Release date: 01 November 2018

JFD Australia announces new chairman as it strengthens its local commitment

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

Mr Harry Dunstall, a previous Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the then Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) in the Department of Defence and currently the Managing Director of Canberra- based strategic advisory firm, Ngamuru Advisory, will assume the position on 1 November 2018.

“Harry’s appointment as Chair of JFD Australia comes at a very significant and exciting time for our company which provides the safe, trusted and proven submarine rescue service to the Royal Australian Navy, (RAN),” said JFD Australia Managing Director, Toff Idrus.

“With advanced manufacturing centres in Western Australia and New South Wales, a workforce of highly-skilled tradespeople and plans to strengthen our commitment to the local defence sector, Harry’s experience and expertise will be critical in ensuring we continue to deliver world-class products and services in submarine rescue, hyperbaric chamber manufacturing, rebreathing and combat diving equipment.”

Mr Dunstall brings a wealth of insight and experience to the role having worked for many years in senior positions in the Department of Defence, including being responsible for the part of the Defence organisation that acquires and sustains materiel capability for the Australian Defence Force.

“For the past decade, JFD Australia has been a key strategic capability partner to the Australian Government and it continues to deliver world-class defence systems, including a hyperbaric equipment suite and transfer-under-pressure chamber, which, earlier this year gave the RAN, for the first time, the ability to rescue and treat the entire crew of an Australian submarine (up to 88 crew members).” said Mr Dunstall.

“This is among the most advanced and innovative pieces of defence hardware of its type in the world and has enormous export potential.”

“Combine that with JFD’s global delivery of submarine rescue services to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) –as well as to Singapore, Korea and India and partnerships with 80 nations and 33 navies and the company is perfectly positioned to expand and develop its Australian presence.  I look forward to working in this role with the JFD team across Australia all of whom show great passion and expertise in what they do and who deliver such critical services and products to our nation's submariners.”

The appointment of an Australian chairman comes as JFD Australia prepares for the annual Black Carillon ocean exercises off the coast of Western Australia, where, in partnership with the RAN, it will trial its submarine rescue system in a series of scenarios designed to replicate a real-life submarine rescue emergency.