West Australian’s Inducted into WISA Honour Roll
Earlier this month, The Women’s Industry Network Seafood Community (WINSC), now known as Women in Seafood Australasia (WISA), celebrated 20 years by hosting a gala dinner in Adelaide. There were tears and laughter from the 150 members and guests from across Australia and New Zealand who gathered to reflect and celebrate the history of WINSC.
To commemorate industry women that have been both dedicated and outstanding contributors, the WINSC Committee had the pleasure of inducting 20 women throughout Australia into the inaugural Women’s Honour Roll on the night.
WAFIC would like to congratulate all women on their outstanding achievements and successes in the seafood industry. Included in the mix was two Western Australian’s – Toni Jurinovich and Dr Jenny Shaw – who have both had careers dedicated making a significant different to the growth and prosperity of the seafood sector in WA.
Toni Jurinovich became involved in the seafood industry in 1969 when she moved to Lancelin with her husband Tony. Tony was a second-generation fisher who had commenced a partnership in a fishing vessel and craypot licence at the time.
Toni said that at the time there was little for women to do – but she felt that she could be of assistance to the fishermen.
“It was sunbathing or swimming at the beach for women in 1969 – but I felt I could offer the men of the town some assistance. I came from country life background and had a go at most things,” she said.
Toni has worked incredibly hard in the seafood industry for over 40 years and said one of her biggest achievement was encouraging Zone C to become a united voice.
“I was originally the secretary for Seabird Ledge Point Pro Fish Association helping Zone C western rock lobster fishers from Seabird to Wedge Island. After that position came the role of the secretary for Latitude 31 Professional Fishing Association before becoming the current secretary of Combined Zone C.”
“During those years I commenced an email service for Zone C western rock lobster skippers, unit holders, processors and other interested parties. The information provided stakeholders of changes to policy and management regimes – encouraging Zone C to become a united voice to raise the awareness and visibility of commercial fishers and the work they do.”
On her biggest reward working in the seafood industry – Toni said that this included the comradeship with all, including fishers or non-fishers alike, who offered her knowledge or wise words throughout the years.
“Those whom I have met over the years in the seafood industry – even socially in a room. There were laughs hearing the fishy stories or pranks done whilst fishing long days such as crew eating fish bait because they were hungry and left their lunch box at home!”
Concluding Toni said that women who are thinking about a career in the seafood industry should note the vast opportunities and the role that they can play.
“Women can offer a different perspective in the seafood industry – thus offering valuable input at Committee or Board level to achieve the best possible outcome for their fishery.”
“There are so many opportunities for both women and men to work side by side in the seafood industry,” she concluded.
Dr. Jenny Shaw
Dr Jenny Shaw has dedicated her working career to areas in fisheries and marine related science, including government and private sectors in Australia and internationally.
In each of her senior roles in fisheries policy and management, academia and research – she has been a strong advocate for commercial fishers.
Jenny was an inaugural Director and foundation member of WINSC and was recently acknowledged as a life member for outstanding service to the organisation since its inception.
She has been a mentor and an inspiration to many including younger woman in the industry.
On the challenges facing women in the seafood industry, Jenny noted that women are often not recognised for their role in industry.
“Often women play vital roles in industry and sometimes women don’t even recognise how important they are.”
“That is a huge part of what WINSC can do – in terms of increasing the capacity of women and promoting their roles in industry.” (Facebook video, WINSC, March 2018).
Jenny is currently the Research Director at the WA Marine Science Institution and gives a refreshing perspective on what can be a difficult industry.