Meet our Mentors and Mentees

Diana Quintero

“As a mentor I want to help more women to develop their full potential”.

Chief Operating Officer - Ocean Phoenix Pty Ltd

With more than 25 years in the Seafood Industry, Diana is a highly accomplished business professional with vast experience in International Sales, Marketing, Foreign Trade, Suppliers, Logistics and Collection Management. After being in charge of the export sales of wild and farmed products in Colombia, and then meeting her now husband and business partner, Diana has a passion for helping seafood suppliers to reach new markets. Her accounting and business qualifications have helped her company Ocean Phoenix to keep developing strong connections around the world. Diana’s career highlights include being in charge of exports sales for the largest seafood company in Colombia, coming to Australia 13 years ago and immersing herself into a new culture while still working in the Seafood industry, and starting her own company 11 years ago. Diana hopes to learn more about the discipline of "listening" and help others at the same time.

Lauren Peck

"I hope to develop better communication and problem-solving skills"

Product Planner - Harvest Road

Shortly after completing my Marine Science Honours degree, I started work at Harvest Road as a research officer. I have been there for 4 years and am now the Product Planner. In my role, I am the central person to communicate between sales, farm operations and supply chain logistics to ensure customers receive our product. I am passionate about growing seafood from understanding the environmental influences that impact the growth of the product, how we can use the infrastructure to grow the best quality product and understanding the entire processing chain from harvest to sales. I hope to gain from my mentor experience better communication and problem-solving skills, get advice/ guidance on what other skills/education I should do that are transferable between potential future jobs.

Umar Nguyen aka "The Fish Girl"

"I am passionate about empowering the next generation of women in the seafood sector."

Director - The Fish Girl

Umar Nguyen is WISA Qld Director, Aquatic Plant Names Committee Hospitality Expert, Qld Trusted Advocate for the Stay Afloat Program and is part of the Qld Seafood Marketers Association. Umar is a qualified chef by trade. She is a single mother to a beautiful daughter, and now a grandmother. Umar’s focus and passion is learning about and sharing seafood sustainability. Her agency, The Fish Girl operates as a beacon of innovation and growth for the Australian seafood sector. Umar’s business specialises in sales and marketing, driving the creation of unique solutions and development of new markets for underutilised species. Her strategy is distinctive - engaging directly with chefs nationwide, ensuring pull though via enhanced brand awareness and education. With Umar’s extensive knowledge of market trends and expansive network, she promotes local and sustainable producers, offering a platform to shine and flourish. Umar was the first in the world to make and manufacture Wild Scampi Caviar and she was offered a major publicity opportunity with ABC Landline, to share what her company does with the world.

Alma Forsyth

"I look forward to a mutually enriching relationship, gaining insight into different perspectives, exchanging knowledge and future career guidance".

Aquaculture Research Scientist - Darwin Aquaculture Centre

I grew up in Bali, Indonesia before pursuing my education in Victoria, Australia. I completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne, focusing on animal health and biotechnology. I gained experience working with a range of animals (equine, aquatic, canine, ruminants) before attaining a master's degree in Aquaculture at James Cook University, Townsville. During this time, I conducted impactful research on pearl oysters in Broome. After a brief stint in an aquaculture consulting firm, I joined the team at the Darwin Aquaculture Centre as a research scientist on the Blacklip Rock Oyster project. I am passionate about sustainable aquaculture production and its potential to supply protein to developing communities and for future generations as well. I enjoy working across country and positively impacting local and remote livelihoods. I enjoy aquatic husbandry and teaching it, upskilling workforce, sharing knowledge and capacity building.

Suzi Hullick

"Supporting women to grow confidence to sustain and increase participation at all levels is integral to the success of them as an individual and to become leaders in the industry".

Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion - Westpac

Suzi is a banking executive with over 20 years of people leadership and profit and loss management. Over the past 7 years she has specialised in micro economic development and minority business support, specifically Indigenous Business and banking. A true "Intrapreneur", Suzi uses the corporate vehicle to influence and motivate change for financial inclusion and diversity of thought through innovation. She has now turned her focus to achieving diversity, equity and inclusion for Westpac supporting employees to embrace differences. Suzi has a unique set of skills and is passionate about developing and empowering people to have choices and to grow to be the best version of themselves. Recognised as the 2013 Overall Women of Influence for Westpac, a Bicentennial Service Honour in 2017, she has also graduated the AICD, Directors program and Women In Leadership at AGSM, and has an MBA in Social Impact at the UNSW. Suzi was appointed in Sept 2021 as a non executive director for FRDC and in Nov 2022 to the NT Aboriginal Investment Corporation.

