To celebrate International Women’s Day, we meet some inspiring women who have charted their own course within boating and sailing.



“I started sailing in Sydney when I was around six years old with my family and have lots of memories of being at sailing regattas and training each weekend. At 18 I won a silver medal in the Elliot 6m Match Racing event at the London 2012 Olympic Games as the skipper, becoming the youngest female sailor ever to win an Olympic Medal in sailing. I’m currently a member of the Australian Sailing Team and am aiming to podium at this year’s Olympics in Paris.

Sailing for me presents a new challenge every day, and the skills you develop to be successful are so transferable to life in general. The independence it creates, problem solving in an efficient way, communication, and team dynamics, are all skills I’ve developed and progressed through sailing. My newest challenge is now with the Team Australia Challenge, as one of the founding members of Australia’s campaign for the Women’s and Youth America’s Cups later this year. The Team Australia Challenge for me is more than just the upcoming events, but a new high-performance approach to campaigning for youth and women in Australia to build their knowledge and experience to one day compete for our own flag on the international stage in various events around the world. Australia is such a strong sailing nation, and we see an Australian Team represented at SailGP and the Olympics, yet sailing is so much broader, and we’re absent from many other global competitions as a nation.

I’m loving seeing the increase in female participation across sailing, and the community being built around women in boating. I’ve spoken at a number of events recently campaigning for women in the industry and it’s exciting to see that it’s not just females attending these events and asking questions. Australian Sailing has stated that female participation in the sport is currently at 30 per cent and they aim to increase that to 50 per cent by 2030. I think we all have a responsibility to help achieve that goal by continuing the conversation in each of our community spaces, which will then have a broader impact across the sport of sailing.

I encourage females to really explore the opportunities to participate and to extend themselves into the many roles available. I guarantee you will find a helping and supportive sailor or industry professional to recognise and encourage you.”

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“I am lucky enough to be the Business Development Manager and Partner at Empire Marinas Group. We have two of the largest full-service marinas in NSW, Empire Marina Bobbin Head which also includes the award-winning Waterside Bistro and Empire Marina Lake Macquarie at Marmong Point. We were also Australia’s first franchisees of Freedom Boat Club, with locations at our two marinas and one in Sydney’s Pittwater. I also have a successful podcast and social media presence as ‘The Boat Princess’.

I am a Board Member of the Marina Industries Association (MIA), on the Women in Boating Committee with the Boating Industry Association (BIA) and the ICOMIA Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee in the UK which has members from all over the world. Every day is different for me, whether I’m at one of our marinas, getting out on one of our Freedom Boat Club boats or interviewing rock stars of our industry. Boating inspires me and if you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work, so you just pack it all in!

My passion project as ‘The Boat Princess’ was initially created to give more respect to women boaters and the women in our industry and to attract more women to boating. I have interviewed some amazing women that have brought so much to boating and our industry through my podcast. Sharing their stories and advice gives me the greatest of joy and continually expands my knowledge too, which I love. We also now host awesome events through The Boat Princess where women can network and even get out on boats together.

This industry has much to offer women and has such an incredible array of roles for different skill sets and personalities. I would encourage all women interested in working in the marine industry to bring their skills, personalities, and drive to our industry – we need them! As for boating, I’ve found the levels of overall confidence in women naturally increase when they master a boat – so get to it!”

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“I have been the CEO of the MIA since mid-2020 and am also on the board of Australian Sailing. Prior to joining the MIA, I was CEO of d’Albora Marinas and General Manager of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC). We are seeing more women join the marina industries. In a recent Australian survey conducted by the MIA, marina operator respondents reported that just over 30 per cent of the Australian marina industries workforce are females. Queensland employs the highest proportion at 49 per cent and is responsible for keeping the national average up. From what I see, women are under-represented in operational roles and overrepresented in office roles.

International Women’s Day is important. It is a time to celebrate women in our industry. Not just those in managerial roles, but every single woman who is contributing to the success of our industry. We must promote and celebrate the success of all women who are doing a great job for our industry – on the docks, in boatyards and who are taking on trades. Promotion is one thing, but women also need mentoring and support. We all need to be ready to offer mentoring and support to women so they can help make our industry even better than what it is today.”




“I look after all our apprentices at Maritimo: I am their mentor, their voice, and their guide. I have been with Maritimo for around two years and my husband is also a boat builder for Maritimo. The most rewarding part of my role is seeing our apprentices grow, watching them achieve and continue to gain more skills. Though traditionally male-dominated, the marine industry is evolving and embracing diversity in all its forms. It’s great to see that we women are breaking gender stereotypes in the marine industry. I tell young women applying for apprenticeships ‘don’t be afraid, you are strong and capable’. While entering any male-dominated industry can come with its challenges, its important women don’t let that deter them from pursuing their goals with determination and persistence.”




“Edencraft is a family-owned business based in Geelong, Victoria with my parents as the owners. Working alongside my family adds a special dimension to my role as General Manager of the Edencraft Group. I’m also fortunate to collaborate daily with my husband, who manages the fit out and handover department within the company. Our company encompasses three key divisions: Edencraft International, our boat building arm; Edencraft Creative, our Research and Development facility equipped with one of Australia’s largest 5 Axis CNC machines; and Edencraft Marine, our local Mercury dealership and service centre for the region.

