Our Team


The Board of WICET consists of an independent Chairman and representatives from the consortium of owners. The current Board members are:

        1.  Darryl McDonough (Independent Chairman)
        2.  Stephen Pilcher (Aquila Resources)
        3.  Anthony Pitt (Glencore)
        4.  Gerry Spindler (Coronado Curragh)
        5.  Mike Dodd (Yancoal)


Darryl McDonough

Darryl McDonough - Independent Chairman

  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons)
  • Doctorate of Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Business (Acty)

Darryl McDonough is legally qualified and an experienced independent non-executive director of 30 years standing including terms as chair and board member of ASX listed and other entities.

As well as being Independent Chairman of Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Ltd (WICET) since 15 May 2017, Darryl currently holds the position of chair of ASX listed GWA Group Limited and unlisted QInsure Limited. Darryl’s previous appointments include director and chair of Clayton Utz and director of Bank of Queensland Limited and what is now Super Retail Limited.

Darryl has extensive board and governance experience in the private and public sectors and strong corporate and commercial law experience across manufacturing, retail, banking and mining including M&A, IPO and capital raisings.

Ben Yaksich - Chief Executive Officer

  • Bachelor of Engineering – Mechanical
  • Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment
  • Graduate Diploma in Maintenance Management 

Ben Yaksich was initially appointed to the role of GM-Ramp Up in October 2015, and then transitioned to the role of CEO in April 2016.

Ben is a performance focused mining and metals industry executive with a record of delivering results in multiple commodity markets.  Ben’s experience encompasses management of large operations in remote locations, strategic planning and implementation, project development, asset management, materials processing and supply chain management.  Ben’s senior management roles include Head of Strategic Planning, Development and Projects for BHP Billiton Manganese Australia, General Manager and Director of GEMCO (Groote Eylandt Mining Company), and General Manager of South Walker Creek Mine.  Prior to these senior appointments Ben worked in a number of roles focused on asset maintenance and plant performance, experience and skills critical to WICET’s ongoing success.

Alana Allard - Legal Counsel & Company Secretary

  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Commerce (marketing major)

Alana Allard was appointed to the role of Legal Counsel & Company Secretary in August 2016 after working as Legal Counsel at WICET since early 2014.

Alana is a legal professional with over 14 years in-house legal experience in the areas of building and construction, and specialised experienced in BCIPA and claims management. She has extensive knowledge and experience in relation to contract disputes, which has been critical to her role as Legal Counsel with WICET during the construction phase.

Matt Talbot

Matt Talbot – Human Resources & Services Manager

  • Bachelor of Commerce (Industrial Relations, Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management)

Matt has recently been appointed to the role of Human Resources & Services Manager, and has responsibility for areas including People & Culture, Community Relations and Corporate Communications.

Matt is a Human Resources professional with extensive operational and global experience across all facets of HR within the resources and heavy industry sectors. He has a strong emphasis on building capability within individuals and teams and has further expertise in leading HR Transformational activities focused on improvement, change and stakeholder management and working in merger, acquisition and divestment environments.


Allan Christensen - Operations Manager

  • Diploma of Maintenance Management
  • Diploma of Front Line Management
  • Electrician

Allan Christensen was initially appointed to the role of Asset Manager in February 2016, this role was responsible for the maintenance and engineering activities across site. Since November 2017 he has added the operational role to his portfolio. 

With 28 years of experience in mining and port operations across 5 products, he is results oriented with a high focus on safety and efficiency.


Trent Attard - HSE Manager

  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Biology)
  • Bachelor of Environmental Science
  • Diploma of Workplace Health and Safety

Trent Attard was initially appointed to the role of Environment Manager during the construction phase in August 2012, and then transitioned to the role of HSE Manager in May 2015. 

Trent is a result-orientated HSE Manager with nearly 20 years’ experience in the consultancy, construction and port industries.  He has a proven ability to identify business opportunities and provide the management and technical expertise to a team, focusing on the disciplines of health, safety, environment, risk, cultural heritage, emergency response, security, compliance, and approvals.


Laurie Lefcourt - Chief Financial Officer

  • Bachelor of Finance and Administration
  • Chartered Accountant of Australia and New Zealand - Fellow
  • Chartered Professional Accountant – Canada
  • Graduate – Institute of Company Directors

Laurie Lefcourt was appointed to the role on an interim basis on 11 June 2018.

Laurie is a finance professional with over 30 years’ experience in commercial and government enterprises.  Laurie commenced her career with Ernst & Young, and has since held various senior finance management roles in a variety of industries, including mining, oil and gas, agriculture and infrastructure encompassing large and small operations in remote and regional Australia.  Laurie’s senior management roles include Finance and Risk Manager, Rio Tinto Coal Australia, CFO of Queensland Rail, Head of Finance and Planning for Sinopec Oil and Gas Australia, and CFO of GenTech Seeds.  Laurie has a strong emphasis on ensuring business plans align to the strategy and risk management of the organisation, and providing the support required to enable execution of the company strategy.

Laurie currently holds a non-executive director role with Tamawood Pty Ltd (ASX:TWD) and is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.