Emerging Leaders Gala shows industry’s future is in good hands

Thanks to all past, present and (hopefully) future participants in RA’s Emerging Leaders program who joined us in Sydney for the 2022 Emerging Leaders Gala Dinner in Sydney, generously supported by Turnbull Engineering.

It was a terrific evening of networking and some amazing presentations that demonstrated the value of strong networks and mentors for those embarking on their careers.

Attendees had an opportunity to hear insights on leadership and the value of building collaborative teams during a thoughtful presentation from Tessa Knox-Grant, Executive Director, Planning and Programs Greater Sydney, Transport for NSW. Say ‘yes!’ and back yourself was a key message.

Special thanks to Jill Boag, Chair – RA Future Leaders Committee and Project Director, Gamuda Australia for facilitating the Q&A with Tessa.

We also heard from our outgoing PPP Award Winner, Rezarta Rushitaj Principal Highways Engineer │Technical Practice Leader – Highways, ANZ, AECOM and our incoming winner John Hallam, Business Development Lead, Laing O’Rourke – who demonstrated their passion and energetic commitment to driving cultural change within our industry.

It’s especially worth checking out John’s acceptance speech for his insights around the need for our industry to consider people from a wider range of backgrounds when looking to fill key project roles:

In the advent of the most significant infrastructure boom in Australia’s history, my message is simple: beggars can’t be choosers. We need to broaden the horizon for people outside our industry, we need to recut role requirements and descriptions and yes, we may need to invest a little more time to train people up. But you don’t need to be an engineer, you don’t always need a specific qualification and exclusivity based on background should be best left for New York day spas.

So, if I can achieve one thing this year, it is to change the attitudes of leaders towards non-engineers and people with unique backgrounds in our industry.”

Make sure you also listen our recent podcast with Rezarta and John.

Learn more about RA’s Emerging Leaders program here.

Pictured (L to R): Rajini Sokhi, Bid Manager, Turnbull Engineering; John Hallam; Tessa Knox-Grant; RA CEO Michael Kilgariff.
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