John Fitzhardinge has been involved in vessel design, construction, and operation throughout his life, building his first boat at the age of 9.
He designed and built his first commercial vessel – a 24 foot crayboat – in 1961, and began lobster
fishing with a similar boat in 1962. When not fishing he and his wife Beth built boats for themselves and other fishermen, establishing Dongara Marine in 1975.
In 1982 John designed and built the 48 foot composite crayboat ‘Hero’. Its success led other fishermen to commission his designs. Three years later John and three partners formed Geraldton Boat Builders, and John was responsible for designing a large range of mostly aluminium boats from 12 to 24 metres. In 2000 the firm won a tender that would ultimately see the firm build 65 fast patrol boats for the Singapore Police Coast Guard.
John is a Director of both Southerly Designs and Dongara Marine.
Rohan is a fully qualified shipwright. After undertaking his apprenticeship with Vikal International, a world-renowned builder in the superyacht industry, he went on to work for Northern Star Boat Builders, Batavia Boat Builders, and Western Boat Builders.
Rohan has also worked in the WA fishing industry, and obtained his Master V skippers ticket and MED II.
In 2010 Rohan moved from Western Boat Builders after completing the Fisheries Patrol Vessel ‘PV Houtman’ to assist with the conversion of John’s composite crayboat ‘Hero’ to a pleasure craft. He was subsequently appointed Managing Director of Dongara Marine.
Shae has joined Dongara Marine Pty Ltd after gaining significant leadership roles within the Marine, Construction and Oil and Gas industries both National and International.
Through Shae’s previous employment he has proved his extensive ability and knowledge of vessels with Geokinetics Inc., Smithbridge, Seawest Marine and Freelance Marine Master & Engineering.
His Education and Professional Development includes (to name a few): Master Class IV, MED Grade 2, AMSA Certificate of Safety Training, AMSA GMDSS Certificate, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, Confined Work Space, Cultural Awareness Certificate and High-Risk Work Licence DG, WP, RB.
Along with Shae’s skills he brings with him a natural ability to complete tasks of a high standard.
Margaret comes from a strong background in finance.
After completing 30 years’ service with a major Bank, Margaret left to pursue other opportunities. Time was spent studying and Margaret achieved a Certificate IV in Occupational Safety and Health and a Diploma in Accounting.
Margaret worked for an Employment Agency prior to commencing with Dongara Marine Pty Ltd in May 2016 as an Administration/Finance Officer taking care of the accounts side of the business.