An Eco-System of support for Industry – By Industry

The Stay Afloat program is led by our National Program Manager and State Co-ordinators.  Stay Afloat does not provide a 24/7 crisis line, but our Co-ordinators will endeavour to return your calls within 24 hours.  If you are experiencing a crisis, please use any of the numbers at the bottom of the page.

Jo Marshall – National Program Manager

Already well known in our Industry, Jo was responsible for the Stay Afloat Pilot Program.  She has worked with our sector for 6 years and her deep knowledge and passion shows in her work every day.  Throughout her time in Seafood, Jo is a highly experienced leader, a passionate advocate of our Industry and Mum of 4 sons.  She holds a Master of Mental Health and is a Mental Health First Aid trainer.

Western Australia

Steve McMahon and Mel Edwards

(High Resolution Pty Ltd)

0420 866 308 (Steve) or 0401 625 111 (Mel)

Steve’s passion for being around people has led him to work in a wide range of environments, from offshore on vessels, to remote outback stations, and into corporate offices. Steve is the kind of person who finds joy in striking up a conversation with anyone willing to share a tale.

Mel is a social worker by trade, a path which stemmed from a passion to make positive change and work with people within her community. Mel has worked in many diverse roles with both adults and young people, but it was her 6 years spent working in isolated environments offshore on various vessels and facilities that shone a light on mental health and redirected Mel’s professional journey.

Having the opportunity to represent the WA Stay Afloat program means so much to Steve & Mel as they will be engaging with local working WA families who may be unfamiliar in speaking about mental health, but are genuine, raw and realists. It is people like these who usually share the most incredible stories, create engagement, and have the ability to positively impact their local seafood community.

New South Wales

Lynda Sloan

0419 200 719

With a long-standing career in hospitality and the corporate world, Lynda moved to NSW several years ago and is based in the Newcastle region.  During that time she has used her hospitality experience at the coal face working in seafood retail.  Lynda also combined her many talents to connect fishers and chefs in the Port Stephens area and curate a beautiful celebration of local seafood recipes in the Port to Plate book. 

Lynda has been an active supporter of our Newcastle region Focus Community during the pilot program and we are thrilled to have her now using her talents to co-ordinate the program across NSW.

In Lynda’s words. “I am excited about my new position with Stay Afloat as the NSW State Co-ordinator because I get to make a difference working with local communities where it matters.  I’m passionate, driven and enjoy collaborating with local communities to deliver great outcomes, my motto is ‘anything is possible’.”


Gary Hawkes

0499 704 267

Gary spent 15 years working throughout SE Asia as a remote dive medic, hyperbaric tech, and a volunteer for the Foreign Commonwealth Office, as well as owning several diving-based businesses. Most of his life has been spent on or around the ocean.

Having become an Australian citizen, he worked with disadvantaged youth up in far north Queensland, training them to work within both the sea harvesting and marine tourism industries for just over 7 years.  It was work he enjoyed this work immensely and got access to amazing communities as a result. Gary has worked with Queensland Ambulance as a trainer and assessor, conducted remote and wilderness training, first worked with StayAfloat as a Mental Health First Aid instructor and a volunteer Trusted Advocate.

In Gary’s words – “Having had a passion for helping people in some format most of my life, StayAfloat has been a great fit, combining all elements in one place:  Ocean, mental health, resilience, training, and community, all at some of the world’s most amazing locations.  I hope that my experience with the backing of StayAfloat can help others.’

South Australia, Northern Territory, Victoria and Tasmania

Skye Barrett

0435 688 660

Skye is known to many people across Australia having worked in our sector for most of her career.  Daughter of a commercial fisher, Skye has lived in Port Lincoln (SA), Tasmania and xxxxx.  She has worked for the FRDC giving her exposure to Fisheries in all states and is passionate about the health and wellbeing of Fishers.

Most recently Skye has been a Fisheries Manager at PIRSA (SA) where she became a Mental Health First Aider and also led efforts to ensure SA industry members were aware of the supports available through Stay Afloat.

Skye is excited about the opportunity to blend her strong stakeholder engagement skills and lifelong passion for the seafood industry with her other passion – health and wellbeing.  Whilst SA is home for Skye, she will be visiting all four states in her remit on a regular basis.

Please be aware, your State and Territory Coordinators are there to provide a listening ear and to help guide you to professional support services, they are not crisis counsellors.