Portrait: Glen Mallon by Evert Ploeg

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Glen Mallon

“It’s a maritime superstition that if you see an albatross whilst at sea, it carries the soul of a dead sailor.”

Sydney seafarer Glen Mallon has a strong sense of heritage when it comes to the sea. Having a seafaring father, Glen always knew what a sacrifice it was when it came to family and understood the importance of having a strong, supportive partner to be the ‘judge, jury and executioner’ raising the family while you’re away at sea. Glen talks about working the shipping industry as being a privilege and a responsibility, you are the caretakers for a rich heritage that has been passed down to you. He worries that young seafarers without a family connection to the industry take it for granted, don’t realise what was sacrificed and fought for to allow the working conditions they enjoy today.

The strong family connection and heritage of the sea is evident when he talks about his father. Glen was at sea when his father was very ill. Chipping rust on deck one day, Glen saw a huge albatross flying alongside the ship – it came right up close to the ship before soaring away. Minutes later, Glen was called up for a phone call. He knew instantly that his father had died.


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