International Women’s Day – AKD Employee Spotlight

At AKD, we embrace all that makes us different, and we recognise the benefits that these differences can create. Today, on International Women’s Day, we celebrate the women throughout our organisation and the contributions they make. We’ve shined the spotlight on some of these women who kindly shared their experience.

Veronica joined the AKD Caboolture team in 2022 as a process worker in the drymill. Her role involves many different tasks such as being a machine operator, wrapping and strapping timber packs, operating mobile plant and administrative support. As her teams ‘Health and Safety Representative’, Veronica found it to be a great way to gain further knowledge in health and safety through the continuous training AKD provides.

“As a single mother I’ve faced challenges of work-life balance, however I was able to approach AKD and received the support I needed. I enjoy the challenge of working in an environment where you can constantly develop and build on your skills.”

“My advice for someone who is thinking of joining AKD… Go for it! There are so many different opportunities, also the support and encouragement of work-life balance and the desire to always improve as a company is exciting.”

In her first year at AKD, Tracy’s journey has already progressed from Dispatch Administrator to Fleet Controller, where she manages a team of 14 truck drivers and the chain of responsibility compliances, while also communicating with transport contractors.

“Each day can bring a new set of challenges, but sometimes that’s the best part of the job.”

“As an ex-travel agent, I was unsure of what to do with myself after Covid. Coming to AKD has proven to be a surprising career change, full of possibilities and support to help me grow into my role. Give it a go and you might surprise yourself.”

When Sam came to AKD she was halfway through her Wood Machinist Apprenticeship but applying for a vacant operation position. Seeing her enthusiasm and passion for the trade, we jumped at the chance to get Sam fully qualified while becoming a supervisor.

“My managers were extremely supportive of me finishing the apprenticeship and provided the time I needed to complete my trade qualifications. I’m now leading the drymill team to meet production requirements while ensuring that it is done in the safest way possible.”

“AKD offers the sustainability and growth for a career in a regional location while challenging you to reach your personal goals.”

Kirsty is about to celebrate her two years anniversary with AKD in her newly crafted position designed to support our Health, Safety and Environment teams through training, development, and system integration development.

“My highlight has been collaborating with each AKD site on HSE to create a safe and productive workplace for everyone.”

“I joined AKD for a better work/life balance. You might not have considered the forestry industry previously but there are so many opportunities for development. AKD is a company with a focus on growth and values its employees.”

Jo has been a valued member of AKD for 30 years having held various positions during that time including being a key role in implementing the company’s Truck Overload Policy, being one of the first in the industry to have a formal program. Jo has been able to utilise her technical, practical, and personal skills she has developed with AKD, to pass that knowledge on to others and to mentor as the chair of AKD’s Gender Diversity Working Group.

“It has been a journey that has had many twists and turns but has been exciting and fulfilling. I love being out in the plantations meeting with the operators and the private growers. Everyone is so passionate about their land and trees, and it is a privilege to assist them when they come to harvest.”

“AKD has provided me with so many opportunities but what stands out for me was the support I received when completing my Graduate Diploma in Forest Science and Management from 2010 to 2015. International Women’s Day is a day to recognise Women’s achievements, especially in the workforce. I work in an inclusive environment, and everybody should have that.”

With over 30 years at AKD, Tracey has seen the role of women in the industry grow, breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes and also a shift into safer work standard.

“My journey began with the intention to help a friend by working 2 days a week for a 6-week timeframe, with general office duties. 30 years later, I’m still here and working in Sales.”

“It has been amazing to see the roles of women in our industry get a lot stronger. For quite of few years, women were not really valued in our industry or taken seriously. I remember taking a sales call and being told “just put me onto one of the guys”.

“Not only have I seen the business and industry grow, but I have worked with amazing colleagues, celebrating milestones and life events together from weddings, welcoming children and now grandchildren.”