Australasian Railway Association appoints new CEO

Caroline Wilkie has been appointed Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO.

Ms. Wilkie will join the ARA from the Australian Airports Association (AAA), where she has been the CEO since 2010.

According to an ARA statement, Ms. Wilkie brings extensive policy experience to the role, with a strong understanding of the nation-building impact of infrastructure investment.

“Whether you catch a passenger train, tram or light rail in our cities, or work for a business that relies upon the rail freight network, the rail industry touches the lives of so many in our communities in both Australia and New Zealand,” Ms. Wilkie said.

“Sustainable, efficient and safe rail networks are essential to drive our economies, increase productivity and shape the development of industries across our nations.”

Ms. Wilkie highlighted rail as the backbone of the evolving freight and passenger transport networks.

“Rail adds to the social, economic and competitive fabric of both Australia and New Zealand, while addressing the challenges of increasing congestion in our cities and growing the efficiency of our supply chains,” Ms. Wilkie said.

“There is already a strong focus on safety, skills development and the implementation of new technologies within the rail industry, and I’m committed to leading these agendas and developing others on behalf of our members.”

Outgoing ARA CEO, Danny Broad, will remain with the ARA, taking up the position of Chairman.

He replaces current Chairman Bob Herbert, who will step down from the board at the end of this year.

Mr. Broad said Ms. Wilkie has proven experience leading a member association with a transport and infrastructure focus.

“Under her leadership, Ms. Wilkie significantly increased the size and scope of the AAA, expanding its industry engagement and stakeholder management as well as its events and education programs,” Mr. Broad said.

“She led the successful Protect Regional Airports campaign, culminating in the Federal Government’s announcement of a $100 million regional airport fund this year, and also oversaw a long-term engagement process with CASA ahead of changes to the Manual of Standards Part 139.”

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