Barbara Konstas

Current Role – CEO Melbourne Seafood Centre Pty Ltd

  • Initiated the Save Bay Seafood – Community Awareness Campaign to counter closure of  Port Phillip Bay to commercial net fishing.
  • Victorian Director and Treasurer of WinSC
  • Member of Implementation Group – National Peak Body.

My personal experience in the seafood industry dates back to my family origins. My Grandparents hail from the island of Kastellorizo, one of the many small islands in the Dodecanese, Greece, who owned boats and were traders and fishermen.  My paternal grandparents migrated to Australia in 1926 and in 1928 began their first fish shop in Elsternwick an inner southern suburb of Melbourne.

My parents owned retail fish and chip shops and my father, in the mornings, worked at the Melbourne Wholesale Fish Market as an auctioneer, at SAFCOL.  He became  Managing Director of the business in 1968  took full ownership from SAFCOL in 1969 and renamed it Jack Miriklis Pty Ltd, the third major commission Agent at the Melbourne Wholesale Fish Market.

This background was my induction into the seafood business, whereby as part of a family business, all members helped to support and nurture the business so that all members could prosper. In school holidays, I enjoyed the early morning starts, and would help as a booking clerk. That induction into the camaraderie and excitement of the frenetic trading of the market, gave me taste for business and a respect for the fishing industry as a whole.

In 1984, with my husband, we purchased a scallop processing business. At the tender age of 23, I suddenly was thrown into the deep end of running a business on our own and learning all that it was to run a seafood business.

In 2011, I was offered the role of CEO to the Melbourne Seafood Centre Pty Ltd. This new company was borne, as the Melbourne Wholesale Fish Market was closed by the City of Melbourne and the 11 shareholders required a Company representative who could manage and spearhead their new development at Kensington Rd, West Melbourne. The role has now developed into a leadership role whereby the Melbourne Seafood Centre is seen as the central point of seafood wholesaling in Victoria.

The Melbourne Seafood Centre is now the new Melbourne Wholesale Fish Market and the vision and aim for the Centre is that we will move forward and meet the challenges facing our industry. Challenges, such as securing and protecting fisheries resources in Australia and particular Victoria, the understanding and promoting sustainable practices should be considered a positive approach in the seafood industry so that our businesses will be developing and surviving for future generations. I am passionate that through this role I can provide mentoring and leadership to women who work within our seafood community.