NL 56 Building GMET
Capt Rod Short
This was an initiative taken while I was Principal of the Australian Maritime College, with access to the AUD 250,000 provided by the Australian Federal Government in 1991 for the export of Australian maritime education and training throughout the Asia Pacific Region.
It began in 1991 at a meeting of Heads of Maritime Training Institutions at Dalian Maritime University. Three subsequent meetings were held: in the Suva Maritime Training School in 1993, in the Far Eastern State Maritime Academy in Vladivostok in 1994 and in the New Zealand Maritime School in 1995.
At the latter it was decided to formally meet at the Hong Kong Polytechnic in September 1996 to establish the Association of Maritime Education and Training in Asia Pacific, as a company limited by guarantee in Australia, located at the Australian Maritime College, where it is still based.
Upon leaving the Australian Maritime College at the end of 1995 and reaching the age of 60, I was appointed Executive Secretary. An international Board of Directors was established, with Swapan Das Sarma, a current Director, then Head of the Singapore Maritime Academy, as the first Chairman of the Board. Core Competency Marine in New Delhi was engaged to provide secretarial services and still do.
The network grew rapidly to slightly in excess of 120 members in 33 countries and, as the global influence increased, the name was changed to the more suitable Global Maritime Education and Training Association, with the registered company being GlobalMET Limited. We provided developmental advice, we organised seminars and conferences in member academies, we provided training workshops, we provided expert assistance and generally endeavoured to strengthen our members. Liaison with the Asia Development Bank is ongoing.
The nine member Board met twice each year and the venue was varied. A General Memo has been issued at approximately
In 2009, after two years of lobbying (to be present at IMO I was an Adviser to the Hong Kong Delegation and an Adviser to the International Federation of Ship Masters’ Associations) the network was approved as an NGO member of IMO with Consultative Status. We have since attended every meeting of the HTW – Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (formerly STW), where we have been active in promoting the interests of maritime education and training and continue to do so.
GlobalMET is well positioned to continue assisting its members develop their subjects in line with the needs of the industry and of the people it employs. It will move into the area of providing online learning materials, particularly for seafarers, but also for others involved with the sea. It will assist the teachers and the students. It will continue to grow and will embark on more revenue generating activities. It will become more significant as it adapts to changes in the shipping industry.
At the Board meeting in Hong Kong last week it was agreed that I would retire on 30 June and that Capt Richard Teo, a Director, would take over until a permanent replacement is engaged. It has been quite a role for 20 years, but it is now time for this 80 year old to gradually begin to fade out.
It has been an honour and a pleasure to serve as Executive Secretary. I wish to express heartfelt thanks to the many people, including Directors and Advisors and academic leaders and faculty past and present, together with the Secretariat, who have assisted with the development and running of the organisation. It has been a pleasure to work with you.