that the AMOU must operate professionally and with a very high degree of flexibility, efficiency and relevance and to this end he believes that the modernisation and generational change that is being undertaken will indeed address this need.

He sees the AMOU serving its members well into the future continuing a long tradition of representation, support and assistance to its members.

Mobile: 0434 333 351

Email: Kerry@amou.com.au

 

National Delegates

Aaron Wild

Aaron has 20 years experience in the Australian maritime industry across a wide variety of harbour, port services and bluewater roles.

Initially obtaining his Master 5 and 4 on tugs and harbour boats around Sydney Harbour, he then transitioned into Ship Agency work in Melbourne and Sydney, where he gained valuable commercial acumen and international shipping experience.

After attaining a Bluewater cadetship, Aaron has progressed through the ranks to his current role as Chief Officer.

Aaron holds a Bachelor of Business (Maritime and Logistics) as well as a Bachelor of Applied Science (Nautical Science) from the Australian Maritime College.

His vision for the AMOU is to build on increased value and services for the membership and establish and enhance professional relationships industry wide.

Mobile: 0421 492 318

Email: Aaron.Wild@amou.com.au

 

Brent Middleton

Brent started his maritime career in 1998 on small commercial vessels before gaining a cadetship with ASP Ship Management and has been an AMOU member since gaining his 2nd Mate’s ticket in 2002. After 5 years in the Bluewater, he had the opportunity to join the RV Southern Surveyor and gain some great hands on experience. After a few years with P&O Maritime he transitioned to the Offshore where he worked with several companies on a variety of different ships such as ROV, survey, construction and AHTS where he have been sailing as Master since 2012.

Brent’s role as one of the National Delegates, sees him assisting and overseeing a variety of different areas of the union’s operation to help ensure that the member’s interests are served to the best of the Union’s abilities. He is sincerely dedicated to the continued improvement and progression of our Union and communication and cooperation at all levels between the Union and the membership is vital to this progression and something he works hard to achieve for the members at every opportunity.

Brent says, ‘With our industry in it’s current situation which has been so hard on so many, now is the time more than ever, that we need to stand up together and be counted. We have the qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience necessary to safely and efficiently service our homeland coastline and with an active Union that is moving forward with active members. We must all work hard and stand united to ensure Australian Officers are seen by all as the professional seafarers we are’.

Mobile: 0428 409 936

Email: brent.middleton@amou.com.au

 

Port Services Delegate

Darryl Dorron

Mobile: 0417 749 594

Email: darryl.dorron@amou.com.au

Offshore Oil & Gas Delegate

Glenn Andersen

Mobile: 0407 557 563

Email: glen@amou.com.au

Seagoing Delegate

Captain Matthew Jepson

Mobile: 0409 061 120

Email: matthew@amou.com.au

Towage Delegate

Captain Ken Blackband

Mobile: 0429 057 615

Email: ken.blackband@amou.com.au

Marine Pilot Delegate

Captain Andrew Hawkins

Mobile: 0428 487 141

Email: andrew.hawkins@amou.com.au

Eastern Area

President

Brent Warhurst

Vice President

Seat Vacant

Secretary

Captain Richard Barnes

Mobile: 0477 912 932

Email: richardbarnes@amou.com.au

Southern Area

President

TBA

Vice President

TBA

Secretary

Captain Luke Hosking

(also holds a seat on Executive Council)

Mobile: 0439 909 627

Email: luke.hosking@amou.com.au

Western Area

President

Paul Dolan

Vice President

Seat Vacant

Secretary

Captain Dan Pearson

Mobile: 0407 959 760

Email: dan@amou.com.au

 

Staff

Executive Officer

Mark Davis

Mark put himself through a law degree in New Zealand working seasonally in the heavily unionised abattoir industry. This working environment and the fact that industrial law was his favourite of the law subjects meant that after his OE finished in 1985, he began his first trade union job as Assistant Secretary of the NZ Merchant Service Guild. The Guild is the NZ equivalent to the AMOU.

