PBPL and Carnival Australia’s Cunard cruise line celebrate International Women’s Day

Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL) and iconic cruise line Cunard have combined to celebrate International Women’s Day on-board Cunard’s Queen Victoria to recognise the valuable contribution of women in the maritime sector.

Over 120 guests – predominantly women from across the Port of Brisbane precinct – joined Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, PBPL Chairman Jerry Maycock, and Carnival Australia Chairman, Ann Sherry AO, at the event.

Mr Maycock thanked the Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and Cunard, one of the world’s most famous shipping brands and also one of seven distinctive cruise lines under the Carnival Australia umbrella, as well as the Port of Brisbane’s customers and guests for their support of the inaugural event.

“Today’s event, ahead of next week’s International Women’s Day, was an opportunity to celebrate women in our industry while also sharing the insights and experiences of highly regarded industry professionals,” said Mr Maycock.

“We know there is a level of difficulty in attracting women to a career as deck officers in the maritime industry; that traditional barriers of entry have meant women fill just 2% of seafaring positions globally.

“Our responsibility is to question why these barriers exist, find a way to remove them and help connect women with opportunities available in our industry. From the Port of Brisbane’s perspective, we are already on that journey.

“We are particularly proud of our 24-month paid employment and training Cadetship Program for women seeking to build a career in the maritime industry.

“But beyond creating opportunities to support more women to enter the industry, we also recognise that we need to have the right programs and policies in place to support women throughout their careers, and at all levels.”

Ann Sherry said Carnival Australia was proud to be playing a part in addressing gender balance among seafarers in supporting a training program for female third officers.

“Last year, our home brand, P&O Cruises Australia, hosted a group of young women destined for senior roles as deck officers during a familiarisation program on the cruise line’s flagship Pacific Explorer,” Ms Sherry said.
“This group and other women like them will ultimately serve as deck officers within our global organisation in which there is already a female seafarer at the helm with Cunard’s Captain Inger Klein Thorhauge who has been in Australia recently in command of Queen Elizabeth.

“Captain Thorhauge and other women moving up the ranks are testament to the fact that women can excel in seafaring and break down barriers in a traditionally male dominated realm.”

Mr Maycock said that over the last 12 months, PBPL has introduced a range of exciting new initiatives to support its employees – women and men – throughout the different stages of their career, including:

  • Cadetship Program for Women – a 24-month paid employment and training cadetship program for women seeking to build a career in the maritime industry. Upon successful completion, the women will receive qualifications allowing them to command a vessel up to 24 metres long

  • Parental Leave policy – increased paid leave for primary and secondary carers, pre-natal leave, flexibility on how leave can be taken, continuation of paid superannuation for the first year of parental leave

  • Mentoring program – designed to support people starting out in their careers and to leverage expertise within the business

  • Graduate program – opportunities provided across multiple business areas to support graduates starting out their careers; 75% of the current intake is female.


Media contacts:
Brendan Connell (Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd) – 0437 837 976
Sandy Olsen (Carnival Australia) – 0466 547 893