Natasha Shand

"I want to further develop my understanding of the seafood industry while also learning where my interests are and how I can help".

Sales Consultant - Fresh By Design

Born and raised in New Zealand, my love of seafood stems from my love of the ocean, in particular shellfish and fish. At 24 I have been lucky enough to have been involved in various areas of the seafood industry, whilst completing my degree. I was part of a team to collect and analyse data for NZ Marine protected areas vs non protected areas to understand the effect of wild fisheries. I've worked in processing mussels post-harvest as quality assurance, and I have then progressed on to production of Murray Cod in Australia. I currently work for Fresh by design, supplying and providing for AUS/NZ Aquaculture. I love the seafood industry because it is forever changing and evolving. It is such a dynamic industry it keeps everyone active, research/development etc. I enjoy the link between science and research becoming a practical implemented part of standard procedure on farms and ponds.

Jo Marshall

"I support workplaces and people through a focus on well-being leading to high performance".

Program Manager - Stay Afloat Australia

Already well known in the Australian Seafood Industry, Jo was responsible for building the Stay Afloat Program from 2018 to what it is today, using an innovative grassroots approach to support the wellbeing of seafood industry workers. She has worked with our sector for 6 years and her deep knowledge and passion shows in her work every day. Throughout her time in the seafood industry, Jo has shown she is a highly experienced leader and a passionate advocate of our industry. Jo is also mum to four sons. She holds a Masters of Mental Health and is a Mental Health First Aid Trainer. Bringing over 20 years of large team leadership in sales, operations, call centre and executive generalist roles, Jo has lived the challenge of melding "business as usual" with strategic and cultural change. In her view, it takes two key ingredients - practicality and practice. Jo also supports a range of community organisations including board roles with Gymnastics SA and Youth Inc.

Deepika Satchithananthan

"I would like to be able to be more confident in navigating the corporate world, and belonging in it".

Research Portfolio Manager - FRDC

In 2022 I completed my master's degree in Marine and Antarctic Science with a topic focused on Artificial Reefs for deployment success and fisheries benefit. In April the following year I jumped into a very hands-on role with Murray Cod R&D in Griffith NSW, where I was the primary scientist and project manager within the company. Looking for a change, I departed in December and joined the FRDC in January 24. I am passionate about artificial reefs but as I continue learning so much about the seafood community on a broader scale, I am sure my interests will extend. So far, it's the people that have made me love being in research. I also like working with data and showing things like graphs to people that help increase their knowledge and understanding.

Ananda Santos

"I believe I can help other women to position themselves professionally and assertively in a workplace environment".

Head of Production - CleanEyre Global

Ananda is an oceanographer with Masters in Aquaculture. I have a tracking record leveraging my scientific and operational knowledge to transition businesses from R&D business models to commercial scale production. I’ve been a site manager at Pacific Biotechnologies, Senior Technician at Tassal and I’m currently Head of Production at CleanEyre Global. I want to engage with people, network and potentially inspire people to aim for high level positions, and feeling confident with their knowledge and themselves. By mentoring, or teaching, we also learn, and I’m keen to learn as much as I can teach with that experience.

Jessica Hintzsche

"I want to develop skills to be a part of a federal or industrial placement that facilitates breeding programs, maybe in the context of conservation".

PhD Student - Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation

I'm working on my PhD which focuses on implementation of genomics into breeding programs in aquaculture. I ultimately want to be an aquaculture person, who specialises in genetics, and not a genetics person who dabbles in aquaculture. I love aquaculture for the diversity of projects that can be done. Being brand new to the field I think this is an opportunity to gain valuable insight and advice from women in the industry.

Stephen Mayfield

“I think this is an excellent opportunity to support WISA and increase representation of women in Seafood in Australia".

