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Tragedy as CEO dies at work

Fremantle Ports chief executive Michael Parker.
Fremantle Ports chief executive Michael Parker.

Fremantle Ports chief executive Michael Parker has died suddenly at work, leaving behind a wife and four children.

Mr Parker, 52, joined Fremantle Ports in May 2021 after almost 26 years at bauxite and aluminium company Alcoa, in both Australia and the United States.

During his time there, he became the managing director/chairman of Alcoa Alumina and Alcoa of Australia between 2015 and 2019.

Michael Parker was at aluminium giant Alcoa previously.
Michael Parker was at aluminium giant Alcoa previously.

Fremantle Ports confirmed their boss had died just after 9am on Wednesday.

“Our focus today has been ensuring Michael’s family, his spouse Wendy, and their four children Ben, Jackson, Sophie and Dan, have our full support and our people receive the care and time they require to process this news,” a statement read.

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“While at the helm of Fremantle Ports, Mr Parker was a dynamic and engaging leader who was extremely well liked by staff throughout the organisation.

“Mr Parker was deeply committed to the safety and wellbeing of all people and led the way in his demonstration of these values.”

Fremantle Ports chairman lauded his chief executive Michael Parker as a wonderful father and exceptional leader.
Fremantle Ports chairman lauded his chief executive Michael Parker as a wonderful father and exceptional leader.

Fremantle Ports said in his three years as chief executive, Mr Parker led an ambitious agenda of change.

“That included a major capital works program to upgrade port assets and a suite of effective organisational change initiatives directed at ensuring the organisation was prepared for a dynamic future in the decades ahead,” the statement read.

Fremantle Ports chair Chris Sutherland added: “He was a wonderful father, an exceptional leader and will be sorely missed.”

WA Ports Minister David Michael said he was “shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing”.

“My thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time as well as to staff at the other state port authorities, many of whom knew and worked with Michael over many years,” he said.

“Since becoming Minister for Ports last June I have had the privilege of working closely with Michael, who I found to be a loyal, diligent and hardworking chief executive officer. He will be sorely missed.”