Directors and Governors

Board of Directors

President John Winning AM
Vice President Brett Smith
Treasurer Peter Cole
Directors Chris Clarke
Margaret Piper
Ray Rees
Jon Simpson
Amanda Woolley

Board of Governors

Robert Albert AO RFD RD (Chairman)
Ron Denning
John Diacopoulos
Rear Admiral Tony Hunt AO RAN (Retd)
Gordon Ingate OAM
Judy Lee
Norman Rydge AM OBE
Chris Stannard OAM
Michael Schultz
John Winning AM
Michael de Dutton York OAM

Directors Bio

John Winning
Born in Sydney in 1952, I completed the school certificate at Sydney Grammar school in 1968.
I undertook an apprenticeship as a carpenter and joiner with James Wallace Pty Ltd from 1969 to the end of 1974.
In 1975, I joined the family business of R W Winning Pty Ltd / Winning Appliances Pty Ltd, became managing director. I retired in 2006.

I have an extensive sailing background from the age of 7 in sabots; VJ’s; FLYING 11’s; VS’s; 12ft skiffs and 18ft skiffs inclusive of club, state and national championships.
I competed in the 1974; 1976; 1977; 1994 and 1996 Sydney to Hobart races and the 1975 transpacific race.

I served on the following committees:
Vaucluse Yacht Club: 1968 to 1970
Vaucluse Amateur 12ft Sailing Club: 1971 to 1974 & 1985 to 1995
Australian 18ft Sailing League: 1976 to 1986 & 2001 to current
Sydney Flying Squadron: 2016 to current
Sydney Maritime Museum Governors: 2014 to current

I have accepted nomination for the role of Vice President and as a Director of Sydney Heritage Fleet.
I have an extensive background in member-based, not-for-profit organisations, decades of senior commercial management experience and am well known within Sydney’s harbour fraternity and maritime industries.
I believe I can bring a new balance of volunteering and commercial activity oversight to the Sydney Heritage Fleet board and provide valuable assistance with and insight into the strategic future of the fleet.

Chris Clarke

Peter Cole


  • BSc – University of NSW (Pure and Applied Physics and Engineering)
  • Master of Business Administration – AGSM (Corporate Policy and Strategy majors)
  • Graduate Diploma of Maritime Studies – RAN Staff College
  • Examiner – Nautical Institute Sailing Ship Endorsement Scheme
  • Square Rig Certificate – Nautical Institute London
  • Marine Master IV, Marine Engine Driver 2, Rigger, Dog Man and Fork Lift Driver


  • 1969 -1981 RAN Sea Service (surface and submarine forces)
  • 1982 – 1990 RAN Staff Office Service
  • 1990 – 1992 Associate Director Price Waterhouse Urwick (Executive Information Systems)
  • 1992 – 1994 Senior Consultant Morgan and Banks (technology contracting business)
  • 1995 – 1995 Senior Consultant Ernst and Young Consulting (staff acquisition)
  • 1996 – 2010 Westfield Group (Senior Business Analyst and Project Manager AUS, USA, UK)
  • 2000 – 2018 Sydney Heritage Fleet – Master of James Craig 17 yrs, Director 12yrs, Treasurer 10 yrs
  • 2011 – 2018 RAN Reserve Service (New Ship Acquisition & Director Navy Heritage Collection – 7 sites)

Stay Afloat, Move Ahead Do Good Things with Good People

Margaret Piper

I have been a member of the Sydney Heritage Fleet since 2007, joining initially in an attempt to get some work-life balance and seeing it as a way to carry on the strong nautical traditions within my family.

During this time I have been an active member of the crew of the James Craig, holding the position of Leading Deck Hand and being a quartermaster, and I am a regular maintenance volunteer. I have loved learning new skills and working alongside a diverse group of enthusiastic and inspiring people.