Program Leader Fisheries - SARDI

Stephen’s work focus lies in biology, ecology, profitability and sustainable development and management of nearshore living marine resources. His personal interest is in enabling and supporting colleagues and the wider seafood industry. Stephen was appointed to the South Australian Research and Development Institute's (SARDI) science team in 2001. Further to this, he was also appointed to the Program Leader role for Fisheries in 2022, mentoring and facilitating the growth and development of the Fisheries team. Stephens goals are to mentor, guide, develop, enable and make the SARDI Fisheries team resilient for his retirement (maybe in 7-10 years). He wants to assist industry with the multitude of pending challenges, so they remain both profitable and sustainable.

Roisin Sullivan

"I'd love to grow more confident in putting myself out there".

PhD Student - University of Sydney

From a young age, I grew up in a family with a love of seafood and fishing but it wasn't until I began my undergraduate degree in animal science that I fell in love with aquaculture. For the first time, I realised the importance of health and disease management for finfish, crustaceans and molluscs and I knew this was the field I wanted to work in. As a result, I'm currently undertaking a PhD in aquaculture and fish health and disease at the University of Sydney focusing on vibriosis in barramundi, looking at host-bacteria interactions.

Stephanie McWhinnie

“Being part of a mentor partnership is an exciting opportunity to exchange ideas with someone forging their own path in the seafood space".

Associate Head of Learning - University of Adelaide

Stephanie is Associate Head of Learning and Teaching in the School of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Adelaide. She is an applied economist with her primary areas of research interest being natural resource and environmental economics. Most of her work is focused on empirical analysis of fisheries, and she has a particular interest in interjurisdictional sharing and productivity. Stef has made a difference in the way in which we think about fisheries economics through developing new datasets to examine unanswered questions; adapting tools to be more applicable to analysing fisheries from an economics perspective; and identifying unexplored aspects of fishing behaviour. Stephanie is a member of the FRDC’s Human Dimensions Research Coordination Program Steering Committee and has been principal/co-investigator on several FRDC funded projects. She is an active member of the Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, is an experienced PhD supervisor, and is an ongoing mentor in the South Australian branch of the Women in Economics Network mentoring program.

Tara Kelly

"I'm hoping to gain better understanding of what it is like working as a woman in the seafood industry and have help creating a road map for myself to achieve my career goals".

PhD Student - IMAS

I live in Hobart, Tasmania. I am reaching the end of my PhD working on aquaculture development for the Australian lobster industry. My interactions with the seafood industry have always been through the university sector, but I hope to have a dynamic career where I can spend time working in many different seafood sectors. My education and experiences thus far have not prepared me for how to accomplish this, so I would really value advice from a mentor who has hands on experience with a variety of sectors and people. I was awarded first place in the University of Tasmania three-minute thesis competition, and I have travelled to Norway and collaborated with researchers from around the world.

Jenny Shaw

Jenny has tirelessly advocated for, and raised the visibility of, seafood women since WISA inception in the mid 1990s.

Director of Research - WAMSI

Dr Jenny Shaw has worked in fisheries and marine related areas in both Australia and overseas all of her life. Jenny has had experience in research, policy and management at a senior level. Currently she is the Director of Research at the Western Australian Marine Research Institution. Jenny was from a fishing family and started her career as a fish biologist. She was a founding member of WISA (formally the Women’s Industry Network Seafood Community), a longtime Director, Life Member and has been inducted into both the WISA and National Seafood Industry Honour Rolls. Her work interests are varied and include communication and climate change.

Angelique Hoffman

I want to gain valuable insights and guidance from experienced mentors, refine my leadership skills, expand my professional network, and ultimately make meaningful contributions to environmental conservation and sustainability efforts".

PhD Student - James Cook University

Originally from France, I ventured to Australia six years ago to pursue a Master's degree in Marine Biology and Conservation, a journey that ignited my passion for aquatic ecosystems. Now in the final year of my PhD, my research delves into the presence of toxic genes in aquaculture settings, aiming to enhance sustainability, biosecurity, and environmental preservation. Immersed in the lab, I thrive on acquiring new skills to better understand the complexities of our world. With each discovery, I am driven by a profound commitment to safeguarding our oceans for future generations. I am passionate about enhancing biosecurity to prevent disease outbreaks and ensure food safety. By researching toxic genes in aquaculture, I aim to bolster sustainability and protect both marine ecosystems and human health, contributing to global food security initiatives.

