From divine Qualia to deer blood, with Lorie Argus, Melbourne Airport

by Saturday, March 31, 2018

Lorie’s favourite destination….

It is hard to narrow down my favourite destination given I have travelled extensively. Hawaii and Mexico jump to mind as some favourites however, it is hard to beat my most recent holiday to Hamilton Island, but in particular Qualia Resort on Hamilton Island. That resort is absolutely divine; it’s exclusive, it’s adults only, the buildings and architecture are of amazing quality and detail and the windward pavilions are just breathtaking! The spa is to die for and the staff are amazing, down to the finest detail and extraordinary customer service. It is a once in a lifetime experience.

Lorie and her husband on Hamilton Island, Queensland.

Lorie’s top tip…

Do not do anything yourself! There are many great restaurants on Hamilton Island but they book up early, so in advance have the guest services team at Qualia do your dinner bookings for the week and do all your planning for you. It would be easy to stay at the resort 24/7 but it is always nice to take your buggy and venture out for dinner. However, it is hard to get a table during peak periods; the secret is the local restaurants always hold a spot for Qualia guests, so even if they say they are fully booked, if Qualia guest services call, ta-da, you have a table!

Relaxing at Qualia, on Hamilton Island, Queensland.

Something Lorie always packs…

I do not stress too much about packing… my philosophy is as long as you have a passport, a bathing suit that fits, some comfortable shoes and a credit card really everything else is just a bonus. However, I never leave home without my travel bag of medicines! It is hard to rely on doctors or chemists globally so in my kit bag you will always find headache tablets, hand sanitizer, Band-Aids, first aid cream, stomach tablets, cold tablets, throat lozenges, and a general antibiotic that could cover most illnesses.  Some call it obsessed, I call it organised. I recently went to China with a group of 10 others and everyone made fun of me for my bag, but bet your bottom dollar they all came to me with aliments and requirements during the trip 😉

A destination on Lorie’s bucket list…

Tahiti is on my bucket list for sure. The thought of all those lush tropical islands, the amazing resorts… I dream about my over-water bungalow, my outdoor secluded shower, my personal canoe tied up to the villa. Venturing to the spa and looking at the glass-bottomed room watching the fish go by as I have a four-handed (2 person) 90-minute massage. YES! I would then wander down to the bar for some French champagne and ponder my seafood menu – prawns or lobster?

The view from Lorie’s room at Qualia, on Hamilton Island, Queensland.

A travel disaster – or near-miss…

I am a pretty lucky traveller, being in the industry you know all the tricks, like always check the bag tag yourself to ensure your agent has tagged it to the right destination and always watch it go down the belt to ensure it isn’t left behind the counter, so in this regard I am always planned and prepared. However, my most terrible travel disaster was when I was younger travelling with my mom in Canada and someone had put deer meat in the overhead locker which had thawed during the trip. It was a long journey and during my sleep, I was sure I felt condensation from the air conditioning dripping on me, only when the lights came on I saw that I was covered in blood as the deer meat was dripping out from the overhead, EWWWWW! Which leads to my last tip, always carry one change of clothes on the plane with you.


About Lorie Argus, Chief of Parking and Ground Access, Melbourne Airport

Lorie Argus is a unique and talented individual who, as part of the Melbourne Airport leadership team, brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for her current role as the Chief of Parking and Ground Access at Melbourne Airport. Responsible for the largest landside infrastructure in Australia, Lorie has commercial oversight of marketing and sales, operations, finance and human resources. Firmly focused on delivering a product directly to the customer, Lorie navigates the complexity of her role with a sophisticated understanding of the customer experience whilst managing multiple stakeholders to ensure smooth running. If that isn’t enough, Lorie also helps to create overall strategy and company culture. As a lover of life with an effusive personality, Lorie is in tune with her colleagues and a great listener – key attributes in any leader. One of the few women globally in a role like this, none of this is a surprise.

Lorie was raised in Canada and her father was an air traffic controller. With her family, she moved all over Canada to pursue her father’s career. Interestingly, Lorie was a semi-professional figure skater, starting on the ice when she was just three! Dedication to the sport saw Lorie skating up to four hours daily by the time she was 13 and she loves the sport to this day. With aviation in her blood, she grew up with one eye on the sky as her understanding of the complexities of air travel and the enormous logistics and organisation behind the scenes became second nature. It piqued her interest to follow her Dad’s footsteps and pursue a career. And what a career it has been. Leaving home early to chase her career dreams, Lorie says that independence, hard work and resilience have been the cornerstones of her success. And as one of the very few women holding such senior positions in Aviation around the world, Lorie has indeed been a trailblazer in her field.

Starting work in this industry as a check-in agent, Lorie went on to experience and learn all aspects of the aviation landscape, working as a baggage agent, in network operations and load control, and as a supervisor and manager in her native Canada before her big career break in Australia appeared. Moving half-way across the world, her sense of adventure and professional drive securely in place, Lorie quickly moved through the ranks after joining the Virgin Group of Airlines in 2003. Working initially as the Manager of International Airport Operations, Lorie went on to hold a range of significant roles with Virgin ranging from responsibility for Business Performance to roles as Airline Manager of Brisbane and then Sydney Airports, culminating with her promotion to General Manager, Ground Operations for Virgin Australia, based back in Brisbane. With a thorough understanding of the world of aviation from the airside, Lorie then took a steady turn into the world of infrastructure as the General Manager, Network Operations for Queensland Urban Utilities, overseeing all aspects of water and sewerage delivery.

Armed with extensive knowledge of aviation and now infrastructure, Lorie decided to combine her skills, bringing them together into one highly knowledgeable and professional point. She initially joined Melbourne Airport as Executive of Operations but was soon asked to head the Parking and Ground Access area as the Airport management had recognised the need for some serious experience and vision in this part of the business.

Lorie is a woman who gets things done. A good listener, she is able to take in huge amounts of complex information and distil them into a plan of action – a plan whose ultimate goal is to deliver visitors to Melbourne Airport a superior visitor experience. The driving force behind the recent reduction in terminal parking prices, Lorie is a customer champion and spirited leader with a passion for aviation who brings her extensive and unique skills to a challenging role. Her proven capabilities across many aspects of the travel sector continue to enhance the customer experience and journey through Melbourne Airport.