Rob Mundle, a well known yachting journalist and author, has been awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours announced today. Mundle has received the award for services to sailing and to journalism. Another recipient of the OAM with a maritime connection is master mariner John Biffin for his services to the community, particularly through Australia Day celebrations. Robert George Mundle, Main Beach, Queensland, has been a sailor since 1957 and introduced two significant sailing classes, the Laser and the J24, to Australia. As a journalist Rob has worked for the Sydney Daily Mirror and The Australian newspapers and for the Ten and Seven television networks as a yachting commentator. He has covered many America’s Cup regattas, including Australia II’s victory in 1983, and is currently a member of the America’s Cup Hall of Fame selection committee. He was a founding member of the Society of International Nautical Scribes, an international organisation of yachting journalists and photographers. Rob has been a member of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia since 1970 and more recently was Commodore of the Southport Yacht Club for two years. He is currently the Co-ordinator of the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week and was founder of the Hayman Island Big Boat Series and the Sail Paradise Regatta on the Gold Coast. He is the author of several books, including ‘Fatal Shore’, a dramatic story of the tragic 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, and ‘Bligh – Master Mariner’ and ‘Flinders – the Man Who Mapped Australia’. Rob extended his sailing interests to charitable causes, notably being an inaugural member and co-ordinator of the Sail for Cancer Committee and the Cure Cancer Foundation which has raised about $1.5 million for research. He is currently an Ambassador for the Cure Cancer Australia Foundation. John Ronald Biffin, Cremorne, NSW, has been a Master Mariner since 1968, a First Class Pilot from 1980, becoming Senior Pilot, Sydney Ports Corporation, from 2004-2007. He has been heavily involved in organising major maritime events centred on Sydney Harbour, including the annual Australia Day celebrations, the Tall Ships Race to Tasmania in 1998, the Celebration of Federation, Flags Afloat and was a member of the onshore preparation team for Kay Cottee’s Round the World Voyage, 1987. John has been a competitor harbour and offshore racing yachtsman for many years and is a member of Middle Harbour Yacht Club and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, which includes giving on-the-water support for the Hardy Cup He has been a member of the Australia Day Regatta Management Committee and the Regatta Advisory Council since 1998 and is a board member of the Australia Day Council of New South Wales. He is also a member of the Australian Institute of Navigation and the League of Ancient Mariners, and an advisor to the Sydney Harbour Port Security Committee, formed after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the USA.
Rob Mundle has been awarded an OAM in Queen’s Birthday honours for service to sailing and journalism.