Molly Christensen

“Learning to lead through kindness and compassion. Showing women in our industry that they are valued, they do have a career path that involves leadership and that their voices are heard at every level.”

Senior Technical Officer - IMAS

For the past 10 years, Molly has worked within the Aquaculture research field developing new technologies and forging new relationships for the industry. Currently situated at the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies in Hobart Tasmania, she is immersed within a wide range of projects. This includes conservation aquaculture projects such as the Maugean Skate and Red Handfish projects which are emerging within the state of Tasmania. Alongside this new and developing field are projects that are at commercialisation stage such as the Spiny rock lobster and Salmon industry work. The key relationships between industry and research have been Molly’s passion and driving force for several years now and encouraging more women to be part of such groundbreaking research is key to future success. Molly was also one of the first women to complete the Turn the Tide Entrepreneurship and Leadership Facilitator Training program.

Jade Carmena-Wood

"As a mentee I hope to gain a truthful understanding of the aquaculture industry and learn about opportunities I have not come across yet".

Feed Technician - Tassal

I’m 21 and am very close to finish my degree in marine biology. I’m a passionate and determined person who is constantly looking for opportunities to grow my skills and improve my knowledge. My goal is to work in a hand on job that offers skill variety and training opportunities. Currently, I work in the Remote operations room in Hobart feeding and monitoring fish. It is a rewarding and interesting job but does not involve being out in the field. What I enjoy most is that I’m constantly learning about new technology and terminology, I get to bond with people across a wide range of departments. My current passion lies in helping the aquaculture industry evolve into an even more efficient and sustainable way of farming.

Bronwyn Calder

“I appreciate as a maturing, successful businesswomen, the knowledge I have learned 'the hard way' on how to manage staff, build relationships, trust and back yourself for the important decisions in life. I would like the opportunity to share that with other young women.”

Owner and Director - Fresh Island Seafood Pty Ltd

What started as a husband and wife business in their apartment on Hamilton Island, Bronwyn's company Fresh Island Seafood now employ 16 staff, run a large processing room, and are the contracted seafood supplier to Hayman, Daydream, and Hamilton Islands in addition to the area's local restaurants. Bronwyn also owns a Fish and Chip retail shop. Bronwyn puts it down to her training in resorts that her attention to detail has set them apart. Bronwyn has managed a Wildlife Park on Hamilton Island for 15 years prior to starting her business. Bronwyn hopes to gain more tools for myself to continue to keep offering to others within the seafood industry.

Celeste Boonaerts

"I want to learn how I can improve my communication to achieve my goals".

Head Pearl Seeding Technician - Broken Bay Pearls

I work at the only pearl farm in NSW. We grow oysters including Akoya pearl oysters, Sydney Rocks and Angasi varieties. I sometimes work on Pinctada maxima pearl oysters at our sister farm in Cygnet Bay, WA. My responsibilities include informal management of farming and particularly seeding programs and pawning/hatchery/breeding programs for Broken Bay Pearl Farm. I am also involved in tourism and some retail parts of our company. I would like to contribute to the creation and evolution of our commercial farm development planning and have a higher level of direction and participation in leadership of our farm that better reflects my experience and dedication to the company. I love working with the living environment and with sea creatures in ways that are positive, sustainable and eco-friendly while unlocking new potential and achieving excellence in the quality of our production.

Emily Ogier

“I’ve had the support of many amazing women in the industry and it’s my turn to help where I can. I want to help women and helping women overcome gender barriers to being their best selves.”

Senior Researcher - IMAS

Emily is a highly regarded marine researcher who focuses on creating useable knowledge for practical use in managing fisheries and aquaculture in ways which are people positive. Emily has experience in managing and coordinating research programs at a national level, which has given her insight into the processes of working out what are critical knowledge gaps and what research will make the difference. Her partner is a professional fisher and Emily is the director of her family trust. Before moving to her academic role, Emily worked for her local industry representative organisation. She is passionate about enriching our knowledge of the people in the industry, and how solutions to challenges can be people positive. Emily’s greatest achievement has been cementing the need for understanding the people side of Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture as a core part of research, monitoring and assessment programs. Emily hopes to gain insight into conditions as seen by emerging leaders in our seafood industry and to get a sense of satisfaction from giving back.

