SHIPPING Australia has joined the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association Australia.

WISTA Australia is the local branch of WISTA International, an organisation set up in 1974 to connect women from all sectors of the maritime industry.

Over the past 18 months, WISTA Australia has made changes such as changing the constitution that previously only allowed women in leadership to join.

The association now allows people of all genders to join. It is also open to all professional levels, including students, and has started forging partnership with other organisations.

WISTA Australia president Monika Lemajic said WISTA and Shipping Australia have, over the past year and a half, been working together to strengthen bonds, support the industry and contribute towards equality for all.

“This collaboration underscores our shared commitment to fostering a more inclusive and equitable maritime sector,” Ms Lemajic said.

“This corporate partnership highlights SAL’s dedication to these values, showing their genuine commitment through tangible support and investment.”

Ms Lemajic said the two associations benefit from each other by providing platforms for increased visibility, networking opportunities and career advancement.

“Equality requires the commitment of everyone, and our collaboration helps amplify initiatives, promote gender equality, and create a more inclusive environment within the maritime industry,” she said.

“Both organisations gain from the participation and contributions of women, strengthening the entire industry.”

Shipping Australia is an industry association for ship owners, operators and agents, as well as maritime service providers working in Australia.

It has more than 70 members who, between them, are engaged with nearly all of Australia’s container trade, the organisation said. It also represents significant portions of the nation’s dry bulk, liquid bulk and vehicular trades.

Shipping Australia CEO Captain Melwyn Noronha said the association is pleased to support diversity, equity and inclusion in the shipping industry. It also supports a charity restoring and maintaining

“For instance, we support a not-for-profit charity that is restoring and maintaining a heritage museum and training ship that is focused on creating seafarer training and employment pathways for indigenous Australians,” he said.

“We are pleased to join WISTA Australia and to formalise our productive relationship. Over the last 18 months or more, we have worked collaboratively with WISTA Australia, for example by jointly organising events, we have published various WISTA Australia initiatives in our communications channels, and we have developed networking opportunities together.

“We look forward to strengthening our partnership with WISTA Australia; the engagement between both of our organisations can only help both sets of members as we continue to play our part in ongoing efforts to help shape a fair, equitable, and inclusive maritime industry for all participants.”