Professor Sam Bateman speaking at lecturn

Vale Commodore Professor Sam Bateman AM RAN (Rtd)

Vale Commodore Professor Sam Bateman AM RAN (Rtd)

A purposeful career devoted to maritime security and education

It is with sadness that the University of Wollongong (UOW) marks the passing of former founding director of the Australian Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), Professor Sam Bateman AM in Queensland on Sunday 18 October 2020, aged 82.

Sam Bateman joined UOW after retiring from the Royal Australian Navy in 1993 at the senior rank of Commodore, establishing the Centre for Maritime Policy in 1994 as a joint venture between the Navy and the University.

Aimed at providing academic analysis and education in maritime affairs, the centre quickly found success largely due to Sam’s extensive contacts and previous studies within the Navy. His initiative nurtured a partnership that continues today.

The Centre for Maritime Studies was renamed the Australian Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) in 2005 and in its 26 years has educated hundreds of naval officers and other maritime professionals, including the current Chief of Navy.

The Law of the Sea courses established by Professor Bateman, first delivered in 1994, have been offered continuously (with updates) ever since and remain popular today. They have even been delivered online as part of UOW’s short courses offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sam completed his PhD at the University of NSW while Director of the then Centre for Maritime Policy and became a prolific author, writing and editing many books and academic journal articles on maritime strategic issues, particularly focused on the East, South-East and South Asia regions. Professor Bateman’s written work will continue to influence scholars in the field for many years to come.

Professor Bateman established links with several foreign universities while at UOW, building relationships that have flourished and endured.

After retiring from the University of Wollongong in 1999, Professor Bateman stayed connected to the University and ANCORS as an Honorary Professorial Fellow for the rest of his life.

In retirement, Professor Bateman remained active in academic affairs, beginning what proved to be a long and productive association with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He remained an advisor to the Maritime Security Programme at RSIS for almost two decades, splitting his time between Australia and Singapore each year. While his time in Singapore reduced over the years, he was still presenting seminars at RSIS in his eightieth year.

Sam’s deeply held sense of purpose was always evident. He devoted his career to maritime security - both directly through his naval service and then more broadly as an internationally renowned educator, academic, commentator and strategic advisor.

Professor Bateman remained in high demand as a conference speaker, media commentator and advisor right up to the time of his passing. His contribution to UOW and ANCORS was celebrated at ANCORS’ 25th anniversary dinner in October 2019.