FORMER Deputy Chief of Navy and retired Rear Admiral Michael van Balen has been announced as the new principal of the Australian Maritime College.

The announcement came in the form of a statement from University of Tasmania, of which AMC forms part.

Mr van Balen brings to the role a career spanning of almost four decades in the Royal Australian Navy.

After joining the navy in the late 1970s, Mr Van Balen has held several key roles including Principal Warfare Officer, Commanding Officer of HMAS Sydney, Chief of Defence Force Liaison Officer to United States Central Command, Deputy Chief of Navy and Head Navy Personnel, Training and Resources.

He received a Commendation for Distinguished Service in the 2005 Australia Day Honours List and was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia in January 2015.


College of Sciences and Engineering executive dean, Professor Brian Yates welcomed the appointment.

“As the national institute for maritime education, training and research, AMC has a remit which will be of great importance as Australia seeks to achieve sovereign capability in the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise,” Professor Yates said.

“At the same time, AMC will work closely with the state as part of the state’s defence strategy, the development of the defence network and the proposal for the Maritime Defence Innovation and Design Precinct at Newnham.”

AMC has been without a principal for 18-months since Neil Bose left to pursue opportunities in Canada in late 2017.

Professor Yates said AMC would be an integral connector for defence primes and in creating new opportunities for small to medium enterprises in Tasmania.

“Michael and the leadership team will oversee the development of a new strategic plan that captures the role of AMC nationally and internationally and defines its role and priorities in that context,” he said.

Mr Van Balen is to begin his role as AMC principal on Monday, 13 May.