John Rothwell is the non-executive chair of Austal. Mr Rothwell is a founding director of the shipbuilder and previously served as executive chairman and chief executive officer. He is a council member of the Australian National Maritime Museum and became chairman of the museum's capital works committee in November 2005. Mr Rothwell was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2004 for services to the Australian shipbuilding industry through the development of trade links and for significant contributions to vocational education and training. In 2002, he was named the Ernst & Young Australian Entrepreneur of the Year. Mr Rothwell is a member of shipbuilding classification societies Det Norske Veritas Australia and the Bureau Veritas Asia & Australia Committees. He was made the inaugural chair of the University of Western Australia's Centre for Rock Art Studies in 2010.