Austral Academy 2023 Wrap Up

Austral Academy 2023 Wrap Up
December 18, 2023

That’s a wrap on 2023!

What an adventure it was- the Austral Academy was on the move showcasing the exciting world of commercial fishing to over 25,000 young people, students, teachers, parents and more across Australia!

This year has been all about connecting with educators and parents about our operations and career opportunities, whilst continuing to deliver exciting and engaging experiences to young people about the incredible opportunities life at sea can offer.

Let's take a closer look at what made this year so special:

  • We hit the road with our first regional roadshow, making pit stops at 4 regional NSW schools- bringing the thrill of careers in the fisheries industry straight to the students.

WATCH the highlights video of the trip below

  • We celebrated all things careers, science, and fisheries at 3 national events, inspiring the next generation of fishing enthusiasts and educating the educators about the rewarding opportunities available in the industry.
  • Attended 6 school-based careers expos and delivered 8 incursions, reaching over 3,500 young minds, parents, and teachers in WA, and Cairns, QLD.
  • Back in the familiar classrooms of a few schools, we were greeted by familiar faces. Catching up with students who had previously expressed an interest in a maritime career embracing our guidance on subjects and certificates was rewarding. What's even more exciting is that teachers are actively seeking ways to nurture and support these budding interests. It's a heartening testament to the progress we've made in imparting valuable insights about the educational journey that paves the way for a rewarding career at sea.


  • Made a splash at 6 public career expos across Australia, connecting with over 22,500 students, parents, teachers, and even social workers and job service providers.

By far our biggest event on the 2023 calendar was the Brisbane Careers and Employment Expo. Between fish talk, finding talent and keeping an eye out for the best prawn sorter, Ash and Heng were kept busy!

  • Austral Academy cadet, Harry, wrapped up his first season at sea in the Northern Prawn Fishery. His first season was full of adventure being involved with the removal of a ghost net from the Gulf with his Kodiak T crew and catching his first Spanish Mackerel. 

Harry with Andy (General Manager- Northern Prawn Fishery) and David (CEO) before embarking on his first commercial fishing season, Tiger prawns. 

Visit the Australian Fisheries and Management Authority's website for more information. 

But that's not all—we have been busy building bridges and improving the accessibility of information on career opportunities and fishing operations for aspiring fishers.

  • Established a Careers Hub, a one-stop-shop for job vacancies, expressions of interest, career pathways and all things Austral Academy. 
  • Austral’s first participation in National Careers Week allowed us to share the stories of our incredible crew on social media, showing that anyone with hard work, dedication, and a willingness to try can succeed in the industry.

Sean Kebbell - Operations Manager, Southern Ocean

Elliot Underwood - Engineer, Southern Fleet

Ash Prendergast - Deckhand/ Cook, Northern Prawn Fishery

Kael Gorton - Skipper, Northern Prawn Fishery

  • Refreshed our incursion and careers expo format, adding more activities and updated content to keep things exciting and informative. This included partnering with the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC’s) Salt Water Schools program to produce a NSW curriculum aligned Lesson Plan suited to Years 7-12 students. The lesson equips teachers with the necessary tools to teach their students about Fishing Methods: Trawling in the Northern Prawn Fishery.
    • To launch our partnership with the MSC, Austral supported the MSC with their presence at OceanWatch’s Marine Muster on the 23rd of November, 2023. Continuing the theme of prawn trawling, students had the opportunity to experience Austral’s prawn trawling VR experience. The action-packed day also included activity stations run by local fishers.

The Austral Academy team would like to acknowledge the team members who volunteered to come along to school visits and careers events across the year and provide content and information to help us find the next generation of fishers. We couldn’t have done it without your support.

A special shout out to our Cairns-based Northern Prawn Fishery team who got involved in their first Austral Academy events this year.

Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, we're not slowing down:

  • The virtual reality prawn trawling experience will keep rocking, giving participants a taste of life on the sea.
  • We'll continue nurturing partnerships with organizations like MSC, DPIRD, Fisheries Research and Development Council, schools, and training providers.
  • The Careers Hub will stay fresh and vibrant with new content showcasing the adventures and career paths of our amazing crew.

So, whether you are dreaming of a life at sea or just curious about the possibilities, get in touch and stay tuned for more exciting ventures from Austral Academy in 2024!