Defence leaders land at Newcastle Airport

Defence leaders land at Newcastle Airport

Newcastle Airport has further strengthened its Board with the appointment of new Non-Executive Directors, Lee de Winton and Neil Hart.

Effective from 1 January 2022, Lee and Neil will bring skills spanning aviation, Defence, space and national security to an already robust Newcastle Airport Board.

Newcastle Airport Chair, Kirby Clark said the latest acquisitions were a coup for the organisation.

“Our airport is focused on recovering, thriving, and delivering for our region in the wake of COVID-19. Both innovative and future-thinking strategists and leaders, Lee and Neil share our bold ambitions for growth and our vision for being the Airport our region deserves,” Kirby said.

“We’re confident in leading our airport and supporting our region into a post-pandemic future – Lee and Neil’s arrival supports this confidence.”

Named one of the 100 Women of Influence by the 2019 Australian Financial Review, and most recently working with Sydney Metro Airports, Lee de Winton is a Chief Executive with experience in aviation and Defence.

Kirby said Lee’s time spent with the RAAF and in aviation within complex environments would be of invaluable benefit to Newcastle Airport.

“Lee successfully guided Bankstown and Camden Airports through the challenges and uncertainty of the pandemic. Her delivery of these Airports’ Master Plans will yield over $1.8 billion in economic benefit for Western Sydney. As a key economic driver in our own region, that is the kind of planning experience that will massively assist Newcastle Airport’s recovery and future growth.”

Speaking to her appointment, Lee said she was excited to join in Newcastle Airport’s growth.

“Having spent over 17 years in this area, watching the progression of this airport into an exceptional and invaluable asset for the region I am proud to assist with the next phase of the journey,” she said.

“Newcastle Airport does a magnificent job in providing a gateway to the Hunter, Central Coast and Northern NSW regions.

A retired Air Vice-Marshal, Neil Hart has held command at all levels in the military, including operational command of coalition air and space operations embedded with the US Air Force.

The former Professor in Defence Technologies with Deakin University is highly regarded for his coaching of resilient expert teams.

“Neil is an innovation and outcomes focused leader whose extensive experience in strategic risk management and governance will grow our Board’s capability here,” Kirby said.

“As we grow Astra Aerolab and the wider aerospace precinct, Neil’s wealth of expertise will further enhance our national leadership in this space.”

Neil said he was looking forward to contributing to Newcastle Airport’s long-term success.

“There are a great range of opportunities emerging in the aviation sector. After a long association with Newcastle and the Hunter it will be fantastic to be able to help identify and grow the capabilities that will benefit the region.”

Lee de Winton and Neil Hart join Chair Kirby Clark and fellow directors Wayne Wallis, Jude Munro AO, Jeremy Bath, Morgan Parker, Nuatali Nelmes, Ryan Palmer, and Samantha Martin-Williams as of 1 January 2022.

Newcastle Airport

Newcastle Airport is a significant gateway into NSW and the Hunter. As a major transport hub it is critical to economic and social infrastructure and its planned and managed growth has helped underpin the continued prosperity of the Hunter. 

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