Master and commander

Caitlyn WattsPilbara News
Australia's first indigenous master mariner Ryan Cobb.
Camera IconAustralia's first indigenous master mariner Ryan Cobb. Credit: Picture: morgan pelt photography

A Karratha worker has been named Australia’s first indigenous master mariner, meaning he can now command any ship of any size in any ocean in the world.

Woodside employee Ryan Cobb, who works on his grandmother’s country of Ngarluma, said his journey to reach this achievement had been an adventure and he was glad it allowed him to provide for his family at home.

Mr Cobb said he began working in the pearling industry on small boats off Broome when he was 18, before Woodside gave him the opportunity to train on offshore vessels.

“Pearl divers were the legends of the town. That was really my passion and that’s what drove me to want to work at sea,” he said.

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“It’s a long way to come from the small pearling boats in Broome.”

Mr Cobb said his role at Woodside also allowed him to mentor young indigenous seafarers from the north.

“I want to encourage young indigenous people to get involved in the marine industry,” he said.

Determined to learn more and showing no signs of slowing down, Mr Cobb said he planned to become the first indigenous Australian to pilot an LNG tanker.

“My goal now is to become a marine pilot with Woodside,” he said.

Woodside logistics vice-president Steve Trench said the company was proud of Mr Cobb’s achievements, hard work and determination.

“He’s a great role model to young people and his career journey to become a master mariner demonstrates the diversity of opportunities on offer at Woodside,” he said. “We encourage local indigenous youth from Karratha and Roebourne to consider a career with us.”

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