‘THERE has never been more opportunity for women to forge logistics careers than now’ was a key message from lunch in Melbourne.

Held in Hawthorn, the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australian Women in Logistics Lunch attracted a broad cross-section of women (and blokes) from both the private and public sector.

This year’s theme was ‘collaborating to encourage diversity’.


Speakers this year included deputy-secretary for the Victorian Department of Transport Megan Bourke-O’Neil, Vanderlande Australia supply chain manager Kathleen Walacavage and general manager for the Hunter Valley Coal Coordinator Samantha Martin-Williams.

A pre-recorded video speech from state freight minister Melissa Horne was also played to the gathering.

 Ms Bourke-O’Neil said the average age of truck drivers and stevedores was rising, increasing the need for more women in these sectors.

“The situation is similar [to truck drivers] with seafarers and stevedores,” she told the gathering.

“If nothing is done there will be a global shortage of around 150,000 seafarers by about 2025.

“So freight and logistics has to expand but it needs to expand with the right people.”

Ms Walacavage made the point that there “never had been a better time for women to enter the [logistics] industry”.

Ms Martin-Williams talked about overcoming challenges including bringing about supply chain improvements at Newcastle following the spectacular Pasha Bulker grounding at Nobbys Beach back in 2007.

She also spoke of the need to recruit the right people and the need for diversity on boards.