WISTA Australia addresses Shipping Australia in Western Australia

Shipping Australia was pleased to receive a speech from the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association Australia (WISTA Australia) at our Policy Council meeting in Fremantle, Western Australia, last week.

Marine surveyor Kerryn Woonings addressed Shipping Australia by highlighting the mission of WISTA and the elements at the core of that mission.

The mission of WISTA Australia is to promote equality and inclusion in the maritime industry. “Whilst is sounds exclusive, in Australia, the WISTA door is wide open to everyone,” Ms Woonings said, adding that the Constitution has been recently amended to allow men to join and that WISTA Australia is also working to connect with students.

An element of the WISTA mission is “community“. WISTA puts on a minimum of four events each year to give members and associates an opportunity to build strong and meaning connections with industry participants. “The level of support we are getting from some of the most influential WA maritime and transport industry participants is lowing us away. And that’s not counting how excited we are to be partnering with AMSA this year to host the flagship national event for [the] International Day for Women in Maritime in just a couple of weeks’ time,” she told the Council.

Change” is another core element of the mission. noting that WISTA advocates for change on a national scale, WISTA participates in a range of events such as the AMSA Shipping Consultative Forum. “Our quest for driving positive change doesn’t stop there, and our increasing opportunities to collaborate with Shipping Australia Limited have been exciting… we’ve come to appreciate that SAL [Shipping Australia Ltd] stands at the forefront of advocating for our industry, and we are absolutely humbled and thrilled to be able to contribute to that in working together to really understand the need for positive change in the areas that WISTA champions. And we are grateful for any opportunity we are given to partner with SAL in this way,” Ms Woonings said in her speech.

James Kurz, Director of Coastalbridge Agencies, who is also the State Chair of Shipping Australia in Victoria, commended WISTA on its spirit of working together, and its inclusivity. As the State Chairman, he also thanked WISTA Australia from the perspective of Shipping Australia in Victoria for working together with Shipping Australia to progress the relationship and to develop a WISTA-Shipping Australia celebration of the IMO International Day for Women in Maritime. As this day falls on a weekend this year, WISTA & Shipping Australia celebrated the event on Wednesday 15 May.

WISTA Australia wants to be seen to be leading by example, Ms Woonings said, adding that the organisation is passionate about inviting diverse voices to speak at events to “give back” by doing the same thing “like being here [at Shipping Australia] today!”.

Shipping Australia CEO, Capt Melwyn Noronha, thanked Ms Woonings and WISTA Australia for their time and efforts in addressing our Policy Council and re-iterated that Shipping Australia supports, and continues to support, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the maritime industry in Australia.

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