MAERSK Group head of Oceania market My Therese Blank has been appointed as a new director of Shipping Australia.

Ms Blank said in the 110 years of the combined history of Shipping Australia and its predecessor organisations, she is the organisation’s first-ever female director.

“I’m honoured to be the first female director at Shipping Australia, and I will continue the focus on diversity. I hope to be a role model for the many women in our industry,” she said.

Ms Blank’s experience in the shipping and logistics industry spans 15 years – all at Maersk. She has held several senior leadership positions in the company, including Oceania customer service director and country manager and sales director.

And, in 2013, she established Maersk in Myanmar as country director. She holds a master’s degree in business and economics from Uppsala University, Sweden.

Commenting on her appointment, Ms Blank said productivity and automation are key to the shipping and logistics industry.

“When the supply chain operates without issues, it’s an invisible industry that both enables our economy and the ability of Australian families to access a wide variety of consumer products,” she said.

“We have a great opportunity to improve processes across the supply chain and modernise the legal framework which underpins the industry.”

Ms Blank said Shipping Australia is an important vehicle to accelerate the transformation of the industry as it is the voice of ship operators and owners to Australian governments.

“In my role as a director, I’m also committed to driving innovation in, and digitisation of, the shipping industry,” she said.

“Accelerating digital platforms and data sharing within the industry is key.

“Meanwhile, the next five years will be ground-breaking for our industry as the world fleet moves to carbon neutral fuels for a more sustainable future. This will require collaboration across industry to enable, and make accessible, carbon neutral fuels across the region.”

Shipping Australia chairman Scott Henderson said, “On behalf of Shipping Australia, I welcome My to the board. She is a very highly qualified leader with years of experience in a variety of senior roles at a major ocean shipping company. I am confident that she will be a great addition to the team”.