Despite wanting to escape from my work life when on the James Craig, I have increasingly found the two melding together. This began with drafting policies and risk assessments for the James Craig and led to coordinating a team of members to redraft the Fleet’s new Constitution which was adopted in March 2021. Since joining the Board I have been focusing on governance, in particular working to ensure that our policies and procedures are compliant and fit for purpose.

My background is that of having spent 15 years as the CEO of a peak not-for-profit, after which I have worked as an advisor and consultant to many government and community sector agencies. The former include the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, DSS, the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and NSW Fair Trading.

My board experience spans almost 30 years on a variety of community sector boards, including that of the Australian Red Cross which has an annual turnover of in excess of $1b. I am currently Deputy Chair of MYAN NSW. I also sit on the Advisory Board of Multicultural NSW, am a member of the NSW Medical Council and an Adjunct Fellow at Western Sydney University.

Ray Rees

Qualifications and professional affiliations

2015    Chartered Marine Engineer and Fellow of IMarEST

2005    Fellow of Institute of Engineers Australia

2003    MBA – Queensland University of Technology

1989    Bachelor of Engineering – Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

1981    Trade as Shipwright – Sydney Technical College

Skills summary

  • Over forty years experience in marine engineering operations, vessel maintenance management, ship building, conversion, and repair.
  • Program and project management of multiple large and small vessel repair and conversion projects from small boats to aircraft carriers.
  • Extensive experience in marine engineering certification, classification, and safety.
  • Qualified operator of high-pressure steam systems and engines.
  • Extensive experience across a wide range of general management disciplines including chairing of Project Executive Boards.

Employment summary

  • 2005 until present – Contract marine engineer
  • 1975 – 2005 Service in the Royal Australian Navy

Sydney Heritage Fleet and other heritage vessel experience

  • Early 1980s – Briefly worked fabricating new frames for the Barque James Craig.
  • Mid 1980s – Volunteered with the Victorian Steamship Association, firing the boiler in the steam tug Wattle for cruises around Port Philip Bay and the Yarra River.
  • Late 1980s – Ran a volunteer steam club with a variety of historical assets including a veteran steam truck, vintage steam train and traction engines. Spent many a Monday evening in ferry Kanangra assisting to rebuild the main engine.
  • Early 2000s – Most Saturdays spent restoring John Oxley, fabricating structure, preparing plates, and hammering in thousands of hot rivets.
  • Post 2010 – Facilitated the gifting of the two tugs – Bronzewing and Currawong – and an operational forty-foot Halvorsen built work boat to the SHF.
  • 2016 ongoing – SHF speakers group coordinator, arranging and delivering talks to community service groups.
  • February 2019 ongoing – Deckhand on the Barque James Craig.

Jon SimpsonMy first career was as a deckhand on coasters in the North Sea followed by a marine engineering apprenticeship with New Zealand Shipping Co. I sail once or twice a week with Balmain Sailing Club. I am involved with the restoration of Mistral II, one of two survivors of the 1945 Sydney to Hobart.

I worked for 28 years organising large numbers of volunteers in tertiary education in the UK, USA and Australia.

I was General Manager of the Fleet between 2005 and 2012.  I volunteered within the Fleet whilst General Manager and have continued to volunteer as deckhand, riveter, speaker, and fundraiser.

I am volunteer Secretary of Tall Ships Australia and New Zealand (TANZ) and chair the TANZ Foundation Ltd.  I was Secretary (2015-18) and am currently a truck driver with Pyrmont Cares Inc, a local volunteer furniture and whitegoods recycler.

I was the volunteer project director of the Tall Ship program for the RAN Fleet Review in 2013.

I can use this extensive work experience with volunteers and as a volunteer to bolster the Fleet’s member and volunteer recruitment and retention, through better volunteer induction, ensuring volunteer input to the Fleet’s strategic plans, and improving membership benefits.

jonsimpson@ozemail.com.au      0406 420624

Brett Smith




A leader with more than 25 years’ experience in the maritime industry. An operations specialist with highly developed communications and people skills. A qualified workplace trainer with a track record of continuous improvement to organisational systems and safety processes.


