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Women Who Move Nations - The Public Transport Podcast

Women Who Move Nations - The Public Transport Podcast

By Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand
The Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ)’s podcast series, Women Who Move Nations, features interviews with female public transport executives from Australia, New Zealand and around the world. Hosted by Michelle Batsas, Chief Executive Officer of PTAANZ, each guest shares her insights on the big issues impacting mobility today and unmissable career advice and inspiration for professionals in any sector. The International Association of Public Transport Australia/New Zealand (UITPANZ) has transitioned to the new Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ).
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Megan Bourke-O’Neil, Deputy Secretary of Policy and Innovation, Department of Transport, Victoria

Women Who Move Nations - The Public Transport Podcast

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Sally Stannard, Deputy Director-General (Translink), Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland
Sally Stannard is a Deputy Director-General at the Department of Transport and Main Roads in Queensland and the head of Translink. Sally is also Vice-Chair of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ)’s Board of Directors. In her interview with Michelle Batsas, Chief Executive Officer of PTAANZ, Sally shares professional and personal stories that paint an exciting picture of her career journey. Sally gives generous insights into what a typical week involves as she leads a team of over 600 people across Queensland who manage the state’s public transport operators, infrastructure investment and delivery, service planning and more. Sally also talks about the state’s exciting aspirations for a car-free Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032.
38:25
June 15, 2022
Hiba Farès, Chief Executive Officer, RATP Dev
Hiba Farès is the Chief Executive Officer of RATP Dev, the global arm of RATP Group, the world's third-largest public transport operator. In her interview with Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), Hiba shares insights into her passion for public transport and customer experience. Hiba is proud to work in a sector that has such a positive impact on the environment and the communities her company operates in. Hiba also gives empowering advice on negotiating and how to land your next promotion.
24:41
April 20, 2022
Dr Gillian Miles, Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner, National Transport Commission
Dr Gillian Miles is the Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner of the National Transport Commission (NTC), Australia's lead agency for national land transport reform to support all Australian governments to improve safety, productivity, environmental outcomes and regulatory efficiency. Gill's impressive career includes three decades as a senior executive in the public sector at the national, state and local government levels, with a particular focus on transport and community-focused services. Gill is passionate about improving diversity in Australia’s land transport workforce and is collaborating with other female leaders in the sector to drive change through the National Women in Transport initiative. She shares insights into all this and more in her interview with Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ).
30:34
April 06, 2022
Dr Deborah Hume, National Manager, Multimodal and Innovation, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
Dr Deborah Hume is the National Manager of Multimodal and Innovation at Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, the government organisation responsible for investing in, managing and regulating New Zealand’s land transport system. In her interview with Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), Deb shares unmissable insights for anyone interested in a career in public transport (especially in New Zealand) including how public transport fits in to the New Zealand Government's emissions reduction targets and how Waka Kotahi's role has evolved in the past decade. Deb also shares her career journey and what she learnt from her most challenging yet rewarding role and the value of adding breadth to your professional experience.
37:17
March 23, 2022
Polly Trottenberg, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation
Polly Trottenberg is Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation. Polly joins host Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), for a comprehensive conversation ranging from the relationship between transportation and the political process to education, equity and leadership. Polly also highlights the significance of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which has the potential to transform transport infrastructure, safety, sustainability and equity across the United States.
46:33
March 08, 2022
Transport Associations Edition: Caroline Wilkie, CEO, ARA, Susan Harris, CEO, ITS Australia, Roz Chivers, Executive Director, BIC and Michelle Batsas, CEO, PTAANZ
Join this heartfelt discussion between four women leading Australia and New Zealand's peak transport associations: Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), Caroline Wilkie, Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Railway Association, Susan Harris, Chief Executive Officer of ITS Australia and Roz Chivers, Executive Director of the Bus Industry Confederation. Hear their insights on leadership, work/life balance and creating a future of sustainable mobility for all.
57:06
February 24, 2022
Laura Hendricks, Chief Executive Officer, Transdev USA
Laura Hendricks is Chief Executive Officer of Transdev USA, where she oversees the operation of public transport systems in 200 cities and towns across the United States and is responsible for almost 13,000 team members across the organisation. Laura joins guest host Angé Anczewska, former General Manager of UITPANZ, to talk about the transition to zero emissions public transport, innovation and technology including the importance of on-demand and microtransit. Laura also explains her people-focused leadership style and her purpose of working in public transport to contribute to the common good. She believes public transport is an excellent choice for women who want a meaningful career.
29:42
December 01, 2021
Katie Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, Metro Tasmania
Katie Cooper has been Head of Transformation at Melbourne Airport, Head of Security at London Stanstead Airport and now she's Chief Executive Officer of Metro Tasmania. Katie is also a member of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ)'s Board of Directors. Katie joins guest host Angé Anczewska, former General Manager of UITPANZ to discuss her vision for public transport to be part of the solution to big challenges facing society including sustainability and traffic congestion. Katie also shares plenty of actionable career advice including setting goals, building your network and overcoming imposter syndrome.