Varsha Balu

"With this program, I am hoping to learn how to establish realistic professional goals, overcome my imposter syndrome and gain more confidence".

PhD Candidate - James Cook University

I am a PhD candidate at James Cook University, working in aquaculture research looking at early pathogen detection and aquatic animal health. I am curious and always keen to learn new things. I am passionate about the environment and the idea of innovation. In my free time, I like to read books, do arts and crafts, and generally enjoy being outdoors. I document my science journey on my Instagram page “when_varsha_sciences”. I aspire to make my science accessible to the community and for my research to help resolve issues of importance such as sustainability and world hunger. Working in the seafood industry drives me due to the scope for novel and innovative ideas and the avenues to employ them in a practical way. I am passionate about seeing my research have a positive impact of real-world issues such as sustainable seafood production and elimination of world hunger.

Kylie Dunstan

“I am committed to contributing to empowering women in fishing and aquaculture to seize opportunities and progress in their chosen area of interest.”

General Manager Stakeholder Engagement - FRDC

Kylie is an executive leader with over 20 years' experience in corporate affairs, extension and change management in government, not-for-profit and rural sectors. Currently the General Manager of Stakeholder Engagement with the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), Kylie is also the co-owner and Director of her family business Paulsen Fisheries, which operates two commercial fishing trawlers in Queensland and the Torres Strait in partnership with her brother. Serving on several Board and Committees, Kylie is focused on ensuring exceptional leadership, a positive organisational culture, good governance and a clear strategic direction. She is committed to meaningful stakeholder engagement and developing strong, capable teams.

Meg Stevens

"I would hope to be able to offer more in my current role with the Association and to possibly work towards a bigger role."

Administration Officer - Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Association

I completed a Bachelor of Applied Science in Aquaculture (UTAS) as a school leaver, was employed as a biologist on an abalone farm for 6 years upon graduation, then lived overseas for 9 years (I did not work in the fisheries field during this time. While overseas I completed a Bachelor of Business Management online (graduated through Griffith Uni). I have been employed by the Prawn Ass. for 2.5 years as an admin officer and would like to progress my role within the association. I have recently asked to be given more responsibility with fishing strategies/surveys and have been given this. I am passionate about sustainability of our fisheries but also the increase of economic return for the licence holders through smarter practices and reduction in costs. I enjoy the interaction with fishermen (skippers, crew & licence holders) but also the contact with governing bodies and policy makers.

Karen Olver

“As a mentor, I want to share my skills, knowledge and experience, but to also learn from those in the program. There are so many inspirational women that don't necessarily see how amazing they are, so helping them to see that and to realise their full potential will be amazing.”

General Manager Business Operations - Seafood New Zealand

Karen has worked in the seafood industry for over 35 years in various roles including as a fishery officer and advisor to the Minister of Fisheries. Karen is an independent director for WISA. She has a passion for the sector and the people that work in it. For the past 15 years Karen has worked for Seafood New Zealand her experience spans Public & Customer Relations, Stakeholder Engagement & Management - Process & Policy, Regulatory Compliance & Governance, Business & Strategic Planning, Budget Management & Monitoring, Project Management, Business Process Improvement, Fundraising Campaign Management, Team Leadership, Staff Management & Mentoring, and Training & Development. Karen has also previously served as a Trustee at the Little Miracles Trust - a cause close to her heart. She is also a committee member at the Riversdale Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, primarily focused on implementation of systems to support our annual Nipper program.

Name Here - Mentee

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Janet Howieson

Janet is one of the most highly respected scientists in the industry, and is committed to innovation and people.

Assoc Professor - Curtain University

Associate Professor Janet Howieson is part of the Food Science and Aquaculture teaching teams at Curtin University. Janet also specialises in post-harvest research for the seafood industry. She currently has projects across many seafood sectors including finfish, prawn, abalone, rock lobster and oysters. The projects encompass new product development, supply and value chain mapping and analysis, seafood waste initiatives, traceability, provenance and new market development. Janet also supervises PhD and Masters research projects. Dr Howieson has been awarded for her work in the seafood industry, including the WAFIC Research, Development and Extension Award (2013), the Curtin University Innovation and Commercialisation award: Health Sciences (2014), the David Thomassen award for outstanding contribution to the Australian Seafood CRC (2015) and the WA and National Seafood Industry Award in People Development (2015).

