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Sydney Trains awarded for diversity and safety

sydney trains diversity

Sydney Trains has been acknowledged at the Australasian Rail Industry (ARI) Awards for its exemplary diversity and inclusion program and innovative approach to safety.

Almost 800 people gathered in Melbourne on Wednesday night to congratulate the 16 winners, with Sydney Trains awarded the employee engagement excellence wward, the supplier excellence award and the diversity and inclusion excellence award.

Benson Wong.

The winner of the young achiever award, John Holland site engineer Benson Wong, and the emerging rail specialist award winner, Mott MacDonald chartered electrical engineer Kershan Pillai, worked on Sydney Metro projects.

Australasian Railway Association (ARA) chief executive officer and ARI Awards judging chair Caroline Wilkie congratulated Sydney Trains for its outstanding safety initiatives and impressive improvements in diversity and inclusion.

Under Sydney Trains’ Train Crewing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion program, female trainees increased from 21.6 per cent to 53.3 per cent between 2017 and 2022 and non-frontline women roles increased from 25.1 per cent to 41 per cent.

Sydney Trains also received the supplier excellence award for its Enterprise Trackworker Safety Blindsight initiative, an artificial intelligence vision system designed to alert workers of any risks on site.

Permanent Way Institution (PWI NSW), which sponsored the young achiever award, commended Wong, a “trailblazer in the realm of major Sydney projects”.

Benson is esteemed for his expertise in exploring and implementing cutting-edge digital solutions, spearheading innovation within and for the rail industry.”


  • Employee Engagement Excellence Award – “Seconds Count” – Sydney Trains: Seconds Count is aimed at enhancing emergency response capabilities. The program’s immersive scenarios were co-designed to reflect real-world situations, enabling employees to engage in decision-making and corrective actions within a simulated environment. The gamified videos enable quick decision-making. It includes interactive e-learning videos, a digital toolkit, leader guides and a portal.
  • Supplier Excellence Award – Enterprise Trackworker Safety (ETWS) Blindsight – Syndey Trains: The ETWS initiative, in collaboration with Presien, is an artificial intelligence (AI) vision system for mobile plant and fixed infrastructure. It has been developed to eliminate accidents by alerting rail workers of the risk posed by people/plant interaction. The AI vision and recording enables automatic capture of near misses that are generally under-reported with manual, paper-based processes. It allows rail industry customers to see the real risk on their sites to support improved safety outcomes.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Award – Train Crewing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion – Sydney Trains: This program was developed to improve the representation of women in frontline operational and leadership roles.
  • Young Achiever Award – Benson Wong, John Holland Site Engineer: Benson was recognised for his significant contribution to the Metro North West Project, where he commissioned the first driverless Metro Rail network in Australia as well as for his work on the construction of the Wolli Creek and Mascot Substations.
  • Emerging Rail Specialist Award – Kershan Pillai, Mott MacDonald Chartered Electrical Engineer. Kershan was recognised for his success in delivering several major projects across Australia. He is currently the Rolling Stock Lead for the Sydney Metro West project and the Deputy Rolling Stock Lead for the Sydney Metro Western Sydney Airport project.

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