Celebrating women in maritime

Today is International Day for Women in Maritime and we're celebrating the women in our workforce and right across the maritime industry.


18 May 2023

Today is International Day for Women in Maritime and we’re celebrating the women in our workforce and those right across the maritime industry.

Working in the maritime industry doesn’t necessarily mean your vocation will be on the ocean.

At TasPorts we have so many careers in the maritime industry that support the work of our sea-going tug masters and pilots.

Ivona | Specialist Trade Planning and Modelling

Growing up, Ivona wanted to be a bus driver or lion tamer. A billionaire was another option. Landing her career as a Trade Planning and Modelling Specialist aligned perfectly with her curious mind.

“I had a lot of supportive people in my corner, but finding my way into the career I’m in was a little by accident. I’ve been in this position for just over six years, or approximately 2,195 days for those who (like me) enjoy numbers. It’s the longest I’ve been in one position.”

What is the best thing about Ivona’s job?

“It is the team culture, the flexibility to work with autonomy or as a team. In my team we have each other’s back, which is handy when 30 per cent of us support the Richmond Tigers! I have learned so much from my colleagues; stick with your team, be positive, it’s okay not to know everything, but importantly have a bit of fun and remember to bring snacks in to share.”

“During my time at TasPorts I hope I’ve reinforced the importance of a robust financial model and numerical skills. I will always be there for my team, and I know the feeling is mutual, especially when I whip up my famous Lithuanian honey cake!”

“What would be my advice for someone wishing to enter the same field of work in the maritime industry? In the words Nike, ‘Just do it!’ The maritime industry is fun, challenging and dynamic.”

Being a Trade Planning and Modelling Specialist is the perfect career for a curious mind.

Ivona Sone Web

Toni | Environmental Advisor

Growing up Toni loved horses, with her dream job to become an Olympic dressage rider. In fact, the passion for ‘horse life’, animals and the broader environment became stronger as Toni grew older. While she may not be representing Australia at the Olympics, she gets to look after her own horses at home and help protect Tasmania’s unique and diverse environment, above and below the water.

“My interest in understanding how to protect the environment lead me through my studies to become an Aquatic Ecologist. I’ve been lucky enough to live and work in Tasmania for my 20-year career, coming to TasPorts after working at Biosecurity Tasmania in invasive species and water operations branches.”

“Working at TasPorts has allowed me to share my knowledge of estuarine environments with my colleagues and stakeholder groups. In this field of expertise, the ability to work with people to raise awareness of the importance of protecting and enhancing our environment is one of the best feelings.”

“For anyone passionate about the environment, being an Environmental Advisor could be the career path you’re looking for. We only have one environment, and it needs our help!”

Toni Furlonge Web

Kristy | Commerical Manager - Cruise

Growing up, Kristy had a passion for Tasmania as a unique travel destination, and a broader interest in the marketing and tourism industry. Dreaming of becoming a flight attendant, one of the most iconic and luxurious professions at the time, Kristy quickly discovered that life in the clouds may not be as glamourous as she first thought after a trial during year 10 work experience.

“After graduating from the University of Tasmania (UTAS) in 2004, I held a range of marketing roles for commercial radio and the education industry, before taking a position overseeing marketing activities and promotions at Forestry Tasmania.”

“Through this time at Forestry Tasmania, I lead a number of marketing activities for the organisation and the unique tourism brands within the portfolio.”

Strengthening her experience in marketing and tourism, Kristy realised how strong her passion was for Tasmania’s tourism industry and her desire to forge a role down this path. Tasmania has developed itself as a successful and popular cruise destination. Kristy has seen the evolution of the cruise industry and TasPorts’ involvement over the last decade.

“I have loved playing my part in seeing the success of the industry within my home State. There have been constant challenges throughout the years, but I greatly enjoy collaborating with my colleagues, our cruise customers, government and stakeholders to overcome these challenges and ensure we provide a great experience for those visiting our shores.”

Kristy’s dedication to the cruise segment hasn’t gone unnoticed by her peers, resulting in her election to the Management Committee of the Australian Cruise Association.

“I have loved working as part of this vibrant team to help contribute to the development of the Australian cruise industry as a whole.”

Kristy has found that working within the maritime industry provides many varied opportunities for a wide range of skills and backgrounds.

“Today, as part of International Day for Women in Maritime, it is great to see greater diversity within what was traditionally quite a male dominated industry, and as a female, I always feel respected amongst my work colleagues and broader port and maritime networks.”

Kristy Little Web

Anna | Superintendent Marine Services

Spending a lot of time on sailboats as a child, Anna quickly learnt to acquire her sea legs, as her family would navigate the east coast of Canada. While she’d like to say most of it was for pleasure, with a passionate oceanographer for a father, a lot of the time Anna was helping to gather tidal or wave data for one of her dad’s projects.

Not having a firm plan for her future, Anna took every opportunity that came her way, leading her on many great adventures. Like a ‘choose your own adventure’ novel, Anna gets excited at new opportunities and reminds herself that she can pick and choose, or create, the opportunities she wants in her life.

“When I was at a point of my life when I was ready to carve out a path for myself, I knew it would have to be something to do with the maritime industry. That led me to study at the Australian Maritime College (AMC) and I ended up with an MBA in Marine Environment and Management. I still didn’t know what that would ‘make me’, but I enjoyed everything I learned along the way, and am happy with where I’ve ended up.”

Through her position as Superintendent Marine Services, Anna works closely with a variety of teams, bringing with her ideas regarding contemporary ports, stimulating and supporting improvements to TasPorts systems and process.

“There are so many positives in my job. I work with an awesome bunch of knowledgeable and passionate people. I have autonomy and support in my role, and I get out and about amongst the different marine operations.”

With so many pathways in the marine industry to follow both here in Australia and internationally, you can be shore-based or on the water.

“The maritime industry is a bit of a sleepy giant, unless you work or know someone who works in the industry, you don’t generally have much exposure to it. There are so many different skills required which translate to a wide range of careers- the ocean is the limit!”

Anna Mac Neil Web

This year's theme for International Day for Women in Maritime is 'Mobilising networks for gender equality'.

The IMO invite women in maritime and everyone in the maritime industry to celebrate the day on social media using the hashtag #WomenInMaritimeDay.

Find more information about International Day for Women in Maritime and the International Maritime Organisation.