Roberta Marcoli

"I am hoping to have some advice and perspective from a likeminded woman that had experienced a similar pathway and is willing to share her experiences".

Post Doctoral Researcher - James Cook University

I am a scientist, surfer, and animal lover, who is dedicated to advancing sustainability and productivity in the aquaculture industry. Currently working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at James Cook University, she specializes in molecular biology and biotechnologies applications. Originally from Italy, I hold a Ph.D. in aquaculture and molecular biology, and my professional journey has taken me around the world, from Italy and French Polynesia to New Zealand and Australia. Throughout my career, my focus has been on aquaculture and the utilisation of cutting edge technology to enhance productivity and sustainability of this industry. In addition to her scientific pursuits, Roberta is passionate about science communication and fostering social awareness regarding aquaculture and sustainable fishing. Recognized for her contributions, she was awarded the "Future Young Leader" Award- AgFutures, Australia, 2024. In line with her commitment to bridging gaps, she founded AcquaBridge — a platform aimed at connecting communities, farmers, and scientists.

Adam Moore

"As a chef and innovator in the food industry, I want the mentees to have the opportunity to be inspired and flame their passion to make this industry stronger".

Director - Culinary Revolutions

Adam is a qualified chef, butcher, charcuterist, R&D & sensory scientist, innovator, brand builder and manufacturing expert. Recently Adam was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Foodservice Suppliers Association of Australia for his tireless commitment to the industry. Adam's professional experience spans across various culinary spheres, including restaurants, foodservice, retail, quick-service establishments, food manufacturing, research and development, marketing, and sales. Beyond his culinary prowess, Adam's has spent many years leading humanitarian efforts. Commencing his endeavours at the tender age of 13, he has consistently championed charitable causes, including pioneering a soup kitchen to serve the homeless—an endeavour that continues to animate his compassionate spirit to this day. Remarkably, his efforts have yielded over $7 million AUD for a spectrum of organisations, culminating in the conferral of the Order of Australia Medal for his philanthropic undertakings at the age of 18.

Cecile Massault

"I would like to gain in my confidence to fully explore my opportunities".

Research Fellow - James Cook University

I am originally from France and studied software engineering for 2 years back home but finished my undergraduate studies in Scotland (2004). Afterwards, I did a master in bioinformatics (2005) and started a PhD in quantitative in Aquaculture partly in Scotland (Roslin Institute) and partly in the Netherlands (Wageningen university) (2006-2010) before starting a post-doc in Armidale, NSW, still in quantitative genetics (2010-2016), but went back to working in Aquaculture at James Cook University (since 2018). I have three children of 4, 7 and 10 and love drawing and painting on the side. As a quantitative geneticist, I get to be close to the industry while developing my own methods of analysis to be applied. I am also a co-supervisor to three students and love to learn through them as well as guiding them.

Claire van der Geest

"Being a part of Australia’s fishing and seafood industry can be challenging but is also extremely rewarding and inspiring."

Principal - Sevens Seas Consulting

Claire van der Geest is a marine ecologist and development practitioner with more than 20 years experience in fisheries policy, management and research across the Australian and global seafood industry. Claire has undertaken the full gamete of roles within the fishing industry. Currently Claire is the Principal of Seven Seas Consulting and providing expert advice and guidance on electronic monitoring to a number of clients, strategic policy advice on integrated fisheries management in the developing world, and leading gender diversity programs. Historically, Claire has represented Australia’s interests and consulted for the industry led non-government organisation, the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, at Regional Fisheries Management Organisations. She has also worked across the Asia-Pacific region to inform evidence based tuna fisheries policy. I have been involved in WISA since I moved to Adelaide and was privileged to work alongside WISA greats such as June Gill, Gloria Jones and Charmaine Wait. I am very pleased to be the ACT Director for WISA and look forward to working with WISA and WISA partners to continue to progress equality and equity across the seafood sector.

Erika Giardina

"I’d like to grow in the sector I am currently working on and improve my leadership skills".

