MV Cape Don Society Inc.

Incorporating the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service Museum.

MV Cape Don at sea

The Society

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The MV Cape Don Society Inc. (The Society) is a non-profit, community-based organisation which has been given the task of restoring and maintaining the historic MV Cape Don as a museum and working ship. The restoration is carried out by members of the Society, our volunteers. The Society is incorporated under The Associations Incorporation Act of the ACT 1991.

The MV Cape Don Society is governed by a Management Committee, elected by the membership of the Society. Committee members serve on a voluntary basis and are elected at the Society's Annual General Meeting.

Mission Statement:

"To restore the MV Cape Don so that she may represent an active reminder and commemoration of the coastal maritime history of Australia and all the people who sailed on her or were involved with her service."


The Society's objectives are:

  • to assist, in accordance with best practice maritime heritage guidelines, in the restoration, refurbishment and conservation of the historic Lighthouse Tender MV Cape Don as part of the maritime history of Australia;
  • to maintain the vessel and, subject to conservation requirements, to operate the vessel for fund-raising purposes, for research and/or community assistance expeditions;
  • to promote knowledge of Australia's maritime history, particularly in relation to the Lighthouse Service and the work of lighthouse tenders;
  • to work towards association with the Australian National Maritime Museum in order that these objectives be appropriately advanced; and
  • to raise funds for the above objectives.

The MV Cape Don is held in trust by a corporate Trustee, the Sea Heritage Foundation Pty Limited (ABN 63 109 852 691) which has established the Sea Heritage Foundation to manage the project. The MV Cape Don Society Inc. is carrying out the restoration under the authority of the Sea Heritage Foundation.

Sea Heritage Foundation

The Sea Heritage Foundation is a charitable trust established for the purpose of restoring and maintaining the MV Cape Don as part of the maritime heritage of Australia.

The trust has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status and is a certified Income Tax Exempt Trust (ITET). It is managed by a Board of Directors who must comply with the Australian Taxation Office's requirements for DGR and ITET status.

The Foundation has given the task of restoring, preserving and operating the MV Cape Don to the MV Cape Don Society. It is advised by a management committee.

PLEASE NOTE: Clicking on any of our highlighted sponsors will link direct to their website.

Lynette Silver, OAM, FAIHA more....


The Foundation sources funds from sponsorship from commercial and corporate organisations interested in supporting the project. General donations are welcome. We are very grateful for the many sponsors who have already donated so generously towards the project.

All unencumbered donations are tax-deductible. For the purposes of tax deductibility the following are considered suitable gifts by the Australian Taxation Office:

  • $2 or more – 100% tax deductible;
  • Property > $5,000 – property valued by the ATO at more than $5,000;
  • Property < 12 months – property purchased during the 12 months before the gift was made;
  • Trading stock – trading stock disposed of outside the ordinary course of business;
  • Cultural gifts – gifts made under the Cultural Gifts Program;
  • Cultural bequests – gifts made under the Cultural Bequests Program;
  • Heritage gifts – places included in the National Heritage List, the Commonwealth Heritage List or the Register of the National Estate

For more information about how to support the project or make a donation, click here. If you have any questions about the MV Cape Don Society, or the Sea Heritage Foundation, please contact us.

Alongside at Waverton
Working in engine room
Repairs to mast
Lynette Silver, Patron