MARINE pilots from around the world came to Perth this week to join the Australasian Marine Pilots Institute’s Ports and Pilotage Conference.

The event featured more than 40 speakers over three days, with a fourth day reserved for a port tour and workshops.

At the conference, Port Kembla check pilot Josephine Clark was named AMPI’s new president, as Peter Dann has stepped down from the role after his term ended.

Ms Clark thanked and acknowledged her predecessors in the AMPI president role.

“All of us [at AMPI] are volunteers and hold down full-time jobs piloting. AMPI is a team effort and it’s a very dedicated team at that,” she said.

“Despite our small size, I think we get a fair bit done.”

She outlined some of the key achievements for the organisation over the course of the past year, including reviewing its CPD program, conducting work on pilot ladder transfer safety, running the conference in Perth, as well as one earlier in the year in Hobart, re-activating the pilot-training advisory board and continuing to work with the Australian Maritime Mentoring Program.

The mentoring program is a partnership between the Nautical Institute, the Company of Master Mariners Australia, the Pilbara Ports Authority and AMPI.

Ms Clark said the mentoring program is free and all that is asked of the participants is that they are a member or employee of one of the partner organisations.

“The program is about encouraging and empowering personal and career development and it is equally valuable for mentors and mentees alike,” she said.

There are currently 50 mentees and 61 mentors involved in the program.

The rest of the conference was packed full of discussions on many aspects and issues that affect marine pilots.

Safety was by far the top topic throughout the conference – psychological safety, safety procedures and safety lessons learned from incidents and near-incidents.

Attendees included pilots from at least 18 different countries, as well as regulators, harbour masters, technology experts, maritime lawyers and academics.

More detailed coverage of the AMPI Ports and Pilotage Conference will be published in the forthcoming November issue of the DCN magazine.