Release date: 12 March 2019

JFD Australia announces new chair as it further strengthens its local commitment

JFD, the world’s leading underwater capability provider serving the commercial and defence diving markets and part of James Fisher and Sons plc, is pleased to announce the appointment of a new non-executive Australian Chair to oversee its future growth and direction in the local defence sector.

Allan du Toit, who completed full-time service with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as a Rear Admiral in 2016, after 40 years of combined service in two Commonwealth Navies (Australia and South Africa), assumed the role on 1 March 2019, replacing Mr Harry Dunstall who resigned for business reasons.

“There are few people in Australia who bring Allan’s depth of experience to a leadership role of this nature,” said JFD Australia Managing Director, Toff Idrus.

“Allan’s operational and strategic background across almost every aspect of naval and joint service at sea and ashore, makes him an ideal Chair to assist in shaping JFD’s future strategic direction in Australia’s critically important defence industry sector.”

“Further, as the safe, trusted and proven submarine rescue service provider to the RAN for at least the next two years and likely longer, and with advanced manufacturing and asset management centres in Western Australia and New South Wales, and a workforce of highly-skilled tradespeople looking at a range of new defence industry opportunities, Allan’s stewardship will be key in ensuring we continue to deliver world-class products and services in submarine rescue, hyperbaric chamber manufacturing, rebreathing and combat diving equipment.”

“For the past decade, JFD Australia has been a key and reliable strategic capability partner to the Australian Government and it continues to deliver world-class defence systems,” said Mr du Toit.

“It is an Australian company that is perfectly positioned to expand and develop its Australian presence and it is a wonderful opportunity to accept the role as Australian Chair and help guide the JFD team, all of whom are passionately committed to making sure our nation’s servicemen and women are safe and that is overwhelmingly our most important priority.”

Mr Idrus also thanked Mr Dunstall for his time as Chair.

“Harry injected some timely critical thinking and understanding of the strategic levels of the defence department to the role that brought about some immediate benefits for our company and while we are sad to see him depart, we wish him all the very best for the future and look forward to working with him in various capacities going forward and in maintaining an enduring relationship with him.”