Mid North Coast Group

2015 Committee Members


  Peter Wilson
Vice Chair:
  Gordon Chirgwin
  Michael Ward
Taree/Wingham Rep:
  Steven Morton
Port Macquarie Rep:
  Michael Ward
  Tim Smead


Past Events

Birdon Pty Ltd - Site Tour - 20th March 2014

Birdon operates a slipway and dry dock facility on the Hastings River, manufacturing new fleet vessels for the Australian Defence Force, state and local government bodies, and private clients, and providing marine services from minor maintenance through to complete vessel refurbishments.

We were able to stand on the deck of Wiseman’s Ferry which was originally made by Birdon seven years ago and was pulled up on the slips for routine maintenance, and view a new dredge under construction for a local government organisation in Victoria. We viewed the production of Regional Patrol Craft in varying stages of completion, a fleet of high performance aluminium vessels for the Australian Army. And we all dreamed of owning our own military spec 65 tonne LCM 2000 landing craft, currently moored at Birdon, which Steve Prohm, our trusty guide, full of fascinating information, pointed out was for sale or hire.    

Birdon’s dredging arm operates around the Australian coast with current projects ranging from North Queensland to South Australia, using Port Macquarie as a base.

Birdon has just won a large contract with the US Defense department to manufacture up to 374 Bridge Erection Boats over the next five years so is expanding its USA operations to cater for this.

Lord Howe Island Sea Freight operates from Birdon’s commercial wharf, providing the link between Lord Howe Island and mainland Australia.  

Following the tour, we enjoyed dinner at Quay Lime on the Port Marina surrounded by the lights of the pleasure boats, while Meg Teasdell, Birdon’s Environmental Manager filled us in with more details and pictures of Birdon’s recent projects.

Meg Teasdell  B.E.(Env)(Hons), MIEAust
Manager - Environmental

Vessel: John Cadman II - Complete refurbishment 2013
Length: 39m
Before and after shots









Mid North Coast members and guests visit Birdon Pty Ltd







2013 Regional Convention, 24th - 26th May, Port Macquarie, NSW

The Regional Convention was held recently in Port Macquarie. 

Click here to view photos of from the event

Details of the Convention:

Visit beautiful Port Macquarie for the Newcastle Division 2013 Regional Convention. The convention will address the topic "Understanding our Future:  the engineering landscape" and feature a panel of eight keynote speakers.
Also on offer are a selection of site tours and Gala Dinner, featuring guest speaker, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.


Click here to download the Convention brochure including registration form

Details of site tours and partners program:


Port Macquarie Observatory

A night amongst the stars with the Port Macquarie      
Astronomical Association
Thursday, 18th April, 2013

Once again the Mid North Coast Division of Engineers Australia conducted a spectacular evening event.  The local observatory was the focus of our April tour and was attended by 30 plus members.  The night started with a spectacular meal at the local Port Macquarie Scampi’s restaurant which also included a short astronomy trivia quiz.   The observatory tour was conducted by members from the Port Macquarie Astronomical Association (www.pmobs.org.au) Kevin (President), Joy (Treasurer) and Jim (long term member).  The observatory was built in 1961 through the efforts of the late Albert York, a retired master builder and architect.  As a result of the speech delivered to council, Dr. McLaren suggested that Albert York inspect a 5 inch telescope that was lying in disuse at the local Hastings District Public Hospital. The telescope was a gift from Bob Stanfield, a publican at Port Macquarie to be used for viewing ships at sea.  Due to the size of the telescope it was realised that it would need to be housed in a proper building.  Albert York was asked to draw up plans for an observatory.

The local council approved the plans and the Lands Department set aside land in Rotary Park for the observatory.  The Rotary Club made the construction an official project and the observatory was built during 1961. The 5 inch telescope was installed in the building and the Port Macquarie Observatory was born.  The observatory has since purchased a 14 inch telescope with plans to upgrade to a fully computer controlled unit in the near future. Jim conducted the initial tour highlighting numerous stars, planets and constellations in the night sky with his green laser pen.  We were fortunate to have a perfect night sky with little to no cloud cover, thereby enabling spectacular views using the telescope of both the moon and Saturn.


Site Visit – UGL Rail Car Works & Dinner

Date:  Thursday, 13th September 2012 from 4.00pm

Site Visit:   4.00pm – UGL Rail Car Works, Lansdowne Road Kundle Kundle.
Dinner:       6:00pm –Rio’s Bar and Grill, 1 Commerce Street, Taree

The Mid North Coast Group would like to invite you to a site visit of UGL Rail Car Works located in Taree. Following the tour, dinner will be held at Rio’s Bar and Grill.

UGL is the largest provider of complete rail solutions in the Asia Pacific region, and Australia’s largest supplier of outsourced asset management and rolling stock maintenance services. They are a leading manufacturer and asset services supplier, from passenger and freight rolling stock to rail infrastructure systems

Requirements for increased comfort, safety and reliability for passenger travel, and improved productivity and competiveness for freight transport are vital. As a long standing partner to the rail industry, UGL designs and delivers comprehensive technology based transportation solutions which addresses these needs.

UGL’s Taree operation builds bogies and frames for both freight and passenger locomotives. The tour will include inspection of this operation.

Cost:     $45.00 pp Member or Members partner
               $35.00 pp Young Engineers
               $50.00 pp Non Member
    (includes 3 course meal & some drinks)
             Free to attend site visit only

RSVP:    To register CLICK HEREor visit ‘Events’ at www.engineersaustralia.org.au/newcastle by Thursday 6th September 2012. For any other enquiries please contact the office on 4926 4440 or email Jo - jpapanicolaou@engineersaustralia.org.au

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) may be claimed for this event: Site Visit = 1 point


Discover Engineering, Mid North Coast

Date:  Monday, 18th June 2012 from 5.30pm

Venue:  Reclaimed Water Treatment Plant, Ocean Drive, Port Macquarie

(access via Hindman Street entrance)

The Career Seminar will provide students interested in engineering as a future career, with practical first hand knowledge from engineers across the various engineering disciplines who will talk to you about what it is like to be an engineer and how to get started.

The session is aimed at students in Years 9-12 with parents and teachers also welcome to attend.

To register CLICK HERE or visit ‘Events’ at www.engineersaustralia.org.au/newcastle-division by Thursday, 14th June

For further information contact Jo Papanicolaou at Newcastle Division Office
Phone: (02) 4926 4440

Site Visit: Kempsey Bypass
followed by dinner at Iguana Blue, Kempsey

Date: 22nd March 2012

Time:   TBC
Venue: Shop 3/2 Smith St, Kempsey

Further details to follow shortly.....


Science & Engineering Challenge, Kempsey

8th - 10th May 2012

Venue: Kempsey Showgrounds