MID West Ports Authority chief executive Rochelle Macdonald has called for the maritime sector to “embrace difference” in order to achieve its full potential.

Dr Macdonald won the award for Women in Shipping & Maritime Logistics at the 2019 DCN Australian Shipping & Maritime Awards in Melbourne.

In an optimistic speech, Dr Macdonald talked of “change for the better”.

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“And it is only going to get better if we embrace difference,” she told the gathering of more than 460 people.

“Not just diversity but difference of thought and what we can create as an industry will be absolutely fantastic.”

Dr Macdonald was appointed chief executive at MWPA in 2018, having previously led the strategic planning and organisational change at some of Australia’s leading ports.

She was previously general manager engineering and development at North Queensland Bulk Ports, going on to become acting CEO.

She is the fourth female port CEO in Australian history and has been described as “a strong advocate for gender equality in the workplace”.

“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.”

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