A message from the new Chair of SIMS, Peter Cochrane 

John Keniry, the long term Chair of SIMS, resigned in May 2019 after nine years of service to SIMS John brought a wealth of high level government and industry experience to SIMS, and his contributions have been invaluable to the advancement of marine science at SIMS and in NSW. The entire team at SIMS would like to express our gratitude to John for helping build SIMS into the thriving Institute that it is today.


And now an introduction to our incoming Chair, Peter Cochrane. 

“I am delighted to be appointed as the independent chair of the SIMS Board and honoured to succeed John Keniry. I have a longstanding passion for and commitment to the conservation and wise use of the oceans and the vital supporting role of marine science. 

I am currently the Independent Chair of the National Environmental Science Program Marine Biodiversity Hub Steering Committee and a member of the National Benefit Assessment Panel for the Marine National Facility.

My previous roles included co-chairing the Bioregional Advisory Panel and membership of the Expert Scientific Panel of the Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review (2015-6); the review panel for Geoscience Australia’s marine science program (2016); Director of National Parks in the Australian Government (1999-2013); and Deputy Executive Director of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (1994-1999). During my time as Director of National Parks, the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust was a fellow statutory agency and I visited the Chowder Bay facilities on several occasions.

Since leaving full time employment in 2014, reflecting my wider interests and networks, I joined the boards of Ecotourism Australia, Tangaroa Blue Foundation (managing the Australian Marine Debris Initiative), the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute, the Australian Tropical Herbarium, and EarthWatch Institute Australia. I was elected in 2016 to the Council of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and subsequently appointed as the IUCN Council Ocean Focal Person.

I am currently a Commissioner with the NSW Independent Planning Commission and an Assistant Commissioner of the NSW Natural Resources Commission.

I am looking forward with great enthusiasm to learning more about the work at SIMS and its application and use, and working with the board and members to help SIMS realise its potential in a world where the significance of ocean health is increasingly recognised and valued”.