Long serving WAMSI staffer calls it a day

After more than ten years of dedicated professional service to the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI), Business Manager and Executive Secretary to the Governing Board Linda McGowan farewelled WAMSI to start a new chapter in her life with family.

Linda’s time with WAMSI began in 2008 after the state government invested $21million to maintain and grow Western Australia’s marine science capability and capacity off the back of a recommendation by the Strategic Research Fund for the Marine Environment, a joint venture with CSIRO led by Dr John Keesing (SRFME CEO 2001-2006).

Under the Chairmanship of the former Director General for Fisheries, Dr Peter Rogers (WAMSI Chair 2007-2013), Linda managed the financial, legal and administrative operations for one of the biggest  government, industry and academic joint venture success stories.

“Linda was terrific to work with, very professional and a kindred spirit, always smiling and helpful, a true asset in a collaboration that’s had to forge a path between the many competing interests in a dynamic environment,” Dr Rogers said. “Her diligence on the financial accounts meant there was never any audit issues.”   

After a decade of providing a steady hand at the tiller for two rounds of multimillion dollar programs under the changing captainship of three CEOs, three Chairs and a group of more than 100 researchers, Linda has played a major role in the success of WAMSI. 

WAMSI’s contribution to the understanding of the WA marine environment includes one of the biggest single issue marine research programs, the $20million Dredging Science Node, that has become an international reference for environmental benchmarks in the global dredging industry that’s forecast to be worth $22,840 million in the year 2022.

“I think getting the legal agreements right is the biggest challenge in a collaboration like this,” Linda said. “You can spend an inordinate amount of time and money on this process to get the framework established. And the reward is knowing that the results are being used to make better management decisions.”

As WAMSI moves into its next phase of operation, to implement the marine science priorities identified in the Blueprint for Marine Science 2050, WAMSI CEO Luke Twomey says the joint venture is in a good position as a science collaboration with runs on the board.   

“On behalf of the partners, the researchers and staff I’d like to thank Linda for her invaluable contribution to WAMSI and wish her all the best in her future endeavours,” WAMSI CEO Dr Luke Twomey said.