A finalist in this year’s Telstra Business Women’s Awards, Rochelle Macdonald could walk away with her second accolade in less than six months. She took out the “Women in shipping and maritime logistics award” at the DCN Australian Maritime & Shipping Industry Awards in November last year.

Dr Macdonald was appointed CEO of Mid West Ports Authority in 2018, having previously led the strategic planning and organisational change of some of Australia’s leading ports.

As the fourth female port CEO in Australian history, Dr Macdonald is also a strong advocate for gender equality in the workplace.

She said her executive team at MWPA is a perfect example of how she promotes gender diversity in the workplace.

“I don’t know of any other port in Australia that has that gender diversity on MWPA executive, with three women and two men” she said.

“At MWPA, women can do anything. If they want to train as an engineer, sparky, a boilermaker, it’s open. It’s all about the best person for the job.”


Using her extensive knowledge of ports spanning almost two decades, within her first month at MWPA Rochelle had already embarked on a strategy reset for the organisation.

This includes the release of the draft Geraldton Port Master Plan – mapping the development and infrastructure requirements of Geraldton Port to accommodate potentially significant trade growth over the next 30 years.

“I love what I do because it gives me the opportunity to deliver against my passion. I am able to build regional communities and work with different forward-thinking people and organisations,” Dr Maconald said.

A Harvard Business School graduate, Dr Macdonald has a distinguished background in geology, environmental health, engineering and business management.

She is nominated in the “Medium & Large Business Award” in this year’s Telstra Business Women’s Awards. The winners will be announced on 10 March.