In Episode 121 of the No Limitations podcast A Rising Tide Floats All Boats, Blenheim Partners’ Gregory Robinson speaks with Paul Scurrah, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific National.

In a highly engaging discussion, Paul, having worked at the pinnacle of logistics in Australia across all of rail, air and ports, shares his unique vision for the future of freight transport in Australia. Paul emphasises the need for a big-picture perspective as well as the importance of supply chain as an engine room for growth. Paul provides some salutary lessons from his time at the helm of Virgin Australia including its storied rivalry with Qantas and some advice for current airline management at a time when results and key decisions are much publicised, scrutinised and criticised. Paul sheds light on best practice for managing crises, having led through the darkest days of COVID-19 as well as, earlier in his career, having overseen Queensland Rail when most of its rail network was submerged by unprecedented floods. Paul discusses the substantial opportunities on offer for Australia in rail freight and touches on a range of interesting topics including high-speed rail networks, the appropriate place for ESG in commercial decision-making and the need for an apolitical and bipartisan future for rail and the broader transport sector. Lastly, Paul describes the touchstone values which have sustained him through the difficulties and successes in the upper echelons of corporate Australia, as well as his personal journey that took place away from the Boardroom.

Paul was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific National in 2021. His executive career began as Managing Director – Wholesale and Group Executive Director at The AOT Group and then as Chief Executive Officer at Thereafter Paul held significant roles as Chief Executive Officer of Queensland Rail and as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of DP World Australia. More prominently, Paul served as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Virgin Australia. Paul has served on a number of Boards, notably Australia Post, Gold Coast Suns Football Club and RPM Global.

Please note: this episode was recorded on 26 June 2023.

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