Australasian Railway Association ARA Y-LAB

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has appointed its inaugural Young Leaders Advisory Board (Y-LAB) to contribute a younger perspective to the organisation.

Y-LAB is made up of eight under-35-year-old rail professionals who will report to the ARA Board. Members will be invited to table new ideas and opportunities for ARA and the rail industry.

ARA CEO, Danny Broad, said Y-LAB was an exciting new initiative to formally engage the future leaders of the rail sector.

“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,” Mr Broad 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.

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

The appointment of eight members of the Y-LAB and four Reserve Y-LAB members was due in part to a recognition that natural career movements may create vacancies.

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

Mr Broad said the successful applicants demonstrated a breadth of vision with some innovative yet practical ideas to be progressed through the ARA for the rail industry.

“Engaging the younger demographic of rail 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.

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 ten years.

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