VTSO & PORT OFFICER |Port Authority of NSW (2017 – Current)

In September 2017, I returned to Sydney to take up the position of Port Officer for the Port Authority of NSW. In late 2018 I commenced working as a Vessel Traffic Service Operator in Sydney VTS and this is my current permanent role.

DCV MARITIME AUSTRALIA |Operations, Logistics & Training (2014 – 2017)

In July 2014, I commenced working independently within the Maritime Industry under contract offering services in marine operations, compliance, management and training to various organisations.

OPERATIONS MANAGER | Transdev Brisbane Ferries (2008 – 2014)

In 2008 I moved to Brisbane to take up the position of Operations Manager for Metrolink QLD (Brisbane Ferries). At that time Metrolink operated and maintained a fleet of 21 vessels under contract on behalf of Brisbane City Council, delivering a world class commuter and tourist service to the people of Brisbane. Over the 6 year period I was in this role, I managed the expansion of the operation to a fleet of 28 vessels and 170 crew.

FERRY MASTER / TRAINING MASTER | Sydney Ferries Corporation (2000 – 2008)

I returned to Sydney Ferries in 2000 and completed my Master Class 4 studies. In February 2001 I was appointed Master operating all 8 classes of vessel within the fleet. I was Master in the Freshwater Class for 5 years.

TUG MASTER | SBLS / Adsteam Logistics (1999 – 2000)

I was granted leave from Sydney Ferries to work for Stannard Brothers Launch Services / Adsteam Logistics. This enabled me to operate as a Dual Certificated Tug Master gaining valuable sea time and experience.

GENERAL PURPOSE HAND | Sydney Ferries Corporation (1996 – 1999)

I joined Sydney Ferries in 1996 as a General-Purpose Hand.


2020 – Current: SWAP Project Team developing Towage Plans and Safety Management Systems for the movements of John Oxley, Kanangra and the Sea Heritage Dock between Rozelle and Garden Island.

2019 – Project Co-ordinator for the SHF / Protex visit to the Davistown Wooden Boat Festival.

2018 – Current: Returned as Chairman of the restoration committee for MV Kanangra. Contributed to negotiations with key stakeholders that brought about the Dock SWAP project.

2017 – Current: Joined the John Oxley Restoration Committee providing assistance in the development of operational procedures as Ships Master.

2017 – Current Returned to Sydney and active volunteering with Sydney Heritage Fleet. Added training as Master aboard the Tugs Bronzewing and Currawong.

2008 – 2017: While living in Brisbane, I maintained contact with SHF, coming down a few times a year to volunteer. I also was a Director of the Queensland Maritime Museum and volunteered with Steam tug Forceful during this period.

2001 – 2008: Chairman of the first restoration committee formed for MV Kanangra. Kanangra volunteering.

2001 – 2003: Board Director Sydney Maritime Museum (Sydney Heritage Fleet).

1997 – 2005: Executive Master SL Lady Hopetoun. Trained as Master ST Waratah, Protex, Berrima, and Harman.

1988 – 1993: Volunteered in guiding at Sydney Seaport, maintenance, restoration and crewing activities aboard

Kanangra, James Craig, Waratah, Lady Hopetoun, Protex and the 27’ Whaler.

1988 – At the age of 12 I joined the Sydney Maritime Museum as an active volunteer. I was signed up by Mary Swanson at the Birkenhead Point Museum site.

Amanda Woolley

I grew up in England but have spent most of my adult life in Australia.

My career was in corporate banking.

I joined the SHF in 2006, obtained the GPH qualification, became a deck-hand on the James Craig, and formed part of the crew on voyages to Melbourne, Hobart and Newcastle.

In 2013 I became a trainee deckhand on the Fleet’s tugboats, and work on the maintenance of these at Rozelle as well as crewing on the James Craig.