Our People: Ending of the Lockton legacy

The 71-year legacy of Lockton’s at the Port has ended.

After 12 years at LPC, Health and Safety Business Partner Luke Lockton is leaving, ending what his grandfather began in 1952.

Starting as a PRP in 2011, he soon went full-time before eventually becoming a member of the health and safety team.

“It is leaving behind a huge part of my life; LPC is a massive part of our family. It’s been a good twelve years, and I have a lot of fond memories of the place for sure,” says Luke.

Luke’s grandfather worked at LPC for 34 years, with his father starting in 1972 and was here for 44 years.

“For a pretty big part of that, there’s been two; grandad worked with Dad for a number of years, then he left, and I started and worked with my father.”

Growing up in Governors Bay, Luke was a local at the Port long before he worked here.

“It was a great place to grow up; when we weren’t in the sea, we were up in the hills.

“One of the go-to activities for birthday parties was to come down and fish off the inner harbour wharves.”

With different safety standards in the 90s, Luke would spend time in operational areas with his Dad.

“When my old man would be doing lines jobs, I’d be down on the wharf with all the guys – before us, health and safety people stopped that.

“We would go down to coal and go in the front-end loaders, even up straddles and up the cranes cause my dad was a crane driver for most of his time here.”

Part of why he joined the port was the good memories he had here – his childhood cementing the decision.

“I left school and went to university and did that for a couple of years, but it wasn’t for me. Then I started plumbing, which was cool, but again, the port was an itch I had to scratch.

“I always saw myself coming to the port, so eventually, I just decided I’m going to do it.”

Since joining in 2011, Luke has held several roles.

“As a cargo handler, I became a health and safety rep, and then I became the chair for the container terminal.”

While working a secondment, a full-time position came up, and he was recommended to apply.

“I like being in a role where you can influence and work with the teams to make a change that could potentially mean someone goes home.

“That’s the thing you keep in your head; you just never know what little changes you help make, or you’re part of that might have prevented something that was potentially going to happen one day.”

Health and safety has changed significantly in his time at the Port in both the culture and the investment in infrastructure.

“When I started here, we were safety conscious, but it wasn’t as front of mind as it is now; very seldom would you hear health and safety conversations happening in the amenities; now it’s very common to hear people discussing hazards or potential improvements.

“The investment in infrastructure has also significantly increased, particularly with the focus on designing the risk out. The new workshop, the inner harbour development, the CityDepot upgrades, and the reefer towers are all great examples of this.

“These two big changes alone mean LPC is on a great path to becoming a healthy and safe workplace”.

Despite Luke leaving the Port, he will still have ties here in his new role at Ravensdown, and expects to make trips to the inner harbour to support the bulk cargo operations.

“You never know what happens in the world; I might be back, and you might not have seen the last of me yet!”

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