Sailing legend elected Foundation chairman

13-May-2014

One of Western Australia’s most celebrated sailing sportsmen, John Longley, has been elected as the Duyfken Replica Foundation’s new chairman following the resignation of Graeme Cocks.

The Duyfken Replica is a full-scale working reproduction of the first European ship known to have reached Australian shores – 10 years before Dirk Hartog and 164 years before Captain James Cook.

Mr Longley, a member of the Order of Australia for his services to yachting, has more than 30 years managerial experience in major maritime projects.

In 1983, he was project manager and a crew member of Australia II, the first successful challenger to the America’s Cup in 132 years.  He later became chief executive officer of the HM Bark Endeavour Foundation and is currently events manager for the 2013 IKA Kiteracing Oceanic Championships in 2013.

Mr Longley has had extensive experience with the Duyfken project. He has been on the Foundation’s board twice, most recently as deputy chairman.

Mr Longley paid tribute to Mr Cock’s extensive involvement in the Duyfken project.

“Thanks to Graeme’s tireless and ongoing contributions, Western Australia now has a working, full-scale tribute to the most significant vessel in Australia’s history – the first known European ship to make Australian shores,” Mr Longley said.

“The Duyfken Replica has become a significant museum and tourist attraction overseas and around Australia. Such is its importance in Australian history, the Duyfken is now a part of the National Curriculum.

“Graeme was involved in the very early stages of the project. He was one of the first members of the Friends of the Duyfken, he helped set up the Duyfken Foundation and was an advisor to the board from its inception in the early nineties until 2002, when he became a member of the board.

“Following the launch of the ship in 1999, he was project director for the ship’s major journeys, including those that took in The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Portugal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

“As chairman of the Duyfken Foundation for the past 10 years, he has shown great leadership, guiding the project safely through some heavy seas. His experience will be missed but his contribution is enduring.

“Graeme has left the the Duyfken project in good shape. All we need is more volunteers to help our current group of dedicated and loyal supporters. Anyone who’s interested in joining the Duyfken family as a volunteer tour guide, crew member, ship keeper, maintainer or shop keeper should email marketing@duyfken.com”.