Meet the finalists for Excellence in Transport

This award recognises an individual who has gone above and beyond to improve and positively impact the Australian transport industry.

Catherine Baxter – Chief Operating Officer, Metro Trains
Catherine Baxter is the Chief Operating Officer at Metro Trains Melbourne and is responsible for safely operating metropolitan passengers’ services, on-time and cost effective. This past 12-plus months, under Catherine’s leadership, MTM have rolled out some rail transport industry-driving firsts and much innovation to drive continuous improvement. She inspires her leadership team to perform at the highest possible level, pushing her direct reports to not only achieve the franchise targets set by the State, but ensure that we are demonstrating the Metro company Values. Catherine has been an important role model for other women in and outside of the industry, giving motivation to other women who aspire to achieve great things in transport.

Heather Jones – Director, Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls
Heather Jones became an elite road train trainer whose expertise is sought across Australia. Heather has not only trained these drivers at her own cost but also run her own company Success Transport which operates from the Pilbara to Perth in support of the massive freight demands for our miners and gas plant construction projects. With her growth and supportive mindset Heather has also been instrumental in training women in need and creates career pathways for these women through which they can rebuild. Heather has trained over 200 women to become road -train drivers in an environment where not only is Australia desperate for truck drivers, but also desperate for that class of heavy haulage drivers that support our bulk freight industries.

Kirstyn Glass – Rail Operations Consultant, Trapeze Group Asia Pacific
Kirstyn has worked with Trapeze Group since 2019 to present, providing subject matter advice on rail technology to both transport authorities and operators within Australia and overseas. Kirstyn has used her operational knowledge and experience to enable Trapeze to gain a greater understanding of the rail industry, and the challenges faced by our clients. With her many years of experience, she has been played a major role in designing new features and functionality within their system. Since joining Trapeze Group, Kirstyn has been an advocate for women in rail. Having successfully worked in the rail industry for a lengthy time, she understands how rewarding it can be, and the challenges that women face. Increasing diversity by including more women in the industry will bring benefits across the board.

Merry Manton – Board Member, Transport Women Australia Limited
Merry Manton has been active in the transport industry for over forty years. She was the first female elected to the Board of the Queensland Transport Association where she held the role of Treasurer for a period. Having been in and around the transport industry, they are specialising in insurance and risk advice specifically to the transport and freight community. She is responsible for providing advice to transport companies to mitigate daily risk exposures that the transport industry experience. Having worked directly in the industry for many decades, benefits her transport clients as she is aware of the challenges that many transport companies have in their day-to-day operations. She has always looked to improve the life of those in the industry. Merry has been a great mentor and takes the time to speak to anyone in the industry who has a genuine wish to learn. Merry has been mentoring, both officially and unofficially, assisting and pushing others to succeed while achieving her own success.

Penny Ford – Executive Director (Transport Planning Services), Department of Transport and Main Roads, QLD
Penny has been involved in the Transport Industry for over 20 years working in the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR). Penny as well as working in her department also works closely with the engineering consultants’ sector and looks at strengthening the relationship capability in the transport sector. She has a passion for developing people to achieve their goals and collaborating with partners across the sector. Penny also devotes a great deal of time in mentoring people both within and external to TMR and presenting Leadership presentations and Women in Leadership presentations to teams within and external to TMR.

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