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John Rothwell AO

Independent Non Executive Director

John has played a major role in the development of the Australian aluminium shipbuilding industry approaching 50 years of experience in boat and shipbuilding. He is the architect responsible for the establishment of Austal and was the founding Managing Director. John identified markets for high speed ferries throughout Asia which resulted in Austal’s rapid growth. He saw the potential for US Defense contracts for high speed aluminium naval ships and he led the formation of a new shipyard in Mobile, Alabama in 1999.

John was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in January 2004 for services to the Australian shipbuilding industry, and for significant contributions to vocational education and training. He was named “Australian Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst and Young in 2002 and he was awarded the Western Australia Citizen of the Year in the category of Industry and Commerce in 1999.

John stepped down as Executive Chairman in 2008 to continue as Non Executive Chairman after managing the Company for 20 years.

On 1st July 2024, John resigned as Chairman of Austal Limited, whilst retaining a position on the Board as Non Executive Director