Louise McCormick makes history as John Shaw Medal winner

Roads Australia (RA) has announced Louise McCormick, the Northern Territory’s first Infrastructure Commissioner, is the winner of the 2022 John Shaw Medal.

Louise becomes the second woman to win this prestigious award, and its first Northern Territory-based recipient.

The John Shaw Medal is named in honour of John (J.A.L.) Shaw, Commissioner of the NSW Department of Main Roads from 1962 to 1967 and the longest-serving President of RA’s forerunner organisation, the Australian Road Federation (ARF).

The medal is awarded by RA in recognition of outstanding service to road transport in Australia. A panel comprising past winners of the award assesses the nominations received each year.

A winner’s contribution must be judged to be of outstanding national or international significance; of unique value to the industry and to the community; and reflect original and personal endeavour.  Nominees are also assessed on the extent to which their contribution is likely to endure and be remembered by future generations. 

Louise McCormick’s impact throughout Northern Australia has been incredibly significant. As the Northern Territory’s Infrastructure Commissioner, her leadership benefits the entire community and economy, making the Northern Territory safer, more accessible and better able to do business. She takes a whole-of-region view to ensure transport systems work together to lift productivity, enhance community amenity and create jobs.

Throughout her career, Louise has nurtured meaningful and enduring relationships with stakeholders including industry and peak bodies, other jurisdictional colleagues, Aboriginal Land Councils and Traditional Owners.

In a previous role as General Manager Transport and Civil Services in the NT Government, Louise implemented a new rolling upgrade program for strategic transport corridors over longer periods of time. This improved the affordability of works and created certainty around the project pipeline – allowing industry to provide more sustainable jobs, and to train and employ more Aboriginal people from remote communities.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Louise was also responsible for ensuring freight continued flowing to Territory communities in a COVID-safe way and without disadvantaging Territorians.

Louise was formally presented with the medal during this evening’s John Shaw Dinner in Melbourne, attended by more than 800 industry participants. The event also celebrated 70 years since the formation in 1952 of the Australian Road Forum (ARF), which later became Roads Australia.

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