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As Head of the International Restart Program at Qantas, it would be fair to assume that Lyle Brownscombe has a fair bit going on at the moment.

But when the chance came to stand for election as Group E Director at Qantas Super, he thought it would be an interesting opportunity to apply his skills in finance and strategy with a new team working on a very different set of challenges.

“There are really important issues to think about in super, particularly given the regulatory focus on the sector right now,” he explained. “Plus, particularly during COVID, it’s nice to spend some time focused on a world that’s very different to aviation.”

There was also a sense of unfinished business in standing for election – Lyle had also run in the Group E election in early 2020. He came in just a few votes behind Maria Cheung, who stepped down from the role after leaving the Qantas Group in mid-2021.

The role on the Board is the latest for Lyle in a long career at Qantas. Trained as an accountant, he first joined the company through its graduate program in 2008. Over the years, he’s worked across areas including group strategy, international network planning, and operations planning before taking on the role of Head of International Restart Program in early 2021.

Between working with medical and government experts to figure out things like border changes and vaccine requirements, and the logistics of standing up all staff to return to flying, Lyle attended his first round of Qantas Super Committee and Board meetings following quickly after his election in November 2021.

Here, he said the breadth of diversity in the (virtual) room – across everything from the topics on the agenda to the experience of the Board – was a clear standout.

“Listening to the insights everyone was bringing from their different experiences, it was clear this is a very capable, passionate group of people.”

Coming on board as a Member-elected Director, joining Directors representing groups including pilots, cabin crew, LAMEs, and engineers, Lyle said the best interests of the entire Qantas Super membership are front of mind for all.

“It was definitely clear to me that, while you’re there to represent the group that elected you and everyone brings important insights to the table from their colleagues on the ground, there’s no treating the groups differently,” he said.

As he settles into the role, Lyle said he’s looking forward to learning more about the fund and working to improve member outcomes.

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