2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours: Ravi Inder Singh Nijjer, AM
For Ravi Inder Singh Nijjer, a 62-year career in shipping continues to this day.
First a merchant marine officer in India in 1960, he has now received the Australian AM distinction as an international maritime security expert.
“It has been quite an unlikely life for a boy growing up in the landlocked region of Jullundur,” Mr Nijjer laughed. “In fact, that’s the name of my soon-to-be-published book: An unlikely life.”
What attracted him to the expedition in the first place?
Nijjer, educated at Bishop Cotton School (Simla), replied, “I wanted to get away from Punjab and see the world!”
He did, then chose to call Australia home.
He was serving in Hong Kong in 1968 when he met his Australian wife. They moved to Australia in 1970 and he continued to serve at sea until 1980.
Nijjer then moved into education, becoming a lecturer and then head of the shipping department at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Transport.
In his role there, he rewrote the curriculum for Masterclass I.
“I was lured out of education and back into the center of it all, when the shipping industry saw seven major casualties to Australian vessels,” Nijjer recounted. “That’s when I started working on improving safety management systems.”
As part of his new role, he was sent to Japan to study their shipping security. The report he wrote afterwards enhanced him considerably.
He would go on, in the years to come, to contribute significantly to the first use of GPS for maritime navigation, the training of Australian maritime pilots, port operations safety management systems and ship training systems. bridge resource management.
He has been involved as a consultant since the mid-1990s with the Australian maritime industry, and since 2004, internationally.
“I have traveled the world speaking at professional conferences and students, and I especially enjoy these assignments in India.”
He continues to work full time to this day.
It is no understatement to say that Nijjer has been a catalyst for many changes in the Australian maritime industry.
“There’s not a lot of industry in Australia, though,” Nijjer lamented. “When I arrived in 1970 there was a thriving merchant shipping industry with over 100 ships registered in Australia. The number has dwindled to around 12 ships. And this despite being a island-continent where 99% of imports and exports are transported by sea, with hundreds of large commercial vessels operating in Australian waters The decline worries many The new Prime Minister promises to create a strategic fleet of one dozen ships that can be relied on to deliver essential cargo and fuel supplies.
What advice would he give to new immigrants?
“One of the first things I heard about Australia, from an Australian colleague, was that it’s an egalitarian country. I was happy to discover for myself that this is indeed so. Australia have been very good to me. It gave me many opportunities to continue my professional development. I can’t think of any other country where I would have had these opportunities. All I would say to incoming migrants is to know your job well and do it well.
He added: “And also, forget the disputes in India. Leave all the debates behind and embrace your new country.
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