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World Maritime Day 2021—Seafarers at the core of shipping’s future

Thursday 30 September 2021
Today Australia is proud to join the International Maritime Organization and other nations to celebrate World Maritime Day.
Seafarers: At the core of shipping's future

The theme this year—Seafarers at the core of shipping’s future—shines a light on the vital role of seafarers and the need to provide supportive working conditions for them to continue providing this key service into the future.  

Although seafarers around the world move commodities and fuel between ports and helping us to maintain our current way of life, their vital function in global economies is often invisible. Most people aren’t aware of the role they play in directly ensuring the standard of living we are accustomed to.

Providing this service is tough at the best of times, and as the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened to stop the world in its tracks, seafarers have shouldered an even greater burden. Yet they have done this with dedication and professionalism. 

Australia is delighted to show our gratitude to seafarers around the world and acknowledge that without seafarers, there is no shipping industry. 

In a display of solidarity, two lighthouses—Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse in Western Australia and Bustard Head Lighthouse in Queensland—and Australia House in London will join other buildings around the world in being lit up in blue this evening.

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Lighthouse lit up in blue lights


Also this evening at 9pm AEST (12pm British Standard Time) the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will host a live webinar exploring this year’s theme. Join in to hear from the IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim and seafarers on themes of diversity, safety, crew changes and the environment.  

Here in Australia, Deputy Prime Minister The Hon. Barnaby Joyce, Australia’s Permanent Representative to the IMO George Brandis, our own Chief Executive Officer Mick Kinley and Manager Vessel Operations, Michelle Grech, have each addressed the significance of the World Maritime Day theme this year. Hear what they have to say below.

World Maritime Day 2021 - Dr Michelle Grech

Dr Michelle Grech talks about how seafarers shaped her thinking as a marine engineer, and now in her role as AMSA’s Manager Vessel Operations Manager, how she works to support seafarer welfare more broadly through engagement with port welfare providers, policy development and safety campaigns.

AMSA CEO Mick Kinley addresses World maritime Day 2021

AMSA CEO Mick Kinley as he talks about the role of seafarers in ensuring the standard of living we enjoy, and some of the pressures they face to deliver this.

World Maritime Day 2021 - The Hon George Brandis QC, Australia's Permanent Representative to the IMO

The Hon George Brandis QC, High Commissioner to the United Kingdom explains why Australia is proud to take part in World Maritime Day. 

World Maritime Day 2021 - Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP 

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks to us about the important role seafarers play in the world’s shipping industry and Australia’s economy.