JFD, part of James Fisher and Sons, announced that Harry Dunstall, a previous acting chief executive of the then Defence Materiel Organisation 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
JFD Australia managing director Toff Idrus said, "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."
Idrus said 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 Dunstall.
JFD is an underwater capability provider, serving the commercial and defence markets with innovative diving, submarine and hyperbaric rescue, technical solutions and services.
"This is among the most advanced and innovative pieces of defence hardware of its type in the world and has enormous export potential," Dunstall said.
The company is at the forefront of hyperbaric rescue, along with being a leading supplier of commercial and defence diving equipment and saturation diving systems to the commercial industry.
"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," Dunstall said.
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.
JFD was created in 2014 through the merger of James Fisher Defence and Divex. In 2015, JFD acquired the National Hyperbaric Centre to further boost the services offered to its customers.
In 2016, LEXMAR was acquired to enhance the capability and offering within JFD’s diving capability and suite of saturation diving systems. JFD acquired diving and recompression specialist Cowan Manufacturing in February 2018.