AusRAIL, Inclusion and Diversity, Major Projects & Infrastructure, Social Governance

AusRAIL 2022: Inspiration, inclusivity and diversity


AusRAIL 2022 kicked of with two of the most inspirational presentations ever made at the event.

A Women in Rail breakfast heard from former Australian swimmer Libby Trickett, who collected 24 gold medals on the international stage across Olympic, Commonwealth Games and World Championships events.

Now focusing on her work in mental health as well as taking care of her two young daughters, she spoke of female empowerment and her personal experience of learning how to ask for and receive female support when feeling her lowest during the Olympic Games.

Meanwhile Paralympian champion and Australian of the Year, Dylan Alcott, made a keynote presentation about the challenges he faced and his foundation to help improve quality of life through mentoring, scholarships and grants.

Through his motivational storytelling, Alcott continually tries to alter and change the way people with disabilities are perceived in the wider community.

For construction specialist McConnell Dowell, which sponsored the breakfast, the two speeches touched on several key elements of the company’s philosophy and principles.

McConnell Dowell General Manager of Rail, Kyle Mortimer, said the turnout for the breakfast indicated the push for diversity in the workplace, with more than 500 industry members turning up for the sold-out function.

“We’re very passionate about changing the construction industry as a whole, to make it more appealing for people with all diverse backgrounds and experiences,” he said.

“More diversity in our people and our thinking will only make us stronger as an industry.

“Our purpose as an organisation is providing a better life. And that extends to not only the staff that we have working for us at the moment, but also opening up the industry and our business to people that may not have traditionally had an opportunity to join this industry.”

Mortimer said the company was trying to create an environment that drives inclusivity, and extending it to other areas perhaps not typically well represented in the rail industry.

He said Alcott’s comments cemented the fact that more needs to be done to help disabled people.

“They need to use the public transport system as much as anyone else,” he said.