Boating Industry Association's new General Manager Policy and Advocacy, Neil Patchett
Boating Industry Association’s new General Manager Policy and Advocacy, Neil Patchett

Boating Industry Association President Darren Vaux today announced the appointment of Neil Patchett to the association’s new role of General Manager Policy and Advocacy.

Mr Vaux said Neil was passionate about boating and had considerable professional maritime experience that spanned private and public sectors.

“Neil has more than 45 years of practical experience in recreational boating across paddle, power and sail. He has cruised and raced boats inshore and offshore, including internationally.

“He also has more than 25 years of senior level experience in government spanning regulatory, policy, strategic, advocacy and operational roles including being directly involved in advocating for and promoting a culture of safe, responsible and enjoyable boating, as well as promoting access through improved maritime infrastructure.”

Mr Vaux said Mr Patchett also had more than 20 years of experience, including lead roles, in national boating committees engaging with regulators and non-government organisations. He also had a lead role in building both national and international relationships related to boating that ranged from close neighbours New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, to those further afield such as the United Kingdom, France, Canada, USA and the World Health Organisation of the United Nations.

Mr Patchett said he was excited by the idea of this new role in the BIA and the opportunity to apply his experience, knowledge and skills to help drive the Core Objectives of the Association which were:

  • Grow participation in recreational boating;
  • Represent our members interests in advocacy to Government and lead policy development;
  • Deliver career pathways for entrants to the industry and provide ongoing professional development for members; and
  • Sustain and grow the Association as an effective and well-managed industry support organisation.

Mr Vaux said the engagement of Mr Patchett came as a result of the association’s launch of its new five-year business plan.

“Our recent overhaul of our business plan identified a substantial opportunity in our efforts to design world class policy and create a whole of industry advocacy channel for our members.

“Our search for the right candidate was spread far and wide, and the calibre of applicants was excellent. The review committee combined with an external appraisal of candidates indicated that Neil was a standout for the position.”

His contact details are: or (02) 8197 4761