Vince Neville

General Manager-Distribution, Viva Energy

Vince is the eldest child of a family of 5 children who emigrated to Australia in the early 1970’s and was educated through the state school system in Brisbane. He graduated with a first class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Queensland University of Technology (formerly the Institute of Technology).  HIs early career was in Northern Queensland maintaining and improving a very old plant and waste management system. It gave him great basics in managing people, developing relationships and importantly, the role of safety in operations.

He then spent a few years in the mining industry in the Northern Territory developing planning skills, improved plant turnaround practices and facing a myriad of other technical challenges. Being thrust into a team leader role gave him exposure to the challenges of leadership.  A move back to Brisbane

secured a role which would be the foundation of his current career in the oil industry, joining what was then Mobil Oil Australia as a project engineer within their terminal operations.  

From there he  moved to a career with Shell, and now Viva Energy, which started in Brisbane, 30 years ago.  HIs career there has been one of evolving from project and general operations based activities to an even more specialised ‘technical’ authority role within the global distribution business, where you have to ‘influence’, coach and mentor people and teams, especially around change and doing things they are not necessarily wanting to do.

Re-joining the Australian operations of Shell, he took on the challenge of closing the refinery in Sydney and converting into an efficient import terminal. A task that has taken 8 years and where he ultimately led a team of a 100+ people,.  Four years ago he took on his current role as Head of Distribution in Australia and now oversees a 500+ person operation, plus a similar number of contractors across Australia. HIs a team of 13 direct reports help manage this large operation.

He’s been part of Viva Energy’s senior leadership training program, based on the Leadership Circle framework, and has filtered this down to lower levels of the organisation. He’s a strong advocate for its use and insight into behaviours and how it can help what is a new organisation now, as Viva Energy, be the company it wants to be.


PANEL DISCUSSION #1, Tuesday 3 September

Leadership Development in organisation: How are organisations meeting the demands of the business through developing leaders?

Is the buzzword of transformation really relevant? How is business impact measured? Where does innovation and agility meet basic leadership fundamentals? What are the differences between a state only organisation and a national focused organisation?