Product Manager - Angel Seafood

I’ve been working in site operations in prawn farming for the past 4 years and now changing to managing product before sales which is completely different from what I was doing before. I love working in the seafood industry because of the challenges, new technology that can be implemented to trouble shoot and improve husbandry practices to make it more sustainable. I want to improve my leadership and assertiveness, delegation skills and understanding of career opportunities and how to get there.

Joy Becker

“I would like to mentor young scientists in fisheries and aquaculture to promote more women to stay in science and academia".

Assoc Professor Aquatic Animal Health - University of Sydney

Joy would like to be a mentor for early and mid career scientists in aquaculture and fisheries. Joy states there are very few senior academics in this discipline that are women and can bring the experience of balancing career and family. Fish are her passion! Joy leads a teaching and research program centring around various fish species and their preservation in natural habitats, aquaculture settings, and as companion animals. Joy specialises in researching aquatic pathogens that threaten wild populations and investigating pathogen transmission between farmed and wild fish. Her expertise spans cold to tropical waters, freshwater, brackish, and marine environments, encompassing a diverse range of fish species with both conservation and economic significance. Joy’s research program has a strong industry focus on “real world” problems faced by fish farmers. Joy wants to support women to stay in science and have successful careers with an upward trajectory to excel in their chosen disciplines.

Emma-Louise Daly

"I want to develop goals and actionable steps toward a research career in fisheries and aquaculture, by learning from others' experiences, and to step outside of my comfort zone in networking and building relationships."

Senior Research Services Officer - PIRSA / SARDI

I grew up in Victoria (Mornington Peninsula) and worked in marine ecotourism and outdoor education, before moving to Darwin to study a Bachelor of Environmental Science/Bachelor of Science (Honours). I now work with South Australia's commercial fishing and aquaculture industry as a research services officer for SARDI, working closely with Government and industry to undertake fishery-independent surveys, stock assessments, and to deliver FRDC projects across a range of programs. Prior to this, I worked in compliance as a Fisheries Officer (Port Lincoln SA), scientific diving and marine project coordination (Adelaide SA), and in aquaculture training and development (Darwin NT).

Lesley Leyland

“We can teach a lot of things with on-the-job training, and we like to upskill our people, but you can’t teach passion and talent. When we see talent, we invest in it.”

Chief Operating Officer - Austral Fisheries

Lesley Leyland immigrated to Australia after forging a career in the UK's shipping and freight forward industry, where she worked for a number of large shipping companies, after graduating from Southport Technical College. Shortly after arriving, Lesley joined Austral Fisheries in the sales support and export division. Since then, her role has expanded as the business has grown, with her various responsibilities providing her with an invaluable overview of Austral’s many activities. In sales and marketing, Lesley has regular contact with Austral’s key accounts, whilst also playing an active role in organising and liaising with the crews. Lesley plays a key role in fulfilling Austral's chain of custody responsibilities, including third-party and customer audits. Lesley also oversees the many documentation requirements that allow Austral’s products to be exported globally, Lesley is currently sitting on the Seafood Export Consultative Committee (SECC) with the Department of Agriculture and Water. Since 2011, Lesley has also developed and managed all aspects relating to Human Resources and Social and Ethical auditing throughout the business. This position reports to and works closely with the CEO, and it has seen improvements to Austral's culture, workplace standards and policies.

Laura Fatovich

"My desire to join this program is to develop professionally - moving to the next level, navigating workplaces and making a difference."

Marine Industries Engagement Specialist - Dept of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania

I joined the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania in early 2022. Working as the Marine Industries Engagement Specialist, I provide specialist stakeholder engagement and communications advice and support to programs and projects across Marine Resources. Laura moved to Tasmania following a corporate affairs role in the oil and gas industry in Western Australia. What strikes me most about the seafood industry is how passionate people are about seafood and the marine environment. I love the global context that seafood operates in - between providing protein, protecting the marine environment, economic opportunities, marine science and community engagement - seafood has it all! I'm passionate about developing marine literacy and threading the needle between resource sharing, a changing marine and social environment, managing the use of marine resources and understanding marine science.

Kaylene Little

“At the end of the day, I care about our industry, the people it in and think I have a thing or two to share. I love that we are feeding the world - I know it can sound like a motherhood statement - but for me it is true it is what gets me up and facing all the challenges that come our way."

