BA, ATCL, Dip. Marketing
At St Margaret’s 1971-1976
Amanda Lacaze is the CEO and Managing Director of Lynas Corporation. Lynas produces rare earths, materials which are essential to 21st century technologies such as electric vehicles, electronics and renewable energy. Appointed in June 2014, Amanda has successfully led the company through a challenging turnaround and Lynas is now the world’s second largest producer of rare earths in the world and the only producer of scale outside China.
In 2019, Amanda was named in the Australian Financial Review Magazine’s ‘Power List’ as one of the 10 most powerful corporate leaders for 2019, and in 2018, Amanda was recognized as CEO of the Year in the MiningNews.Net Awards. These awards reflect the complexity of managing a truly global business – mining in WA, refining in Malaysia and selling to customers all over the world. Rare earths have been at the heart of geopolitical tensions over the past decade adding another challenge to the innate business complexity.
After St Margaret’s, Amanda studied a Bachelor of Arts at The University of Queensland. Not quite sure what to do next, she worked in sales and then marketing. Her early marketing life was at Nestle, during which time she also completed a postgraduate Diploma in Marketing. She worked in a variety of industries, ultimately as Managing Director of Marketing at Telstra.
Amanda is currently a Non-Executive Director of ING Bank Australia Ltd, a board member of the Minerals Council of Australia and a member of Chief Executive Women and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Of her St Margaret’s education, Amanda reflects: “I loved school and I learned lessons at St Margaret’s that I use every day. I learned the skills required to achieve academic excellence approaching challenges with an open mind, gathering and critically analysing detailed information from a variety of sources, forming my own view and then presenting it in a carefully considered argument. We were expected to do this and pay attention to areas that are rather less fashionable these days like grammar, spelling and process.
“Creating successful business strategies is much the same. It requires diligent preparation and the synthesis of information from multiple sources. Executing strategies successfully requires a disciplined approach and attention to detail at all stages.
“At St Margaret’s, I learned the value of engagement and empathy from the amazing teaching staff and the sisters. They spent time with each of us individually and ensured we learnt from each experience. The ability to engage with my staff and other stakeholders is key to my success in business.
“At St Margaret’s I learned the value of teamwork and friendship and of ensuring you contributed to the team to the best of your ability – I learnt early on that I could generate a lot more house points in debating than I could in athletics!
“Most importantly, St Margaret’s is, at its core, a feminist institution dedicated to assisting girls to achieve their best, to preparing young women so they are able to address the world with confidence unencumbered by notions of gender. I left St Margaret’s confident I could do anything I chose if I applied myself diligently to the task. The lessons I learnt at school are as relevant, valuable and alive to me today as they were then and I thank my parents for sending me to St Margaret’s.”