Julieanne Alroe shared her inspiring career journey in the aviation industry with guests at the Professional Women’s Network Breakfast hosted by St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School on Tuesday, 20 August.
With over 40 years experience in the aviation industry, Julieanne is one of only a handful of women in the world to run a privatised airport, having retired last year after ten years as CEO and Managing Director of Brisbane Airport Corporation.
Julianne always knew she wanted to work in aviation.
Raised in Hendra, she grew up opposite Brisbane airport where, from a young age, she would hang over the fence watching the aircraft take off and land.
She joked: “Even the crockery in our kitchen used to rattle. So, I guess I started on my journey managing airport noise quite early on!”
“I am not quite sure if it was living across the road from the airport or reading Arthur Hailey’s Airport; that I knew I wanted to work in aviation,” said Julianne.
Having faced gender bias in the industry, it was significant when Julianne became the first woman in Australia to be appointed a management role in an airport, landing the position of Assistant Airport Director at Sydney Airport. After 28 years at Sydney Airport, she was offered the opportunity to run Brisbane Airport.
She revealed that taking risks and having the confidence to take on new challenges helped her to not only land her first role but assisted her throughout her career.
Julieanne also shared, through her own experience, that having integrity, curiosity, a desire to learn and respect for others were essential for success.
She spoke of family being the most important thing imploring: “Family is a person’s greatest strength. Without their love and their support, life is going to be much harder and investment in those relationships is the most valuable investment you’ll make.”
Julieanne also encouraged the audience to “have a little patience” highlighting the fact she became a CEO at age 54, decades after she began on her career journey.
Reflecting on what success for her looked like after a career spanning 43 years in the workforce, she said: “That I left things better than I found them.”
She concluded with these wide words: “Work with something you enjoy. If there’s passion there’s more likely to be success.”