AMSA Scholarship 2021 winners Andrew Herring and Megan Reinwald

UOW students awarded Australian Maritime Safety Authority Scholarships

UOW students awarded Australian Maritime Safety Authority Scholarships

Scholarships to help improve maritime safety through policy

Two University of Wollongong (UOW) post-graduate students have been awarded 2021 Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Excellence in Maritime Policy Scholarships of $10,000 each.

The 2021 UOW scholarship recipients are Andrew Herring and Megan Reinwald.

Both students, who are studying a Master of Maritime Policy at Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), were awarded the scholarships for their academic excellence, leadership potential and commitment to maritime safety.

Andrew Herring has had a lifelong interest in, and passion for, Australia’s maritime affairs, beginning with his earliest memories growing up in Wollongong observing the continual movement of commercial shipping in and out of Port Kembla.

Andrew is a media and communications professional who has dedicated more than 20 years serving as an officer in the Royal Australian Navy Reserve as a part-time public affairs specialist, alongside his full-time civilian career in corporate communications, public affairs and marketing, which has included senior management positions with Sydney Ferries and the naval division of global defence technology company, Thales. Andrew now works in UOW’s Strategic Marketing and Communications Division.

“Throughout my 26-year career since graduating from UOW, I have sought opportunities to apply my skills as a professional communicator to support Australia’s maritime sector,” Andrew said.

He has served at sea in exercises and maritime operations and in headquarters providing strategic and operational communications advice to commanding officers and senior leaders managing sensitive issues.

“Having been involved in responding to maritime critical incidents including ship groundings, collisions, and search and rescue operations, seeing first-hand the human and environmental devastation wrought by unsafe vessel operations, I’ve gained an understanding of how important maritime policy is to Australia’s environment and prosperity,” Andrew said.

AMSA scholarship recipient Andrew Herring in his navy reserve uniform

2021 AMSA scholarship recipent Andrew Herring in his Royal Australian Navy Reserve uniform   

Studying at ANCORS, Australia’s only multidisciplinary university-based centre dedicated to ocean law, maritime security, and marine resource management, was a natural next step for Andrew to pursue his interest in maritime policy.

“By completing these programs I will be better equipped to support those working full-time in the maritime sector when I serve as a naval reserve officer,” Andrew said.

Fellow scholarship winner Megan Reinwald has a passion for policy-making and works as a Senior Program Officer at the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources in Canberra.

Megan has a keen interest in gaining a broader understanding of the law of the sea, ocean governance and maritime security.

“Australia is a maritime country so studying this course has given me a new depth of insight into our strategic geopolitical position in the world,” Megan said.

“I am fascinated by international shipping law in particular and hope that with this scholarship I will have new opportunities in my career and access to wider networks.”

The scholarship offers students the opportunity to analyse in detail the legal, political and operational factors that influence the law of the sea and maritime policy, skills they need for a successful career in the industry.

Both scholars were awarded the scholarship after displaying strong alignment with AMSA’s vision, mission and values.

“As Australia’s maritime regulator, the extent to which AMSA can fulfil its vision of clean and safe seas, saving lives, is largely reliant on sound policy and informed legislation,” AMSA Chief Executive Officer Mick Kinley said.

“Supporting students through this Masters course helps ensure a pipeline of maritime professionals with a deep academic understanding of the industry, domestically and internationally, which will benefit AMSA’s work in the future.”

In addition to the financial assistance, scholarship recipients are paired with an AMSA appointed mentor to offer support and guidance throughout their course.

Megan said the connection with AMSA had already been beneficial.

“So far I have met with naval officers and eminent scholars in law of the sea, and have been invited to join a ship inspection!” she said.

Andrew is interested in undertaking research into maritime critical incident preparedness and response, exploring the legal, operational and environmental complexities faced in Australia compared with other coastal states and seafaring nations. He believes he can achieve this with the support of AMSA.

About the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Scholarship

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is Australia's national agency responsible for maritime safety, protection of the marine environment, and maritime aviation search and rescue.

The AMSA Excellence in Maritime Policy Postgraduate Scholarship will be awarded to a student undertaking the Master of Maritime Policy to analyse the legal, political and operational factors that contribute to the development of the law of the sea and maritime policy, with the aim of devising solutions to gaps in legal and policy frameworks.

Further information about the scholarship is available from UOW’s website:


Main picture: 2021 AMSA Excellence in Maritime Policy Scholarship recipients Andrew Herring and Megan Reinwald.