The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has appointed eight talented under-35 year-old Rail professionals to its inaugural Young Leaders Advisory Board (Y-LAB) to harness the ideas of young talent in the industry. The Y-LAB will report into the ARA Board, providing a younger perspective on Board priorities as well as tabling new ideas and opportunities for the rail industry.

“This is an exciting new initiative to formally engage the future leaders of our industry,” said ARA CEO Danny Broad.

“Our industry is changing fast, with over $100 billion invested in new projects over the next 10 years, and with new technologies being introduced, we need to engage the future leaders of our industry in key decisions and we are excited to do this through Y-LAB,” he continued.

“The successful applicants demonstrated a breadth of vision with some innovative yet practical ideas to be progressed through the ARA for our industry.”

“Engaging the younger demographic of our industry is a key priority of the ARA. We are excited to establish new ways to converse with under 35 years-olds on future industry directions,” he said.

“The eight appointed individuals represent the diversity of roles and segments of the rail sector, bringing young engineers, planners, compliance and general managers from rail operators, manufacturers, suppliers, contractors and consultants to the table,” said Broad.

There was extensive interest for this initiative from throughout the industry, with almost 50 applications received from across Australia and New Zealand through expressions of interest applications.

In recognition of the excellent quality of these applications, and that natural career movements may create vacancies, the ARA has appointed eight members of the Y-LAB and four Reserve Y-LAB members.

Y-LAB begins work at its first meeting in mid-March in Melbourne and will consider two key priorities on the ARA Board agenda; the promotion and branding of our industry and addressing the skilled labour shortages in rail over the next 10 years.

The inaugural Y-LAB appointees are:

  • Neysa Arland, Control Communications Manager, Transdev Auckland
  • Tegan Ball, Program Manager, Principal Workforce Planner, Queensland Rail
  • Jessica Ghaleb, Track and Civil Engineer, Jacobs
  • Mike Groves, Infrastructure Maintenance Engineer, Network Rail Consulting
  • Abdul Jamal, Design Engineer, John Holland Group
  • Amy Lezela, Head of Engineering, Rolling Stock, Metro Trains Melbourne
  • Liam O’Shannessy, General Manager Maintenance and Operations, Downer (on secondment to Yarra Trams)
  • Jamie Ross Smith, Commercial and Compliance Manager, Unipart

The four Reserve Y-LAB members are:

  • Toby Briggs, Operations Manager, Martinus Rail
  • Jane Gillespie, Senior Consultant, Arup
  • Charlotte Moss, Project Engineer, Bombardier
  • Josh Steed, Team Leader Vehicle Services, SNC Lavalin

An advisory group made up of ARA Board members; Anna Squire of Arup, Rene Lalande of Transdev Australasia and Julian Sharp of CPB Contractors has been instrumental in establishing Y-LAB, reviewing the expressions of interest, appointing the inaugural Y-LAB and will support Y-LAB to ensure it is an asset to our industry.

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