At Crawford, we are always exploring new ways to attract the next generation of professionals, foster the development of new employees, and continually restock the diverse pool of talent that supplies our industry.
This takes us in multiple different directions and sees our specialists play an active role in a range of different initiatives, events and activities. Kerryn Woonings, a marine surveyor at Crawford & Company Australia, is one of our specialists who is always willing to invest time in the future generation of industry professionals.
A marine cargo and transport liability claims professional with over seven years of sector experience, Kerryn’s passion for all aspects of commercial shipping extends to supporting those who have a desire and drive to make their mark on the marine sector.
One event in particular at which she plays a key part is the International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot Competition (IMLAM). Each year, teams from universities around the world come together to delve deep into the world of maritime law. Students are required to research and prepare a case brief on a fictional maritime law scenario, and then present the case before arbitration panels in a series of oral hearings.
Kerryn has been involved in the competition in various capacities since competing as an undergraduate student in 2009. She now participates as both a panel arbitrator during the oral hearings and assists with judging of the written component.
The 2019 event marked the 20th year of the competition and was held at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. With some 31 teams making it to Rotterdam, over 150 arbitrators were required for the duration of the competition.
The maritime industry is close and collegiate, with a great willingness by industry professionals to give of their time to participate in this competition. IMLAM attracts support from lawyers, judges, arbitrators, insurance specialists, surveyors and academics. This level of interest in the competition is really appreciated by the students, who bestow “celebrity” status on those involved during the week.
For Kerryn, one of the most impactful aspects of the event is the life-changing stories which the students share during the competition. At this year’s event, two stories in particular stood out for her.
The first was a team that demonstrated immense humility, sharing stories that showed the huge lengths they had gone to just to make it to Rotterdam. For them, simply being able to attend was a win – and they made it to the first round of the finals.
The second story related to a team that had experienced a great deal of hardship in their home country in the run-up to the competition and had not known whether they could even attend. Kerryn admitted that as an arbitrator she had been tough on them, but they told her afterwards that if she hadn’t given such constructive feedback, they would not have done so well.
Such events not only provide students with a chance to meet industry professionals, and ask questions that might help guide their career paths, but also they allow people like Kerryn to share with them what it’s like being part of a different industry family such as Crawford. This challenges them to look beyond the legal sector and consider the potential of a career in surveying or loss adjusting as the next generation of problem solvers.
Such events are simply another way in which Crawford helps restore and enhance lives, businesses and communities.