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Insights from businesses in the marine sector

Hosted at the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron, a group of businesspeople gathered to engage in conversation and exchange ideas and insights with like-minded people. With stunning natural beauty and rich biodiversity of the location we are in, it is no surprise that the Mornington Peninsula has many businesses within the marine sector.

The marine sector is a key industry that contributes 13% of the Mornington Peninsula’s total manufacturing production, so it was interesting to hear about the contribution of a few businesses in the industry, and the lessons they have learned along the way.

To share insights from their decades of experience with the group, we were excited to have a panel of experienced marine centred businesspeople speak, Mike Walker of SPX Corporation, Mal Hart of Hart Marine, Judy Muir or Polperro Dolphin Swims, and Geoff Newing of Peninsula Fresh Seafood. Here are some of the key takeaways that they shared:

What do you believe has made your business successful?


  • Being passionate about what you do – passion can break down barriers which leads to having a good team
  • Being authentic and sharing your passion
  • Really knowing what you do and why you do it
  • Creating an environment where staff love coming to work
  • Finding richness in what you do – remember that profits are the outcome


  • Having a growth mindset
  • Embracing hard work
  • Interacting with your customers; listening to and valuing their feedback
  • Taking up mentoring opportunities when they arise
  • Learning from mistakes


  • Being connected to our community and local residents; having a sense of place
  • Work with other businesses – don’t see them as competitors
  • Employing locals, they bring local connections and the community
  • Focus on people and processes
  • Support local suppliers

What advice would you give your younger business self?


  • Believe in yourself and your product/service
  • Understand what doesn’t work – think about what the customer wants
  • Own your mistakes and take responsibility
  • Have the courage to back yourself


  • When things get tough, keep going
  • Learn to embrace your failures and think how you can turn things around
  • If you fail, look for the positives that you can work on and build on
  • Pick yourself up when you fall down


  • Have the ability to change and adapt quickly
  • Know your business and your market – know your limits so you know when you need to change things up
  • Invest in your staff’s wellbeing so that they are more resilient

By actively participating in networking events such as this, and engaging with fellow professionals, businesses can tap into a wealth of resources, support, and opportunities. The learnings from this event can help businesses on the Mornington Peninsula, in all sectors (not just marine), strengthen their networks, enhance their capabilities, and contribute to the region’s thriving economy.

Content first published May 2022, and updated February 2024

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