A new Hydrographer of Australia

24 January 2013

At 10:30 on Friday 18 January there was a change in Command at the Australian Hydrographic Office in Wollongong.

Commodore Rod Nairn, AM, RAN stepped down as Australia’s longest serving Hydrographer and was relieved by Commodore Brett Brace, RAN.

Commodore Rod Nairn, AM, RAN, Australia’s longest serving Hydrographer is relieved by Commodore Brett Brace, RAN.
Commodore Rod Nairn, AM, RAN, Australia’s longest serving Hydrographer is relieved by Commodore Brett Brace, RAN.

“Hydrography has been my life” Commodore Nairn said, “I am immensely proud to have led such a professional service of Navy personnel and Defence civilians who are dedicated to providing accurate hydrographic information to mariners to make Australia’s waters safer. I know that together we have made a real difference.”

Some significant milestones of recent years are the modernization of Australia’s nautical charts, the completion of Electronic Navigational Chart coverage of Australia’s waters and a launch of an “AusENC” Service that make Electronic Navigational Charts affordable and easily available for all Australians who venture to sea.

Commodore Brace comes to the role of Hydrographer with an impressive record of seagoing Navy hydrographic ship Commands and staff appointments. He has also worked with Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority where he was responsible for implementing a real time under-keel clearance management system for the Torres Strait to improve safety of deep draught ships transiting this shallow and important shipping route.

“I am passionate about hydrography and looking forward to continuing the proud tradition of the Australian Hydrographic Service providing essential information to make navigation safer, facilitating maritime trade and supporting protection of our marine environment” Commodore Brace said.

The Australian Hydrographic Service is an element of the Royal Australian Navy. It is the national hydrographic authority responsible for the production and publication of nautical charts and hydrographic information to enable safe navigation of all ships in Australia’s waters.

The Royal Australian Navy operates six hydrographic survey ships (four Paluma Class and two Leeuwin Class) and a laser airborne depth sounder aircraft. The output of these units contributes to the navigational safety products produced by the Australian Hydrographic Service.

The Australian Hydrographic Service headquarters is in Wollongong, NSW. From there they construct and publish Australia’s official paper nautical charts, electronic navigational charts, nautical publications such as tide tables and the seafarer’s handbook for Australian waters. More than 200,000 nautical products are distributed by the Australian Hydrographic Service each year.

For more information about the Australian Hydrographic Service, visit their website at http://www.hydro.gov.au.