SHIP OF STATE  ︎︎︎  PEOPLE




Francesca Johanson

Director of strategy

Francesca (she/her) is a researcher and editor with a background in public programs and design nonprofits. She has a master’s degree in critical, curatorial, and conceptual practices in architecture from Columbia University, and has managed civic education programs in both Sydney and New York City for Future Cities Collaborative and The Architectural League of New York, among others. Francesca cares deeply about the relationship between public space, the arts, and the environment, and grew up catching the Freshwater-class ferries with her brother Oskar.




Oskar Johanson (AA Dipl’19)
Director of design

Oskar (he/him) is a designer, writer and educator. He is a Research Fellow at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and co-director of the Architectural Association’s Visiting School Sydney. His prize-winning research into cruise liners and private islands will feature in The Architecture of Staged Realities, a new exhibition at Het Nieuwe Instituut curated by Saskia van Stein, due to open in 2021. Like his sister, he also grew up catching the Freshwater-class ferries.




Kara Jensen-Mackinnon 

Digital & public programming

Kara (she/her) has more than decade of experience as a digital producer, strategist and multidisciplinary creative. She has produced large-scale digital projects for The Guardian, the ABC, the United Nations, the Sydney Opera House and the University of New South Wales. Kara’s practice sits in the growing intersection of technology and the arts; she loves investigating innovative ways to share stories and work alongside teams of inspiring people to create meaningful work which enables audiences to partake in genuine experiences.




Peter Taprell
Maritime advisor

Peter (he/him) is a boatbuilder and shipwright from Sydney. Over the course of forty years, he has worked as an independent contractor, boatbuilding company director, and surveyor. He has overseen new builds, major refits, and heritage restorations on vessels in Sydney and Yangon, including Americas Cup class and ketch-rigged superyachts. As an apprentice, he saw one of the Freshwater-class ferries laid down at the Newcastle State Dockyard in 1982.








We acknowledge the Gadigal and Gayamaygal of the Yora Nation, the traditional custodians of the lands between which the Freshwater ferries have historically sailed. We recognise their continuing connection to land and water, the sovereignty of which was never ceded.
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