Photos by Chris Sattler

The Sea Heritage Foundation Pty Ltd is a not-for-profit incorporated charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). The Foundation was founded to carry out the refurbishment and conservation of the historic Commonwealth Lighthouse Service (CLS) Ship MV Cape Don with the aim of preserving a unique example of Australian shipbuilding, ship design and maritime history.

MV Cape Don was built at the State Dockyards in Newcastle, NSW. Completed in January 1963. She was one of a unique “Cape” class of ships that were purpose-built to service the important shipping and trade lanes around Australia’s vast coastline.

The Conservation work onboard the ship is carried out by crew of volunteer members of the MV Cape Don Society which is managed by the Sea Heritage Foundation Board of Governors.

The ship is undergoing a staged 10-year strategic plan to diversify her income, dry dock the ship, creating training and employment pathways for Indigenous Australians, developing, running and expanding on a range of arts, culture and community engagement programs.