After 10 years of doing everything associated with a national trade union operation and loving every minute of it, Mark accepted a new challenge in the form of a secondment to the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s newly relocated Asia/Pacific Regional Office in Tokyo. As the only regional operative with a maritime union background, he focused on the ITF’s campaign against Flag of Convenience shipping, particularly educating maritime unions in developing countries and trying to achieve a higher level of service and solidarity for their seafarer members.

In 1998 Mark returned to NZ to coordinate the ITF’s new seafarer union development program, which he did until 2010 – having a hand in the creation of new maritime unions in Malaysia, Timor Leste, Sri Lanka and Turkey and overseeing significant reform in unions in Indonesia, Philippines, Russia and Ukraine.

He returned to a regional role as Asia/Pacific Deputy Regional Secretary until 2016, having particularly supported the Pacific Island unions, gotten projects up and running to organise airport workers and Thai fisheries workers and assisting in the establishment of the Independent Federation of Myanmar Seafarers.

Mark started his role of AMOU Executive Officer part-time whilst still in NZ in 2016 and full-time from relocation to Sydney in March 2017. He says, ‘Long term sustainability for the union is the overarching priority and the President, Executive Council and I all share the need to increase direct and visible engagement with the membership and to reinforce the fact that we are a membership driven union that responds to the needs of its members’.

He follows on to say, ‘We do not dictate what the members need. We must provide economies in expenditure but a balance must be struck between meeting the members’ needs and setting a pathway to sustainability. We must increase our union density in established industries and take members with us into a new era as a modern and vibrant union. We are developing our large potential growth area of port services and will be exploring new opportunities for growth in the recreational boating area, tour boat operators and the international cruise sector.

‘We need to deepen our relationship domestically with AIMPE to cooperate openly and use our synergies to good economic effect. We also need to deepen our relationship trans-Tasman with the Guild and globally with the Nautilus family of unions particularly when it comes to jointly campaigning and using these global connections to develop blue water jobs for members.’

Mark believes the unity of purpose campaigning brings to a union needs to be escalated as well as particularly promoting our industry and our members as a workforce to the exclusion of competitors and aligning us more with tax regimes that apply to officers internationally.

Mobile: 0437 099 886

Email: mark@amou.com.au

 

Sydney Industrial Officers

Meghann Papa

Meghann Papa joined the AMOU in March 2014 and is an Industrial Officer based in Sydney.  Prior to this Meghann worked for United Voice as an Internal Organiser and the Transport Workers’ Union of Australia (TWU) as a Legal/Industrial Officer.

In her capacity as an organiser and an industrial officer Meghann has stood up for the rights of employees in achieving fair and equitable outcomes in a broad range of areas. She is committed to ensuring the members she represents are not disadvantaged when it comes to their rights.

Meghann’s involvement with, and commitment to, the trade union movement came very early in life, becoming a union member when she was 14 years old.  Meghann also has a strong family connection with the maritime industry, including her father who was a member of the AMOU before leaving the industry after more than thirty years of service.

In addition to her experience as an industrial officer and union organiser, Meghann was admitted in the Supreme Court of Western Australia as a lawyer in 2010.

Meghann’s  vision for the the AMOU is a strong and influential organisation that is effective, highly regarded and capable of delivering outcomes for members collectively and individually. Members can use their collective power to enforce their rights and achieve better conditions in their workplace and within the maritime industry. Thereby, improving the lives of workers and their families, along with contributing to social justice and sustainable development in an atmosphere of democracy and solidarity.

Mobile: 0427 068 153

Email: meghann@amou.com.au

 

Chris Neiberding

Chris started organising with the Student Union while studying at Western Sydney University. The issues being tackled then was lack of funding, course cuts, overcrowded classes and the then Howard Government’s attempt to abolish student unions nationally, which was defeated.  In 2008, Chris joined the Finance Sector Union of Australia were he organised and worked on campaigns around wages, jobs going overseas, and personal security of members in banks.

