Several decades on, in 2005, Ross joined MMA as general manager for operations, and then climbed the executive ladder until he was eventually appointed CEO in July last year.
This week, he took another step in his career, with MMA confirming his appointment of managing director in addition to his role as CEO.
On Tuesday, MMA notified the market it had confirmed Ross as managing director following the company annual general meeting.
While the company did not reveal salary expectations, it did say that short term incentives would represent up to 50% of Ross' remuneration.
Speaking to Energy News this afternoon, Ross said a key focus for 2020 was broadening the company focus.
"We want to deliver a broader services other than vessels, but really we're still at the very beginning of a recovery in the industry," Ross told Energy News.
"We intend to move more towards being a service orientated organisation."
On top of his current career commitments, Ross also serves as a member of the Maritime Industry Australia Board.
The appointment comes three months after MMA closed its acquisition of Neptune Marine Services.
The bold move was first announced in July 2018, with MMA entering into a binding agreement to acquire Neptune for a consideration of around A$18.5 million.
Under the deal Fremantle-based MMA acquired all of Neptune's subsea equipment, allowing the company to cross sell its services across multiple levels of the oil and gas development sector.
Neptune had suffered several years of losses after the company was sidelined by a prevailing market and an oil price below US$30 per barrel in 2016.
MMA currently has a strong order book having been awarded a contract to support the Noble Tom Prosser drillrig which is currently drilling a CCS well for the Victorian State Government's CarbonNet project.
The company is also supporting ExxonMobil's major work program in the Gippsland Basin across the Barracouta and Kipper projects.