My favourite days at work are when a customer comes in to pick up their boat, and you can see the happiness in their eyes. The only thing that tops that is the first time they take it on the water. We have a great team of young women at Edencraft, and I think the more women working within the marine industry, the better. We’re fortunate to have so many different types of career paths available to us in the marine industry, and most of them involve spending time on or around the water.

Whether you want to be a boat builder, mechanic, engineer, designer, skipper, sales, or marketing, there is literally something for everyone. It’s an ever-evolving, exciting, and challenging industry and if you love being outside or by the water, then this is for you. One of the best perks in our industry are the boat shows. Getting to catch up with customers and suppliers in a more relaxed setting is always an enormous amount of fun.”




“I work as General Manager, White Bay 6 Marine Park, Sydney’s premier boat service facility, including award-winning dry stack operation, Sydney Harbour Boat Storage. My involvement in the marine industry also extends to board membership of the Marina Industries Association (MIA) and the Boating Industry Association NSW Council.

My husband, as a marine professional and ocean racer, introduced me to the industry when I first spent time in boatyards maintaining our race yacht. It was very hands-on. We then started our own commercial charter boat business in Sydney Harbour and to be as versatile as possible I needed commercial skipper and engineer qualifications. As a commercial skipper I got to know every wharf and every part of the harbour. After 10 years we sold that business and I started at White Bay 6.

I’ve been at White Bay 6 for eight years now and have brilliant team leaders here including our Service Manager Ange Melville. No two days are the same and I love it as much today as the day I started. Receiving great feedback from our customers and watching our staff work towards reaching their full potential makes me really happy.

I see many successful women operating in the industry which is wonderful, and it makes me proud. They run their own businesses, have management roles, drive commercial vessels, and perform important industry trades. The numbers are growing because women are choosing work based on their passion, but the data still shows room for continued improvement. I encourage those of us already well entrenched in the industry, who have the ability to influence, to foster a diverse professional environment that is attractive to women and inspires more of them to join us.”




“On paper I am a 38-year-old female, with an extensive background in public relations and communications. Beyond that, I have sailed since birth, and have taken my sport to the highest levels. I now work in the marine industry through my company Sunset Media, across a range of consulting services from public relations, commentary, and content creation, through to specialised event promotion through my brand Adventures of a Sailor Girl.

‘Girly’ or ‘Sailor Girl’ were my nicknames when growing up at a sailing club where there wasn’t a female toilet. The marine industry has come a long way, and whether I am working with sailing or marina clients, women are now recognised and respected, and are making their mark. It’s important to me that women can meet one another to forge opportunities and pathways, so, I have been hosting ‘Women Sailors and Supporters’ events alongside some of the major events I work with such as Hamilton Island Race Week. I was also recently named Australian Sailing’s newest SheSails Ambassador, to help promote women in sailing and the marine industry as a whole.

My advice to women starting out in this industry? It’s tough, it’s wonderful, it’s rewarding and it’s different. There is so much freedom to create your own path within this industry if you are brave enough and many women who have pushed before you as well. Ask for their help, stick to your guns, and enjoy meeting many amazing people along the way.”




“At 93-years old I’m proud to still be volunteering alongside my fellow ladies to help support Marine Rescue Port Stephens. I first became involved with Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol (as it was known prior to becoming Marine Rescue NSW) back in 1981. I have always thought women were very capable of doing most things and as my late husband, Kevin Clark, was involved, it didn’t take much encouragement from him to start training as a radio operator.

I was a volunteer radio operator for 20 years and found it to be such a rewarding experience. Answering distress calls from a vessel, deciphering who needs to be called to help and assuring the caller that ‘help will be on the way’. The relief you would hear in their voices cannot be fully explained, but it did always make you feel that you had done your job well and then it was over to the boat crew.

When I retired as an operator I continued my involvement with Marine Rescue Port Stephens in another important capacity, by volunteering in the Gift Shop and the Heritage Cottage.

I think it’s fabulous seeing more and more women joining the marine industry, in either a volunteer or professional manner. Women are never too young or too old and there is always a place for females to contribute. Events such as International Women’s Day are important as they can offer a platform to help inspire females who might lack the self-confidence to get involved. Throughout my long-time involvement in the ‘help and rescue’ side of the marine industry, I have only found the greatest encouragement from everyone involved. Remember ladies: ‘you can do it’ just as well as the men!”




“I first joined the Telwater team in 2020, and today I manage all facets of marketing and communications for four of Australia’s leading aluminium boat brands including Quintrex. Once you’re in the marine industry, you’re hooked and it has become an industry I am very passionate about. Each day is different. Whether driving campaigns, attending boat shows, managing dealer conferences and photoshoots, rolling out website updates or mapping out social strategies – the list goes on.

Quintrex has doubled its number of female employees within the last year, and Quintrex’s fundamental diversity plan aligns with its parent company, Bombardier Recreational Product’s (BRP) strategic activations. BRP statistics surpass industry standards, with 29 per cent of the company’s workforce identifying as women.

I would encourage other women to ‘seas the day’. In my experience, boating is a rewarding, exciting and challenging industry to be involved in. In Australia, the marine industry presents many opportunities, with an extensive range of specialist jobs. You don’t need to know everything (or even anything) about boating to first get involved. This industry is one where you will be surrounded by expert boaters who can teach you the ropes.”


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