Carina Cartwright - Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure


Senior Advisor, Ports & Logistics


My career path into Transport and Logistics was not that straight forward as at University my interests were in Marine Biology and Environmental Management. My first job after university was counting fish on the Great Barrier Reef.

After 10 years I decided to take a job managing a Tuna Farm in Port Lincoln, with responsibility for 150 employees. Within this company is where I began to appreciate the complexity of transport and logistics within our everyday business. Later I worked with the Tuna Boat Owners Association where we looked at industry-wide transport and logistic issues to try and solve them. Often this meant going to Japan following from Port Lincoln the tuna supply chain.

I started working in government with the Primary Industries and Resources SA. My experiences here ranged from diving to representing Government in court around issues of the sustainability of tuna farms to providing corporate level triple bottom line report cards.

I had developed an extensive background knowledge on policies, regulations and legislation and as a result became interested in looking into the development of "big boat" policies. I decided it was time to move to something bigger in transport and logistics, hence my move to the Ports and Logistics Unit of the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

Having had such a great career with so much variety, I certainly have had many highlights, as mentioned from diving of the Great Barrier Reef to following the tuna supply chain around the world. It has been especially rewarding to work on improving supply chains to rural communities, and I also appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the South Australian and national Port Strategies in my position.

In any industry, people management skills are essential requirements. Recently I completed a MBA to provide me with a much higher level of understanding of management aspects. Government work is often not about building but about facilitating, putting the frameworks in place to ensure the private sector has the ability to go out and develop - a port for example, and to do this one needs good people skills to understand where the industry is at.

I was first introduced to transport and logistics as a young female Farm Manager. It was great that I was given the opportunity in a traditionally male dominated industry to show I am as capable as anyone else. The fishing industry can be tough - being at sea on the boats - but just like any job, it is important to prove yourself. I spent much time at the back of the boats, listening to people, learning as much as I could.

Transport and Logistics is a great industry to get into and it certainly suits people who like a challenge. My advice to people looking to enter the industry would be to take advice from people around you. Coming into any new job you are going to come across new experiences, you have to be willing to enjoy these new challenges.