Chris was also a delegate for the FSU on the ‘Your Rights At Work’ campaign which is now said to be the most significant political campaign mounted by a non-party political group in Australian history and was a big reason for the Libs losing the 2008 election.

In 2012, Chris joined the AMOU as an industrial Officer and has worked extensively over half of Australia representing Tug Masters in Darwin, to Pilots in Hobart and everything in between.

Chris says, ‘I’m proud to work for a union with over a 100 years of history in representing maritime workers in Australia , but most of all proud to work with so many dedicated AMOU delegates without whom this job could not be done’.

Mobile: 0407 912 932

Email: chris@amou.com.au

 

Melbourne Industrial Officers

Jan Thompson

Jan joined the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers in 1995 after completing a Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations at the University of Melbourne. In 2004 Jan was elected to the position of Secretary of Victoria Tasmania Branch of AIMPE. At the time, no other woman had been elected by the Members of any of the maritime unions. Jan demonstrated that ordinary women can do extraordinary things and continues to encourage women that they can also achieve whatever they want; even in the maritime industry where women have not traditionally worked.

In 2008, Jan joined the Australian Maritime Officers Union in the position of Industrial Officer.She has represented the AMOU at the International Transport Federation ITF Asia/Pacific Seafarers Regional Conference, ITF Maritime Safety Committee, and ITF Congress. She has also represented the AMOU at Victorian Trades Hall Council, Australian Council Trade Unions, NOPSEMA, and the University of Tasmania – Australian Maritime College Industry Liaison Committee. Jan is also Treasurer of the Melbourne Port Welfare Association.

Jan feels blessed that she has had the opportunity for the past 23 years to represent the workers of the maritime industry. Every day, she is encouraged to see workers, despite any personal differences, unified as one force, to protect, maintain and improve their working conditions.

Mobile: 0417 050 816

Email: jan@amou.com.au

 

Jarrod Moran

Jarrod joined the AMOU in 2014 after more than 6 years with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) where he was the Senior OHS and Workers Compensation Officer. Previous to the ACTU Jarrod was employed at the Victorian Trades Hall Council as the Workers Compensation Officer.  Jarrod started his union career at the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance where he worked as an Industrial Officer from 1996-2000.  In 1997 he was part of the ACTU Organising Works program.

Jarrod has a wide range of union experience, from representing individual members in grievance matters to whole of movement representation in Federal Government forums.

Jarrod has qualifications in Civil Engineering, Unionism, Community Development and Management.

Mobile: 0417 316 370

Email: jarrod@amou.com.au

 

Fremantle Staff

Glenn Andersen

Offshore Oil & Gas Delegate & Organiser

Glenn started his working life as knife-hand in the huge abattoirs in NZ where union membership was compulsory by law. Going to sea at 16 was something his father, and his fathers father, had done before him. And with a twelve year break as a brickies labourer and then a rigger, the sea came beconning.

One of Glenn’s career highlights was two years travelling the world as an AB on the ITF campaigning vessel MV Global Mariner. The desperate struggles of oppressed workers and the scale of poverty he witnessed all around the world made him appreciate the working conditions handed on to us by past union members.

Glenn has never been far from organised labour and most of the time as a delegate, and sometimes as the unofficial delegate.

Eventually Glenn made his way from AB to the bridge and after a few more years in the blue water, started in the offshore oil & gas industry. He has been an AMOU member since 2004 and has served on the AMOU National Executive since 2015.

In 2017, Glenn was approached to take up a temporary position of AMOU Organiser in the WA Office. Part of his role involves ship visits, which has meant he has been able to meet many of the great members who make up the offshore division.

Dan Pearson

Western Area Secretary & Industrial Officer 

Mobile: 0407 959 760

Email: dan@amou.com.au

Paula Merenda

Administration Assistant

Phone: (08) 9431 6500

Fax: (08) 9335 1990

Email: paula@amou.com.au