ARA appoints Caroline Wilkie as Chief Executive Officer


14 October 2019

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Caroline Wilkie as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Ms Wilkie will take up her appointment based in Canberra in mid-February 2020.  

Ms Wilkie will join the ARA from the Australian Airports Association (AAA), where she has been the CEO since 2010. She brings extensive policy experience to the role, with a strong understanding of the nation-building impact of infrastructure investment and how critical transport networks are to connecting urban and regional communities. 

 “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.”  

“Rail, as the backbone of our evolving freight and passenger transport networks, 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.”  

“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 AM, who has announced he will step down from the Board at the end of this year.  

Mr Broad said Ms Wilkie has proven experience in leading a member association with a transport and infrastructure focus, and also the ability to foster a strong sense of industry collaboration.  

“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.”

 “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 (MOS) Part 139.”  

"Ms Wilkie’s appointment followed an exhaustive recruitment process led by the ARA’s Appointments Committee comprised of senior rail executives from the ARA Board including Committee Chair, Howard Collins, OBE (Sydney Trains), John Fullerton (ARTC), Anna Squire (ARUP), Julian Sharp (CPB) and Michael McLellan (Knorr-Bremse) and supported by Fisher Leadership. I am delighted to welcome Caroline to the ARA team.” Mr Broad said.  

“The ARA is a strong advocate for its members and is the leading voice for the rail industry in Australia and New Zealand as a result of both Bob and Danny’s extensive work over the last four years. I’m looking forward to working closely with the ARA team, the ARA Board and Mr Broad.” Ms Wilkie said.




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