Captain Donald M. Waters had more impact on maritime education and training in Australia than any other single person. He was responsible for bringing maritime education to Australia into the 20th century. As a Master Mariner of great experience, Captain Waters, as Assistant Secretary in the Australian Department of Transport in the 1970s, was able to see the need for properly trained and educated personnel.
As a consequence of his strong and constant advocacy was his appointment as First Assistant Secretary in the Australian Department of Education to head the taskforce charged with realizing his vision of a national institution for maritime education and training. The result was the establishment in 1978 of the Australian Maritime College under Captain Water’s leadership as Foundation Principal.
Under Captain Water’s leadership, others in the South East Australia Pacific region and throughout South East Asia looked at the AMC as a role model.
Due to his standing in the international maritime community, Captain Waters was invited in 1990 to take up the position of Rector of the United Nation’s World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden.
In December 2009 captain Waters was admitted to the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at a ceremony held in Launceston at the Albert Hall for his substantial and unparallel contribution to maritime education and training.