Lorie Argus

Chief Executive Officer | Australia Pacific Airports Corporation (APAC)

  • Culture champion
  • Future focused
  • Innovator
Based in: VIC
Modes: Aviation
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“We are in fierce competition for global Aviation recovery. Airports and Tourism organisations must unite as “Team Victoria” and fight hard to get back the business we had and return this great city and State to the culture icon it still is.”

Current positions

  • Chief Executive Officer, Australia Pacific Airports Corporation (APAC)
  • Chief of Aviation, Melbourne Airport
  • Non-Executive Director, Australia Airports Association

Previous positions

  • Chief of Landside Access, Utilities & Facilities Group, Melbourne Airport
  • Executive General Manager Operations, Melbourne Airport
  • General Manager Network Operations, Queensland Urban Utilities
  • General Manager, Group Ground Operations, Virgin Australia
  • Manager, Sydney Airport, Virgin Australia
  • Manager, Brisbane Airport, Virgin Australia

Career snapshot

Lorie Argus has more than 30 years’ experience in the aviation sector both in airports and airlines.

As Chief of Aviation, she is responsible for all aviation activity, including aviation growth, commercial, operations, traveller experience and capital development. The role entails complex stakeholder management of a multi-faceted regulatory environment including a license to operate. Her role encompasses long term strategy, big infrastructure, complex capital projects and leading teams through a high growth environment. Lorie joined Melbourne Airport in 2015 and proven herself in a number of diverse leadership roles to now be named Chief of Aviation.

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In her own words

I kind of fell into aviation. I come from Gander, a town on the Canadian island of Newfoundland which has an international airport, now famous from the musical Come from Away. Family was heavily involved in the Aviation sector. Growing up it seemed aviation was always around me. When I left school and didn’t know what I wanted to do, I got a weekend job as a tour operator at the airport and from there was approached by a Canadian airline to go into a full-time customer service role as a check-in agent. That early grounding in customer service and leadership has been incredibly valuable throughout my career as I progressed into roles in airlines, then airports.

Moving from airlines into the airport sector was a shift in mindset, more than I anticipated. Coming from a deep airline background I understand what airlines are looking for and what is important to airline customers. At an airport you need to ensure the community assets work optimally for everyone’s operations and needs for all travellers across our precinct.

Right now, airports are facing the biggest challenge seemingly possible - which is how to forecast and plan for capacity and the capital works required to meet future demand in unprecedented and uncertain times. The Aviation sector has been one of the hardest hit, and how do we partner through the pain of the recovery with our airline partners and customers to ensure we can work through reasonable positions and win win opportunities.

We are in fierce competition for national and global recovery to return Melbourne to its former glory. Foreign carriers had shrunk their fleets during the pandemic. Airports and tourism organisations must unite as “Team Victoria” and fight hard to get back the business we had - and ideally more business - to fuel our community and economic recovery for this great city and this great State.

Capturing the opportunity

When it comes to diversity, Aviation is still heavily male dominated. I used to regularly speak to the aviation students at the University of New South Wales and there was always roughly a 50/50 gender split in the classroom. But we are not seeing that translate in our industry numbers. Something is missing between women studying aviation, going into roles, and building long term careers; this needs continued focus and advocacy in our sector and in leadership.

Simplicity wins

Emotional consistency and resilience are key for any leader and my lived experiences have gifted me that. You need to be unshakeable and fearless in your approach.

I also have a ruthless aspiration for simplicity. If I can’t distil and deliver a strategy with 300 initiatives into an elevator pitch that is relatable to all employees, then it is too complicated.

My vision for the next 5 years is...

…the industry has fiercely and successfully competed internationally to rebuild and recover post COVID and our airport once again serves for the broader economic benefit.

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