In Profile: Wendy Weir
Wendy Weir’s journey at Brisbane Airport Corporation started in 2005 – when the new runway was just in its planning stages. Now 14 years later, Wendy is the manager of Environment and Sustainability, and the completion of the runway is just around the corner.
We spoke to Wendy about her career so far – from protecting rare species in the wild to dealing with environmental challenges in an airport context.
How did your airport career begin?
I was originally a consultant working on a BAC project and saw firsthand how exciting airports are to work at. When an opportunity arose to work for Brisbane Airport Corporation, I didn’t hesitate to apply for an Environment Coordinator position. Every day at airports presents new challenges and opportunities and it’s an exciting workplace.
What is an average day like in your role?
Today (like any other day) I supported my team on topics such as new terminal bin designs to maximise recycling rates in public areas; getting a contract signed to participate in a government and industry led circular economy innovation lab; sought senior management endorsement on setting ambitious environmental sustainability targets; helped on-board a new team member; negotiated environmental lease clauses in a new tenant lease agreement; discussed environmental contamination issues; and informed our company secretary on new corporate governance guidelines addressing climate risk.
How else do you get involved with the airport industry/keep up with new developments?
I participate in airport industry environmental forums such as the AAA Environment Networking Group and the Airports Council International regional and world environment committees; and read aviation specific e-newsletters, particularly on sustainability topics.
What do you love most about your job?
The diversity of the role; the people I work with; and having a place to make a difference.
What is challenging about your job?
Every challenge is an opportunity in disguise – it’s important to see challenges that way and learn and adapt. Airports are an ever-changing environment to work within and adaptability, flexibility and long-term goals are often required.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to take on a similar role at an airport?
Airports are a great way to develop diverse environmental compliance and sustainability knowledge and experience, and it’s possible to continue to specialise on a specific aspect too.
What are your long-term career plans/developments for the airport?
I recently completed a Master of Business Administration majoring in accounting. I’m keen to continue developing my skills in the corporate governance of sustainability and see where that takes me.
Do you have any particularly proud moments in your career?
It was my recommendation to put land aside for biodiversity conservation and we are proud that 10 per cent of Brisbane Airport’s land mass is dedicated to conservation. We almost have our new runway operating and it’s very exciting. It has been a long time in the planning and I have been here the whole time. I feel like it’s been part of my journey.
I’m also quite proud of finding range extensions for some rare species in my early career.
This article was written for the Australian Airport Association’s Women in Airports Network – an online community to support the advancement of women across all aspects of airport operations.