Australia, C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Features

In Profile: Isabella Burke

Sarens' Regional Manager Oceania, Isabella Burke.

With the launch of the 2024 Women in Industry Awards, Cranes and Lifting is profiling women in cranes and engineered heavy-lifting, discussing their careers, their journey, and the importance of a more diverse industry. In this month’s edition, we talk to Sarens’ Regional Manager Oceania, Isabella Burke.

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When they go low, you go high.

It’s a cliché that has been tried and tested, applied to every scenario, and been used over and over – yet, for Sarens’ Isabella Burke, its meaning is still just as pertinent as when Michelle Obama uttered the phrase in the lead-up to the 2016 US Presidential  Election. 

“The world’s moving at a rapid pace to support women in leadership positions,” she said, “and I don’t want to be in a position where I could bring that down through a negative  reaction.” 

Responsible for Australia, New Caledonia, and a recently announced joint-venture in Papua New Guinea, Isabella, as Sarens’ Regional Manager Oceania, fits the mould of women in leadership positions. With a career in the transport, heavy lifting, and logistics industry spanning seven years so far, she arrived at the first crossroad of her career after completing her Bachelor of Business at the Queensland University of Technology in 2016: faced with the choice to either to go down the marketing path, or the international supply chain management route.

The decision, however, was clear for Isabella; embracing her enjoyment of the logistics courses she undertook at QUT, she moved into a graduate position in 2017 at the Brisbane-based, family-owned transport business, Russell Transport. It was there, Isabella explained, that she gained an appreciation for the importance of good mentors who would listen, not be readily dismissive, and be open to constructive conversations. 

The same principle holds true at Sarens, according to Isabella, where she joined in January 2021. As she was keen to underscore, the global engineered-heavy lifting expert is committed to embracing workplace diversity to ensure that the best people are selected for the roles. Importantly, on top of being a socially and professionally inclusive attitude, research conducted by global management consultant McKinsey indicates a positive correlation between workplace diversity and corporate success due to more diverse ways of thinking about the same  subject.

And, after Sarens’ CEO recently said in the Sarens Women+ magazine  that feminism is the belief in equal rights and opportunities for all.  Isabella feels as though she’s working at a company where hard work, effort, and attitude outweigh any gender-based  predispositions.

“It’s important for me that both males and females play an equal role in our evolution into a more diverse, inclusive industry,” she said. “Feminism means wanting the same opportunities and attitudes for everyone, regardless of gender – at Sarens, this is something that we practice consistently.”

Set to be held on June 20, 2024, Prime Creative Media’s ‘Women In Industry’ Awards celebrate the outstanding women in male-dominated industries. Nominations for the event close on April 19, 2024; for more details on how to nominate someone for an award, or for sponsorship opportunities, please visit: 


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