In this episode of Leadership is Language Dione Howard continues her conversation with Austral Fisheries CEO David Carter as he reflects on a tragedy that reformed safety procedures for his company and provided valuable lessons for both the fishing and agricultural industries.
- It is possible to create a legacy from an impossible moment
- Near-miss incidents are gifts that can prevent a tragedy
- Incidents become part of your story – it is up to you how to shape that story
“Our advice was to lawyer up and go and find the best legal defence you can and defend it to the hilt but that didn’t sit too well with me. We could have gone to court, pleaded guilty, paid the fine and moved on, and Ryan’s legacy would be his name on a dust-collecting file in the bottom of a drawer somewhere, or we could look to make right from wrong.”
David Carter has worked his entire career at Austral Fisheries and its predecessors. Graduating from Melbourne University in 1978 with a degree in Marine Science, David saw an opportunity to enter the fishing industry and began working as a deckhand on a prawn trawler off the coast of Darwin. This was the beginning of what has been a 40-year career in the fishing industry.
In 2016, David led Austral in taking the next step along its sustainability journey, with Austral Fisheries becoming the first seafood company in the world to achieve carbon neutral certification under the Australian Government Carbon Neutral Program.
David was inducted into the National Seafood Industry Hall of Fame in 2012 in recognition of his significant contribution to the Australian seafood industry, and in 2020 David received the Marine Stewardship Council’s Lifetime Achievement award.
Dione is a District Veterinarian with Riverina Local Land Services based in Wagga Wagga, NSW. She has been an active member of the Youth Voices Leadership Team since its inception in 2018; holding the position of Mentor Leader and Innovation Leader. In 2020 she took the step in her leadership journey on the Executive of YVLT as Vice Chair.
Dione’s seat on the YVLT Executive and the Picture You in Agriculture Board is enhanced by her completion of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Company Directors Course, which she undertook in conjunction with her role as Wool Producer’s Youth Ambassador in 2019.