Young leaders in boardroom

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has appointed four new members to its Young Leaders Advisory Board (Y-LAB), alongside two reserve members.

Launched in 2019, Y-LAB aims to harness the ideas of young talent in the rail industry and consider issues, projects and priorities on the ARA Board agenda, reporting into the ARA Board to provide its position, proposals and/or advice.

The new appointees are:

  • Miss Jane Gillespie, Senior Consultant of Arup
  • Mr Josh Steed, Team Lead of SNC Lavalin
  • Ms Melanie Bowden, Area Manager of CPB Contractors
  • Mr Alexander Davies, Project Manager of the Australian Rail Track Corporation

In recognition that natural career movements may create vacancies, two reserve members have been appointed: 

  • Miss Tahni Littlejohn, Systems Analyst Manager of Transport Canberra City Services 
  • Karthik Krishna Kumar, Project Manager of Bombardier

The new appointments join the following four continuing Y-LAB members for this year: 

  • Liam O’Shannessy, General Manager Commercial, Major Projects of Downer
  • Jessica Ghaleb, Engineer – Track & Civil of Jacobs
  • Neysa Arland, Control Communications Manager of Transdev
  • Abdul Jamal, Interface Manager, Waterloo Station of John Holland

The eight person Y-LAB provides advice and proposals to the ARA Board to provide a voice for and champion the industry’s younger demographic, and consider youth focussed issues, projects and priorities.

ARA Chair and Acting CEO, Danny Broad, said he was delighted to see the second generation of Y-LAB appointed

“The Inaugural Y-LAB made a big impact last year, giving us some clear direction on how to attract a younger workforce, participating in the ARA Board’s Strategy Day to develop our 2019-24 strategic plan and many other key contributions,” Mr Broad said.

“The fact that we had such a strong field to draw from, with 37 applicants is testament to the eagerness of younger employees to contribute to the future of our industry and I look forward to working with the second iteration of Y-LAB in the year ahead.

“I’d like to thank our outgoing members, Jamie Ross-Smith of UniPart, Tegan Ball of Queensland Rail, Amy Lezela of Metro Trains Melbourne and Mike Groves of Network Rail Consulting for their contributions during 2019.”

The first meeting of Y-LAB for 2020 will take place on the 3rd March in Sydney, hosted by Arup.

Y-LAB is supported by ARA Board members; Julian Sharp of CPB Contractors, Anna Squire of Arup and Leah Waymark of Metro Trains Australia. 

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