19 Aug 2019

THREE long-serving staff who have devoted a collective 118 years of service to North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) reflect on their favourite memories and milestones in the port’s history.

NQBP CEO Nicolas Fertin said with the Port of Mackay 80th anniversary being celebrated this year, it’s important to recognise and acknowledge the people behind the port.

“Over the last eight decades many people inside and outside our organisation have contributed to the success of the port.”

“This includes our port customers, port users, tenants, suppliers, and our staff and the families that support them.”

Bronnie Kapitzke

Much-loved Administration Officer, Bronnie Kapitzke, is the longest serving female staff member of NQBP with almost 44 years of service.

Mrs Kapitzke started at the Mackay Harbour Board on 21 October 1975, at just 16.

"We had no computers, but typewriters, no mobile phones or coffee machines. I had to make morning and afternoon teas for all staff in the office twice a day," Mrs Kapitzke said.

She was the first female employee to sign up for the shipping roster back in 1994, to berth and sail ships coming in and out of Mackay Harbour.

Amongst Mrs Kapitzke’s memories from the past 44 years are cyclones, new wharves for a growing variety of trades and numerous cruise and navy ship visits to mention a few.

Debbie McDonald  

Well respected Reporting Support Officer Debbie McDonald will celebrate 40 years at the Port of Mackay on 23 April 2020.

Mrs McDonald said there are so many favourite memories.

“I feel privileged every day to work in such a historically significant part of Mackay.

“The view of the water and the people are pretty special as well,” Mrs McDonald said.

“Being involved on the finance side in the construction of major projects like the grain terminal, wharf five and the workshop complex were exciting times.”

The biggest change Debbie witnessed over the last four decades was the merger of Mackay Ports and Ports Corporation of Queensland to form North Queensland Bulk Ports.

Greg Steward

Port Service Worker Greg Steward’s proudest achievement since joining the Port of Mackay on 19 April 1983 is helping train young people.

“In 36 years there are so many memories, my favourites are from working with this great bunch of people and making life-long friendships.”

When asked what he most enjoys about working at the port, he responded “Working beside the water and no two days are the same.”

Mr Stewards biggest achievements was being part of the establishment of the conservation areas, revegetation and the Kommo Toera Trail on Keeleys Road.

The biggest change he has seen at the Mackay Harbour was the construction of the new Southern Breakwater for the development of the Mackay Marina.


Editors notes:

This year the Port of Mackay is turning 80 and to celebrate North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) is inviting you to the party on Sunday 25 August.

From 10am to 3pm Old Mulherin Park will come alive with good old-fashioned fun.

To mark the milestone, NQBP is hosting the Port of Mackay’s 80th Anniversary Maritime Carnival.

The day will recreate the initial opening of the port in 1939 with live entertainment and maritime-themed, free, family friendly activities.

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation contact:
Amanda Blines | Senior Advisor Community Relations
07 4969 0774 | Ablines@nqbp.com.au