About Us

Penguin Composites is an ethical Tasmanian business established in 1976.

We manufacture extensive products for diverse clients in composite and metal for the industrial, commercial, marine and recreational vehicle markets. We achieve our manufacturing, training and environment goals using best practices by using administrative systems, lean manufacturing and a workforce of 30 plus staff.

Composites products manufacturing is our speciality. Our capabilities include design and engineering of moulds and plugs, fibreglass and composite component manufacturing and specialist composite product manufacturing.

You can find products made by Penguin Composites in Antarctica (we manufacture Igloos exclusively for IceWall One), our chairlift components and walkways in many airports worldwide, dash panels and heat-shields on underground mining machinery, our heat reduction products reducing the chance of fire at coal mines, sewage vessels for Sydney Water and CNC router panels used in architectural projects.
Check out Islander Campers and Composite Poles Australia to find out what else we manufacture!

Our products are designed in collaboration with our customers whether they are for mining, industrial, commercial, recreational or marine applications.

A recent innovative solution for a client has been our stainless steel exhaust and heat shields that reduce the incidence of accidental fires in coal mines.

In June 2009 Penguin Composites acquired Islander Campers of Devonport and has relocated this innovative business to our Penguin site. This purchase has strengthened the capabilities of Penguin Composites in the repair, refurbishment and manufacture of Caravans, Motor homes and Slide on Campers. 2012 saw the expansion in to a large filament winder capable of rapid production and pipe lengths to 15mt. 2015 saw the introduction of a large scale CNC router bed 2.5 x 6mt.


At Penguin Composites our management team is supported by over 40 employees. The employees work in specialist units manufacturing composite products, heat-reduction technology solutions, resin transfer moulding and other industrial and manufacturing support fabrication.

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John van der Woude – CEO

John is the CEO and Founding Director of Penguin Composites. The business principal since 1976 John developed the business in support of his former Canoe N Surf water sport business. John has grown the business through innovation, perseverance, reinvestment, a commitment to best technology, the recruitment of key staff and business acquisition.

David Mercer – Manager

David commenced with the business as an apprentice in 1980 and has extensive experience in manufacture of mouldings and niche market composite products. David has worked at floor level in all areas of composite manufacture and has a full working knowledge of composite parts manufacture. David has a strong focus on meeting and exceeding customer demands and maintains a very active relationship with his clients. David seeks innovative and long term partnerships with clients. David’s approach was instrumental in Penguin Composites winning the 2008 AMP Innovation award.

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Anne Knowles – Finance

Anne has been the financial controller of Penguin Composites since 2005. Having a background of retail and business management, Anne has extensive knowledge and experience in financial management including payroll.

Piers Findlay – Engineering

Piers is our engineer and is experienced in composite products. He currently is involved with our development in Composite Poles Australia, the ongoing support to our industrial customers and over seeing the CAD drafting and design work that is part of Penguin Composites. Piers is an enthusiastic sailor in race catamarans.

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