WHO?


The Silentworld Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation with a focus on supporting and promoting Australasian maritime archaeology, history, culture and heritage.

Current projects

WHAT?


Our interest and work is centered mainly on, but is not restricted to, Australian indigenous contact with non-European groups prior to European settlement, initial European contact and the early colonial era. The evolution of understanding regarding the extent and shape of  the ‘great southern land’, early exploration of the coasts and surrounding seas, settlement and use as a penal colony all led to the development of Australia into the modern country it is today. We are interested in uncovering and telling the stories of that past within the wider context of Australia’s place in the region. The Foundation’s interests are academic and work is carried out to internationally recognised professional standards.

WANT  TO KNOW MORE?

CONTACT US

MEET THE TEAM

John Mullen


DIRECTOR

John grew up in Portugal and Spain as a boy and developed a love for the sea and history at an early age.

John has had a long business career, but his passion remains the ocean and especially early Australian Maritime history. 20 years ago John and his wife Jacqui established the Silentworld Foundation dedicated to maritime archaeology and the discovery of early colonial shipwrecks.

The Foundation operates a private museum dedicated to understanding our nation’s early maritime history and supports annual expeditions and other ventures seeking a greater understanding of our past.

Jacqui Mullen


DIRECTOR

Lesley Howlett


DIRECTOR

Born into a sea-faring family in a coastal town on the mid-north-western coast of the UK. Lesley emigrated to Australia in the 1960s and had a working career predominantly in transport, shipping and logistics. She has a keen interest in early Australian history, particularly maritime history.

Paul Hundley


DIRECTOR & MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGIST

Paul Hundley is a maritime archaeologist and Director of Silentworld Foundation.

He graduated from Texas A&M University with a MA in Nautical Archaeology and in 1980 immigrated to Australia to work at the Western Australian Maritime Museum on the reconstruction of the Dutch East Indiaman, Batavia.

Now with over 40 years of international experience in the field, Paul will likely end his career as it started, with the reconstruction of the only other vessels to be conserved and reconstructed in Australia, the Barangaroo and Windsor boats.

Irini 'Renee' Malliaros


MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGIST & PROGRAMME DIRECTOR

Irini (Renee) Malliaros, having been born in the heart of Sydney, spent her formative years in a small village on one of the Greek islands – the sea having a constant and magnetic presence during that time. On her subsequent return to Australia, it was no surprise that she began her academic career in biological sciences (specifically the marine environment) at Macquarie University in Sydney. With a background in a culture stemming from the ancient world, an interest in archaeology was almost inevitable, and so, with a nudge from an old friend and mentor, she undertook her Masters degree in Maritime Archaeology at Bournemouth University in the UK.

She has been involved in maritime heritage projects on sites ranging from late 16th century to the Second World War, and geographically from the UK to Australia; remote locations of the Coral Sea and Torres Strait; and more recently the US and Indonesia. The study of ‘black reefs’ at remote shipwreck sites has been her recent focus, as it combines elements of both her disciplines of interest. ‘Black reefs’ is a phenomenon visible even from space via satellite imagery, in which the reef around a shipwreck appears dark in colour owing to a change in the benthic community – a direct cause of the shipwreck’s presence in that environment. On weekends she swaps to her dinghy and yacht sailor’s hat or into her historically accurate attire for living history re-enactments.

Heather Berry


CONSERVATOR & PhD CANDIDATE

Heather Berry is a conservator at the Silentworld Foundation.

She is a PADI divemaster and graduated with a Master of Cultural Materials Conservation from the University of Melbourne in 2019. She is currently pursuing further research as a PhD Student at the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne.

Heather has always had a deep passion for the underwater landscape, as well as history and science, and is honoured to be able to work with an organisation that allows her to combine these three passions. Heather lives in Melbourne with her partner and their 5 guinea pigs.

Kate Pentecost


DIGITAL CONTENT PRODUCER

Kate Pentecost is the Digital Content Producer at the Silentworld Foundation.

A love of history led her to study archaeology, and then museum studies, at the University of Sydney (Bachelor of Arts in Historical Archaeology and Masters of Museum Studies in Collection Management and Curatorial Practice). She then spent over seven years at the Australian National Maritime Museum, across the Digital/Web, Photography, and Registration departments.

Kate lives in Sydney and grew up by the waters of Kamay/Botany Bay. She has a particular interest in folklore and the social history of the sea, which she hopes to explore further in future episodes of the Foundation’s podcast.

When not at the Foundation, Kate can be found at the Harry Daly Museum, part of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists, where she oversees the museum, library and archive.

Benjamin Wharton

Research Assistant

Benjamin Wharton

Benjamin Wharton


RESEARCH ASSISTANT

Benjamin Wharton is an archaeologist in the Greater Sydney Region, with a trade background in engineering as well as architectural draughting.

He has a varied high-level skill set which combined with some practical experience in historical vessel maintenance, led Ben to be requested for work on the Barangaroo and Windsor Boats excavations. He was an integral part of each of these projects for the recovery, and recording of the timbers.

Post fieldwork, he remained on both projects contributing to writing the descriptions and interpretation, as well as producing the lines of the boats.

Michael Gooding


CAPTAIN OF SILENTWORLD CHARTERS

As a Captain for Silentworld Charters, Michael has experienced the wonders of Oceania first-hand and has cruised around this special region for nearly 30 years. His role as Captain includes being a part of the not-for-profit Silentworld Foundation.

The Silentworld Foundation annually undertakes an expedition that highlights the unique history of the South Pacific region and raises awareness for the stories that each expedition discovers.

Combining his passion for the sea, exploration and maritime archaeology, Michael has helped create some special experiences for those on board Silentworld, showing how we can use yachts to truly engage with and protect the oceans we sail on.