Head of People and Communities - Tassal

Kaylene has 18 years experience as an executive in a now listed private organisation, Tassal. Kaylene was a key player in building the business value from zero in receivership to a sale price in 2022 of 1.7 billion dollars. She has experience across many areas of business operation including Human Resources, community, sustainability, legal, corporate affairs, environment & compliance policy. Kaylene continues to invest in her own development as a strategic leader and will continue to lead in an executive capacity to develop and deliver their organisation and industry blueprint. Kaylene hopes to be able to give back and help someone on their journey as well as learn from another perspective and gain insight into another sector within the seafood industry.

Kasia Skawinska

"I'm hoping to get more confidence in convincing others to my ideas and projects and to be more vocal when I see things that are not right."

Global Marketing and Communications Manager - Marine Stewardship Council

I have more than 12 years of experience managing complex campaigns and projects involving diverse groups of stakeholders. I am fascinated by changes and new ideas. Developing, implementing and managing projects that lead to a positive change brings out the best in me. My are of expertise is communication and marketing, event management, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. I've been working in the seafood industry since 2014 when I joined Marine Stewardship Council and was responsible for introducing MSC label in Poland. After relocation to Australia I rejoined MSC again, this time as a Senior Global Marcomms Manager, responsible for working with APAC marcomms teams to support them in delivering marketing and communication strategies in Japan, China, Singapore, ANZ, Indonesia and Korea. I also work on many learning and development projects within the global team.

Skye Barrett

“I wish to be part of a mentor program that supports women in the Australian Seafood community to reach their full potential through personal development and the establishment of a supportive network. I have personally benefitted from the support of others and wish to actively contribute to the future of our future leaders.”

Regional Coordinator - Stay Afloat Australia

Skye is known to many people across Australia having worked in the Australian seafood industry for most of her career. The daughter of a commercial fisher, Skye has lived in Port Lincoln (SA) and Tasmania. She has worked for the FRDC which gave her exposure to the industry in all states. She was also a fisheries manager at PIRSA (SA), which was when she became a Mental Health First Aider and led efforts to ensure South Australian industry members were aware of the supports available through Stay Afloat. Hugely passionate about the health and wellbeing of the industry and an advocate for women, Skye is now a State coordinator for Stay Afloat, the national mental health program for industry. Skye is excited about the opportunity to blend her strong stakeholder engagement skills and lifelong passion for the seafood industry with her other passion – health and wellbeing.

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I have been in the fishing industry for many years and looking to enhance the mental health of women.

Lyndal Thorburn

"I am willing to be a mentor because it is a way to contribute to WISA. I have been mentoring companies for about 8 years through a range of programs.”


Dr Lyndal Thorburn is a FRDC non-executive director with current roles on Charles Sturt University Council and the Regional Development Australia (ACT) Board. With over 30 years' Board experience, she applies skills in business management, science and technology and its commercialisation, economics, innovation and entrepreneurship, stakeholder engagement, finance and public administration. Prior to her Board career, Lyndal worked as an evaluation specialist for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, spent 17 years in government agencies and government business enterprises, and had many years mentoring technology commercialisation and startup strategy and capital raising. Lyndal initially trained as a biologist and completed a PhD exploring regional, national and global innovation networks of Australian technology-based firms. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a member of the Institute of Public Accountants. Lyndal was born in Sydney but has lived for the last 40 years in regional NSW and has work experience in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Laura Stoltenberg

"I would like to continue building my professional network and use this time with my mentor to develop some strategies around career development."

Program Manager Aquaculture - OceanWatch Australia

I am a Program Manager for Aquaculture at OceanWatch Australia, a national not-for-profit that works to advance the sustainability of Australian seafood by working closely with fishers and farmers. I came to the industry after an early career as a postgraduate researcher studying the effects of ocean acidification on coral reef sediments. My work is focused on industry communication and extension, advancing industry responsible practice, and elevating industry professionalism and social license. I love the interaction with industry and the direct feedback I get from oyster farmers just as much as thinking of the next project and coming up with different ideas and strategies. Ultimately, I am passionate about ocean health and innovative solutions to ever-growing demands on our marine environment.