Nicole Lockwood

Chair | Infrastructure Western Australia

  • Change agent
  • Future focused
  • Sustainability advocate
Based in: WA
Modes: Road Rail Aviation Maritime
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“Transport is an enabler of our lives. It’s not about driving trucks and trains and moving big things. It’s about supporting our lifestyle.”

Current positions

  • Chair, Infrastructure Western Australia
  • Chair, Malka Foundation
  • Chair, Airbridge
  • Board Member, Green Building Council of Australia
  • Board Member, WA Association for Mental Health
  • Director, Lockwood Advisory
  • Member, Chief Executive Women

Previous positions

  • Deputy Chair, Infrastructure WA
  • Chair, Freight and Logistics Council of WA
  • Independent Chair, Westport Taskforce
  • Board Member, Water Corporation
  • Non Executive Chair, MNG
  • Deputy Chair, Leadership WA
  • Board Member, Infrastructure Australia Board
  • Board Member, Internet of Things Alliance Australia
  • Board Member, Tourism Western Australia
  • Director KPMG Australia
  • Associate Director, KPMG Australia
  • Council Member, Infrastructure Australia
  • Commissioner, Western Australian Planning Commission
  • President/Councillor, Shire of Roebourne
  • Chair/Commissioner, Pilbara Development Commission
  • Director, Horizon Power
  • Principal Solicitor, Pilbara Community Legal Service
  • Research Assistant/Prosecutor, Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Articled Clerk/Restricted Practitioner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Career snapshot

Nicole Lockwood is an experienced executive, with 20 years working in law, government and consulting including 14 years of board experience on government, corporate and not for profit boards. Her background in infrastructure, economic development and community engagement provides her with a unique insight into the complexity of planning and delivering large economic and infrastructure projects in an environment of ever-changing social expectations.

She is the Chair of Infrastructure WA, the Malka Foundation and Airbridge and member of the Boards of the Green Building Council of Australia and the WA Association for Mental Health.

Nicole provides strategic advice to government and the private sector, overseeing major infrastructure and integrated planning initiatives, including the Future Fremantle Planning Committee and Westport Taskforce which developed a 50-year freight and trade plan for the SW of WA. Nicole has worked throughout regional WA as well as on national and metropolitan economic and infrastructure initiatives. She has a passion for sustainability and resilience building and the creation of thriving cities and communities equipped to embrace the challenges and opportunities of climate change and digital disruption.

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In her own words

I was a lawyer and practised for six years, before moving to the Pilbara for my husband’s role and got involved in local government. By virtue of the challenges and opportunities in that region one of the first roles I took on involved joining a heavy vehicle sustainable rate committee, charged with looking at how could we make the heavy vehicle industry continue to work with the long-haul driving and distance challenges. It was my first opportunity to understand what sat behind how communities function in a region like the Pilbara. Since that time, my roles have involved infrastructure and planning, and by its nature transport is a huge part of these sectors.

A defining moment in my career was becoming the Mayor of the City of Karratha (a role then known as President of Roeborne Shire). It opened so many doors and because of Karratha’s location I had the opportunity to get right to the heart of systems planning, economic development, and to really understand what makes people stay or leave a city.

Enabling lives

Looking at gender in transport, it is definitely not balanced because of the history of the industry and the types of roles that sit within it. It’s also about people outside the industry not understanding that transport is an enabler of our lives. It’s not about driving trucks and trains and moving big things. It’s about supporting our lifestyle. And the roles in infrastructure and freight logistics, in particular, are complex and interesting. There is so much variety and many dimensions in transport. But you wouldn’t appreciate the industry looking in unless you knew someone working in it or you had some interface with it. We need to change that.

Demonstrating diversity

All of the different modes and sub sectors are doing their piece to attract women to their workforces, but the transport industry is struggling with its workforce full stop. Many of the type of roles such as truck drivers and machinery operators, are not overly appealing, and the current age profile means we have an issue with workforce regardless of gender. We need to rethink how the industry is marketed to both young people and women and as technology becomes more prevalent, roles may be more appealing. We also must show development pathways. If someone joining the industry thinks ‘I am walking into a role and that’s it for the rest of my career’, I don’t know many kids these days who would think that is enticing. Young people are seeking a different value proposition to 15, 30 years ago.

Increasing representation of women across the industry will be a slow burn. It’s something you must model, do well and allow others to see you do it well. Then they will join you. Talking about it is a waste of time. You must demonstrate your commitment to diversity through action.

It’s also about asking women what they are looking for and crafting roles that will appeal, rather than saying ‘this is the job, this is the industry, this is the skills set I need, do you fit or not?’

This industry is all about understanding systems and women have a huge role to play in that space. Women naturally think about the connections between things, and have a strength in networks, and understanding the drivers of issues. The risk in transport and infrastructure is the fragmentation. The challenges of climate change are too big for any one company to solve on their own. The complexity means we need good system thinkers and good networkers to bring people together to understand where the opportunities for collaboration exist and that’s something women do really well. It’s what we need right now to tackle what’s coming.

My vision for the next 5 years is...

…more women in visible leadership positions helping change the thinking on how we plan and deliver services, while working through huge, complex issues including climate change together as an industry.

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