Girls step up at Gladstone Port

Kara will work on the soon to be retired shiploader 1

FOR the first time in 108-years, Kara Moore will become Gladstone Ports Corporation’s (GPC) first female shiploader operator, joining a handful of females in Australia after more than a decade working in operations at the Port.

The 39-year old is paving the way for females in the industry as she embarks on extensive training for her new role this month after beginning her career at GPC as the very first female dozer driver in 2006.

The training process involves one-on-one guidance from level five ship loading mentors, a log book and training plan before Kara officially receives competency to operate.

Kara who will celebrate her 15-year work anniversary this June said she was ready for a new challenge after a career operating dozers and working in construction.

“The opportunity to be a shiploader operator doesn’t come along often and in some cases you’re waiting for someone to retire because it’s such a niche industry and specialised skill,” Kara said.

“There were applications for the role from very talented operators and everyone was really excited for me when I found out I was chosen and I was grateful to have a lot of support from everyone.

“It really didn’t sink in that I was going to be a shiploader operator until I started my training. You definitely have to have the stomach for working at heights but I’m really enjoying the challenge and the view.

“I’ll be training on GPC’s oldest shiploader, shiploader 1 which means I’ll be the last shiploader operator of that machine before it’s replaced which is pretty special being the first female and the last custodian.”

Once Kara completes her training which is expected to take between four to six months, she’ll join GPC’s team of 64 shiploader operators as the first female crew member.

“I grew up driving an old Massey Ferguson 65 on my family’s cattle property and have been driving tractors, trucks and dozers my whole life but never imagined myself in a shiploader cabin,” Kara said.

“I grew up with my sister Lauren who also joined GPC as a dozer operator and it is a real privilege to be able to work in our community, do what we love and be given some amazing opportunities.”

Chief Executive Officer Craig Haymes said GPC was proud to see employees like Kara exceling in their profession.

“Our Port is home to more than 750 employees and it’s no doubt that they are the backbone of our business – with their skills and expertise we are able to be leaders in our industry and deliver for Queensland,” Mr Haymes said.

“It’s really inspiring to see Kara taking on a typically male dominated role and we’re hoping it encourages more females to step into the industry and follow in her footsteps.

“We’re home to around 250 operators across all GPC sites who operate everything from trucks to dozers including six female dozer operators who have a combined 52 years of experience.

“There’s a lot of talent at GPC and we’re very proud of our females and their achievements in our industry.”