Steering Committee

The MNF Steering Committee assists the CSIRO Board to fulfil its governance responsibilities by providing high level advice on the ongoing delivery of ocean research capabilities for the nation.


The Director of the Marine National Facility (MNF) manages the delivery of the Facility to its users. The Director is employed by CSIRO and, through the Executive Director for Digital, National Facilities and Collections, is ultimately responsible to the Chief Executive, CSIRO. The MNF is subject to CSIRO governance structures and policies.

The independent Marine National Facility Steering Committee (MNF SC) provides high-level advice to the MNF Director.  MNF SC members also act as advocates for the MNF. The Committee is charged with providing advice to the MNF Director consistent with CSIRO’s ongoing delivery of ocean research capabilities for the nation and with advocacy on behalf of the Facility.

Operational procedures are consistent with the principles set out in the “Guidelines For The Operation Of National Research Facilities” report to the Prime Minister by the Australian Science and Technology Council (ASTEC), January 1984.

The MNF SC is supported in performing these functions by two independent sub-committees: Research Advisory Committee and National Benefit Advisory Committee.

For further information about the MNF SC, including delineation of its role, view the MNF SC Charter and Terms of Reference.


Dr Sue Barrell, BSc(Hons), PhD, FTSE, Chair

Dr Sue Barrell FTSE is passionate about the application of science to delivering highly valued outcomes for Australians, and is a committed advocate for empowering girls and women to take up science careers. Following a long career at the Bureau of Meteorology - Australia's national weather, climate and water agency - Sue retired in August 2018 from her final role as Chief Scientist. Her experience spanned roles across many of the Bureau's operations, from forecasting to research to science and climate change policy to Senior Executive.

Sue has been actively involved in international efforts in relation to climate policy and the coordination and integration of earth observations, including through the Global Climate Observing System, the Intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Sue was Australia's Principal Representative to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and a member of WMO Executive Council during 2016-17, and served as Vice President, WMO Commission for Basic Systems from 2008 to 2016. She contributes to and leads several high-level WMO initiatives, and serves on several boards and advisory committees.

Sue was recognised as a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) in 2013, and is a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has a BSc(Hons) in Physics and a PhD in Astronomy. In July 2017, Sue was recognised as a Science and Technology Australia Inaugural Superstar of STEM.

Mr Gary Prosser, Member
Deputy Chief Executive, Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Mr Gary Prosser has over 35 years’ experience in the maritime industry, coming from a seagoing career serving on Australian ships in both international and domestic trades. He was part of the inaugural intake to the Australian Maritime College in 1980. His last seagoing position was as Chief Officer of a high speed catamaran and he has spent a number of years lecturing at the Australian Maritime College.

For a number of years Gary managed offshore supply vessel operations in Australia with Tidewater Port Jackson Marine, prior to taking up the position of General Manager P&O Polar, Australia, managing both Antarctic and research vessels.

Gary joined the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) in 1997 as Manager Ship Operations and occupied a number of senior management positions within the organisation, culminating in his appointment as Deputy Chief Executive Officer in 2008. Whilst employed at AMSA, he represented Australia in many international fora and regularly led the Australian delegation to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

In 2009, Gary was appointed to the role of IALA Secretary-General headquartered in Paris, France and occupied the position for five years, departing in 2014. In 2015, he returned to the role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer of AMSA.

Professor Martina Doblin, Member
Biological Oceanographer and Professor at the University of Technology Sydney

Professor Martina Doblin has studied marine systems for more than 20 years, and has translated her scientific research into policy and practice for numerous aquatic industries in order to improve environmental outcomes. She investigates the resilience of algal communities to tolerate short and long-term environmental change, not only to cope with contemporary shifts in climate, but also to harness nature's innovations and put them to effective use in bio-industries.

Martina is a former member of the College of Experts at the ARC, providing advice on the assessment of research excellence, and led the NSW node of IMOS from 2013-2016, one of several emergent research programs at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science.

Ms Kim Picard, Member (Ex-officio)
Deputy Chair, National Marine Science Committee

To be advised.

Vacant, Member (Ex-officio)
Chief Scientist, Australian Antarctic Division (AAD)

The AAD Chief Scientist is an ex-officio member of the Steering Committee. A proxy will attend MNF SC meetings until a permanent appointment is announced by the AAD.

Dr David Williams, Member (Ex-officio)
Executive Director, Digital, National Facilities and Collections

Dr David Williams is a member of the CSIRO Executive Team and is CSIRO's Executive Director for the Digital, National Facilities and Collections business unit. In this role, David leads CSIRO's research in Data, Astronomy, Digital and National Research Collections, Information Management and Technology, Australia's Animal Health laboratory and the Marine National Facility. Prior to joining CSIRO, David was the Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Space Agency. From June 2010 he was also the Chairman of the 20 nation European Space Agency.

David  holds a BSc and a PhD from the University of Reading. He has previously worked at the University of Reading, in industry, the Natural Environment Research Council, the British National Space Centre and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). David has been a Member of the Global Climate Observing Committee, was elected a Member of the International Academy for Astronautics in 2012, and is now a non executive director of AARNET.