Tomaree Museum Association Committee

Meet the Committee
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Ian Farnsworth – Chairperson

Ian is a retired engineer and worked with John Clarke to set up the Tomaree Museum Association in September 2019.

Following a 35 year career in the RAAF as an aircraft engineering officer and project manager; Ian has subsequently provided consultancy and management services to both Government and the private sector.

Ian was first a resident of Port Stephens in 1998 and is active in other NFP Community associations as Chairman of Salamander Bay Recycling and is on the Committee of Fighter World. Ian has a special interest in military history and in environmental and sustainability issues in Port Stephens.

Ian is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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Susan (Alex) West – Secretary / Public Officer

Alex is a retired logistics and project manager with both military and private sector experience.

She is currently a volunteer for a Port Stephens Council Landcare group.

Alex has a keen interest in seeing the establishment of a world class regional museum in Port Stephens and is an inaugural member of the Tomaree Museum Association.

Jennifer Gray – Treasurer

Born and bred in Newcastle, Nelson Bay was a family Sunday picnic favourite destination for many years.

Married and moved to the Bay in 1979.

Resigned from High School teaching to join my husband’s business in 1982 and am still working there.

I have three adult children that all work in the business. I am a member of several local community organisations.

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Chris Peters – Historian / Grants Manager

Chris had a management career in corporate finance and investment planning. In the former, this involved presenting lengthy proposals to boards and, in the latter, advising boards on superannuation investment strategy.

He has also spent a lot of time pretending to be an offshore sailor. He retired early to owner-build a sustainable house and to complete an honours degree in history.

He is now a presenter and committee member at U3A, assistant secretary at TRRA and inaugural member of the TMA.

He has passions for science, renewable energy and maritime history.

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Mary Sillince – Assistant Secretary

Mary is a retired administration officer having spent many years in education management and more recently evolving into event management internationally. 

Mary has a keen interest in local history and museums in particular, having graduated from Macquarie University with a degree in Social Science. 

Together with her family she has been frequenting the Port Stephens area since the early 1980s and in 2018 moved to Fingal Bay. 

Mary is a member of the Australian Museums and Galleries Association Inc, Art Gallery of New South Wales and other local historical societies as well as an inaugural member of the Tomaree Museum Association

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Doug Cross – Volunteer Manager / Assistant Treasurer

Doug is a retired Air Force Aerospace Engineer currently working as a Deputy Programme Manager for Hensoldt Sensors GmbH (formerly Airbus Defence and Space).

His current role is to project manage a major Defence Programme to install nine permanent and two interim Air Traffic Control radar systems across Australia for the Air Force, Navy and Army.

Doug is active in the Ports Stephens community and has been a member of a number of community groups including the Nelson Bay Australia Day committee of which he has been the Chairman for 23 years.

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Liz Warne

Liz was born in Tanzania, schooled in the UK and came to Australia in 1979. She has worked in travel, finance, human resources, conference organising and was once a partner in a hand-poured candle factory.  She moved to Port Stephens in 2014.

She has travelled on a bus across Canada, on a truck across South America, hitched through southern Africa and cruised around the Kamchatka Peninsula.   She has been on a four-wheel drive expedition in Iceland, sailed to Antarctica and visited the Baltics, the Balkans and the outpost of St. Helena.  With travel plans curtailed, she has taken an interest in the local history of Port Stephens.

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Tim Woolgar

Tim studied botany and zoology at University and has had a lifelong  fascination with ecology and the natural world.

 He made a career in journalism in the UK, starting out in print media then getting into local radio and TV News as a reporter and finally moving behind a desk to work on the management side of the business. Before coming to Australia in 2018 Tim set up an events company in London which he continues to manage remotely.

He is a keen chess player and has some experience of committee work through his former role as marketing director of the English Chess Federation. Tim is also a volunteer with the NSW Rural Fire Service

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John Delandro

John is a retired Sheriff’s Officer, and was first introduced to the beauty of Port Stephens about 35 years ago,  when his parents bought a holiday house. As the saying goes, he liked it so much, he bought his own about six years ago.

John has been a member of the Sydney Maritime Museum, trading as Sydney Heritage Fleet, a volunteer run organisation, for more than 20 years, mainly helping restore, maintain and sail the tall ship “James Craig “.

Funnily enough, his primary interest is maritime heritage, and hands on restoration.


Ross Carroll – Web Design/Database Management

Ross is a local who has returned home after some time to look after `family matters’, our website and make videos.

Ross has been in television and media for much of his life.
He has worked at The Hunter Centre for Health Advancement as a program designer, Channel Ten as a commercial producer & graphic artist and was a confounding co-founder
of Out of the Square Media in Newcastle.

Before returning to the Bay he worked freelance as an illustrator, animator & graphic artist for various advertising agencies in Newcastle. 

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