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June 5, 2018

It’s time to change perceptions about our industry and encourage more women to consider a marine career

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Meet Port Of Brisbane’s new Supervisor: Ron Whitney. Ron talks about the job, the new cadetship program launched by Port of Brisbane and explains what it’s all about.

With a background in the diving industry, Ron Whitney has been with Port of Brisbane for 11 years. As Marine Operations Coordinator, he will look after our Cadets and the wider teams that run many of our vessels. We grabbed 20 minutes with Ron to get his thoughts on the challenge and the opportunity ahead of you as a Port of Brisbane Cadet.


It starts with the great team I get to work with and the diversity of the role. It really does change every day. But it’s also hard to see past the beauty of where we work. The people in my teams spend 90% of their time out on the water, usually on the Brisbane River or in Moreton Bay. While it’s clearly not the main reason why you should take on this job, you get to see some pretty nice sights, including dolphins and whales at times.


Our Cadets will be employed as Deckhands working within our marine team.  It’s hard to describe ‘a day in the life’ because in this job every day really is different. You’ll arrive at 7am and will be allocated to a vessel or a job. You could spend your morning working on a vessel levelling Moreton Bay or cleaning up a mooring buoy for re-instalment. Then you might head out on a survey vessel.

On different days, you might get involved in engine room rounds while the vessel’s working; or you could be working on deck doing vessel cleaning and maintenance. You’ll be working with important marine operation equipment and survey technology so there’s also a lot of careful preparation and planning, going through risk assessments and standard operating procedures.


I can’t wait to get started with the Program because we really want to encourage more women to learn about and develop skills in our industry. We’re currently missing out on half the workforce and I think this has a lot to do with perceptions about our industry. It’s time to change that. While it is a hands-on role, it’s not the ‘heavy lifting’ job people might imagine it to be. We want to teach Cadets to operate machinery and deploy the tools safely and effectively. We also want different perspectives across the team, to help us keep improving and to drive open conversations.

I think it’s a great opportunity for people who want to develop practical skills and build a new career, whilst also getting job variety and benefitting from family friendly hours. We’re really keen to ensure that our Cadets progress through the organization. PBPL is very diverse – we have engineering, hydrographic surveying, property and, of course, business functions. So there are lots of opportunities to diversify.


My friends who love the water say “I can’t believe you get paid to do this” and I do feel lucky to enjoy what I do. Although the Brisbane weather is usually great it’s important to remember that we operate in all conditions, as long as it’s safe.

We also roll up our sleeves and get involved and it can be dirty work. Preparing, cleaning and maintaining our equipment can mean plenty of mud and oil. But that work is the backbone of this operation and is critical to a well-run business. We’ve got a great bunch of people here who are very welcoming and who are proud of the work we do. We’re looking for Cadets who are eager to learn and get involved. We’ll provide the support and a team of people who are ready to share their knowledge and expertise.


Read more about the program and what’s on offer: Port of Brisbane Launches Marine Cadetship Program for Women
Ready to apply already? Applications are now open! Apply here. 

To find out more, contact Louise on 07 3258 4696 or register to attend our Open Day in June 2018.

About Port of Brisbane

We are thrilled to welcome award winner for environmental leadership, Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd to WORK180’s list of #EndorsedEmployersforWomen! Join an organization which is a key cornerstone of the QLD state economy and you’ll have excellent career opportunities to truly contribute and make your mark.

What’s on offer:

  • Free gym facilities
  • On-the-job coaching
  • Paid leave for pre-natal appointments
  • Paid parental leave (14 weeks to primary carers)

+ more on their Best Employer page

Ready to apply already? Applications are now open! Read more and apply here. 

About WORK180

WORK180 is a jobs board with a difference! We pre-screen employers on paid parental leave, pay equity, flexible working arrangements and much more. This information is not publicly listed elsewhere and is an essential tool in your job search when assessing employers. Set up your job alert with one click now.

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About the Author
WORK180 promotes organizational standards that raise the bar for women in the workplace. We only endorse employers that are committed to making real progress so that all women can expect better.

Looking for a new opportunity?

Our transparent job board only has vacancies from employers we endorse and lets you see what benefits, policies and perks come with the job.