The following article appeared in the Daily Cargo News Special Report: Women in Logistics on Thursday 26 April 2018. Article by Paula Wallace. Reproduced with permission.
Gabrielle Condon is the operations supervisor at DP World Australia’s Port Botany terminal in Sydney.
She spoke to Daily Cargo News about her role, which includes 12-hour shifts rotating between either days or nights.
“At the Sydney Terminal we encompass vessel, rail and yard operations 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
“Every day is a new challenge and a learning experience and that’s what I enjoy about my job. I can be in charge of over 120 employees over the course of a shift, dealing with external parties including government agencies like Border Force and liaising with customers, including shipping lines and trucking companies,” said Ms Condon.
Ms Condon started on the waterfront at the age of 19 and has more than 16 years’ experience in the transport industry.
“I have received specialised training for numerous high-risk licenses in my previous and current roles with DP World Australia.”
She started her career at DP World Australia as a casual employee and has striven to achieve and progress in each role in order to make a career on the waterfront.
Ms Condon said that working primarily with men in a “once closed off industry” has allowed her to appreciate the specifics of stevedoring.
“Being the first female operations supervisor at DP World Australia is an achievement in itself. Many of the men I’ve worked with have been in the industry a lot longer than me and most of them have been more than happy to support, encourage and teach me,” she said.
“With their knowledge I have grown into my current role at DP World Australia.” Ms Condon believes there are now more women joining the stevedoring industry and this could be enhanced with more information about job opportunities and how their skills and abilities would be valued.
“There are many opportunities for women, in a diverse range of roles such as machinery operator, ship planner, electrician, safety manager and many more. Women often bring good communication skills and their varied experience can help them to adapt and think creatively.
“In this industry you need to have good problem-solving skills and some hand eye co-ordination, and be comfortable driving heavy machinery including prime movers, forklifts and cranes,” said Ms Condon.
“I believe actively focusing on women joining the waterfront is changing the industry for the better,” she said.