ARA Future Leaders Program

Aiming to create and retain great leaders throughout rail, the 2019 ARA Future Leaders Program commenced in Sydney, bringing 35 emerging leaders from throughout the Australasian rail industry together to develop their leadership skills and build networks across the sector.

The six month program provides a holistic view of the rail industry and its future direction, develops leadership and management skills of the participants and sees group projects completed with assistance from industry mentors.

The program connects and creates a broad network of young leaders. To nurture this network, the ARA launched an Alumni in September 2018 and through this Alumni, will continue to link young stars throughout the industry.

The 2019 ARA Future Leaders Program is structured across three face-to-face workshops. The final projects will be presented as part of the AusRAIL Plus 2019 Agenda. Workshop one held in July was sponsored by Jacobs in Sydney. The Future Leaders Alumni and 2019 Participants Day and workshop two to be held in September will be sponsored by Port of Melbourne in Melbourne. The final workshop is to be held the day before AusRAIL Plus in Sydney.

Further information can be found in the ARA Future Leaders Program brochure

The 2019 ARA Future Leaders are:

  • Luke Stevenson, Head of Project Management Office, 2XM Projects
  • Georgina Turnor, Head of Finance, Arc Infrastructure
  • Brendan Cassels, Senior Engineer, Arup Pty Limited
  • Subrina Rahman, Senior Engineer, Aurecon
  • Trajan (Terry) Dostinoski, NDT Technician, Team Leader, Bureau Veritas
  • James Shaw, Senior Systems Engineer, Calibre Group
  • Luke Parker, Project Engineer, CPB Contractors
  • Tristan Smith, Acting Unit Manager Electrification and Projects, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
  • Dan Adams, Manager – Engineering, GFG – Liberty Primary Steel
  • Renae Carter, HR Business Partner, Inland Rail – ARTC
  • Nithurshan Nadarajah, Research Engineer, Institute of Railway Technology (Monash University)
  • Craig Edmondson, Rail Engineer, Jacobs Australia Pty Ltd
  • Aaron Hargraves, Senior Systems Assurance Engineer, John Holland Pty Ltd – Rail Division
  • Brett Ebrington, Project Engineer – Rolling Stock, MTM
  • Marijan Harris, Senior Project Engineer, Novo Rail
  • Matthew Parker, Regional Train Driver, NSW Trainlink
  • Jakson Sturt-Pavlovich, Operations Supervisor, Pacific National
  • Andrew Thomson, Rollingstock Engineer, Public Transport Authority of Western Australia (PTAWA)
  • Matthew Green, Manager Operational Planning, Queensland Rail
  • Donald Piggott-McKellar, Senior Consultant, RPS Group
  • Chris French, Program Lead – Transport, Shoal Engineering
  • Daniel Bennett, Railway Signalling Design Engineer, Siemens
  • Alex Deng, Principal Consultant, SNC Lavalin
  • Kelly Iverach, Associate Director Workforce Planning, Sydney Trains
  • Simon Chandler, Senior Project Manager – Infrastructure Investment Program, TasRail
  • Shakira Rawat, Junior Bid Manager, Thales Australia
  • Dannielle Walz, Director, Training Ahead Australia
  • Amjad Khan, Planning & Performance Coordinator, Transdev Auckland
  • Ajenta Conrad, Environment and Quality Specialist, Transdev Australasia
  • Tahnia Littlejohn, Systems Analyst Manager, Transport Canberra City Services
  • Liam Loriente, Project Manager Delivery, V/Line
  • Shez Islam, Manager – Technical Services, VicTrack
  • Thomas Pulsford, Workshop Supervisor, voestalpine VAE Railway Systems Pty Ltd
  • Jonathan Chan, Permanent Way Engineer, Rail, WSP Australia Pty Ltd
  • Josef Brennan, Manager, Safety Standards, Assurance & Quality, Yarra Trams


The 2019 ARA Future Leaders group projects include:

  • Re-Rail Your Career: A social media campaign targeted at people who believed that their skills and experience cannot be easily transferred to the rail industry.
  • TIES – Tertiary Institution Engagement Strategy: Connecting students to the industry through rail course content.
  • SafeMile: Transforming the first and last mile into the SafeMILE – Allowing commuters to connect and engage within their level of comfort to travel the first and last mile to help them feel safer.
  • Transport Assist Australia: A multi-lingual application to make navigating Australian railways simple and efficient for everyone.
  • oneTrack: Across the Australian rail market there is a distinct opportunity for the introduction of a centralised rail safe-working tool. oneTrack would act as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for location based safe-working and operational information regardless of network owner/operator.
  • Momentum Materials Management: A tool to provide inter-organisational visibility of stock levels of key railway materials and share/purchase stock of standard items in order to keep the rail industry moving.

This year the Future Leaders are working on the following projects:

  • Awareness and Acceptance of Diversity: To explore gender issues faced by the rail industry and develop methods to improve retention through awareness and acceptance of diversity.
  • Employee exchange program: a detailed feasibility study and implementation strategy for the Employee Exchange Program.
  • Rail eHub: an initiative to create a free interactive web tool for the rail industry to share and find key information and help drive innovation.
  • Rail M8: smart device app and website to make rail more accessible for new entrants to the industry and demystify jargon.
  • RailTalk: an integrated, digital, community platform that connects commuters on trains through gamification (the application of multiplayer mobile games and activities to convey information and promote interest in the rail industry).
  • Standard translator: a tool that enables immediate comparison between the standards that address the same application.