30:06
November 17, 2021
Helen Williams, Executive General Manager, Specialty Engineering, SYSTRA Scott Lister
Helen Williams, the Executive General Manager of Specialty Engineering at SYSTRA Scott Lister joins guest host Angé Anczewska, the former General Manager of UITPANZ, for an empowering discussion about Helen’s exciting and varied career in engineering. Helen shares insights from her professional journey including her top tips on leadership, career progression and how we can attract and retain more female leaders in public transport and STEM professions.
39:53
November 03, 2021
Mayurie Gunatilaka, Group Leader NZ, Arup
Mayurie Gunatilaka, Group Leader NZ at Arup joins host Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), for a thought-provoking discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing the public transport sector right now. Mayurie's national pride and values-driven career will inspire you as she shares how important public transport and sustainable mobility will be to New Zealand and the world's future. Mayurie also urges listeners to make career decisions that align with their values, which is how Mayurie has navigated her own professional journey.
41:13
October 20, 2021
Bonus episode: Michelle Batsas hosts a special episode of the threesixtyCITY podcast with guest Laura Chace, CEO of ITS America and co-founder of MobilityXX
In another bonus episode, Women Who Move Nations joins forces with threesixtyCITY, a podcast by NewCities that delves into the future of urban life. Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), interviews Laura Chace, the Chief Executive Officer of ITS America and co-founder of MobilityXX. Laura and Michelle have a passionate discussion on how making public transport organisations more inclusive for women will deliver better transport and social outcomes for the whole of society. Laura also shares how your organisation can take the MobilityXX Pledge.
32:60
October 14, 2021
Stephanie Wiggins, Chief Executive Officer, LA Metro
Stephanie Wiggins, Chief Executive Officer of LA Metro joins Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), for an inspiring discussion covering Stephanie’s broad range of initiatives including putting customers at the centre of LA Metro’s pandemic recovery, preparing for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games and her transformative leadership style. Listen now to find out about these and the many other ways Stephanie is making LA Metro people’s first choice for transport.
43:37
October 06, 2021
Bonus Episode: Michelle Batsas joins Paul Comfort’s Transit Unplugged podcast with Samantha Abeydeera, Catherine Baxter and Magda Robertson
In this bonus episode, Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ) and host of the Women Who Move Nations podcast, joins Transit Unplugged, the podcast hosted by Paul Comfort, the Chief Customer Officer at Trapeze Group, for a discussion about women in transport with Samantha Abeydeera, Executive Director Strategic Operations at Transport for NSW, Catherine Baxter, Chief Operating Officer at Metro Trains Melbourne and Magda Robertson, General Manager of Torrens Connect in Adelaide.
55:14
September 29, 2021
Natasha Santha, Partner, L.E.K. Consulting
Natasha Santha, Partner at L.E.K. Consulting, joins Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), for an exciting discussion about decarbonisation and automation in public transport and the positive impacts these technologies will have on society. Natasha also shares the lessons she’s learnt over the years about leadership, finding your strengths and paying it forward to help other women succeed.
44:33
September 22, 2021
Bonus Interview: Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ)
In this bonus episode of Women Who Move Nations, host Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), becomes the interviewee, as Magda Robertson, General Manager of Torrens Connect in Adelaide, finds out why Michelle loves being part of the public transport sector and what’s top of mind for her right now. Michelle also shares some secrets to her success, including her leadership style, how she overcomes imposter syndrome and her passion for empowering other women.
43:39
September 15, 2021
Magda Robertson, General Manager, Torrens Connect
Magda Robertson is the General Manager of Torrens Connect where she oversees Adelaide’s tram network and surrounding bus network. In her discussion with Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), Magda shares insights from her extensive operations experience in major transport networks including Metro Trains Melbourne and Sydney Trains. She applied that experience to ensure the smooth transition of Adelaide’s public transport services from public to private operations. In terms of career progression, be empowered by Magda’s advice to “Be fierce and negotiate because you’re worth it!”
40:07
June 17, 2021
Laurence Batlle, Chairwoman of the Executive Board, RATP Dev
Laurence Batlle is Chairwoman of the Executive Board at RATP Dev, the international development arm of urban public transport operator RATP Group. In this role, Laurence oversees RATP Dev's 110 bus, metro, tram, railway, e-scooter and waterborne operations across 13 countries globally. In her interview with Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), Laurance shares insights from RATP Dev's at-scale zero emissions bus (ZEB) operation in Paris, where their fleet of over 4,700 buses will be 100 per cent powered by clean energy by 2025 (including two-thirds electric and one-third biogas vehicles). They've also become London's leading ZEB operator. Laurence is passionate about making public transport services work for women, as well as being a great industry for women to work in. "We have to ensure public transport is designed by women and for women, not only by and for men".
34:05
June 02, 2021
Lara Poloni, President, AECOM
Lara Poloni is the President of global infrastructure consulting firm, AECOM. Lara shares insights with host Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), from her extensive experience working on major transport infrastructure projects all over the world. Her love of cities and desire to make them functional, sustainable and liveable, drives her passion for public transport and sustainable mobility. Lara has worked her way to the top by confronting unconscious bias and taking charge of her career and she encourages other women to do the same.
42:59
May 19, 2021
Lauren Skiver, CEO/General Manager, SunLine Transit
Lauren Skiver is CEO and General Manager of SunLine Transit, a bus operator in California's Coachella Valley and a world-leader in decarbonising heavy vehicles. In her interview with Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), Lauren shares how she’s putting her organisation at the forefront of the huge transformation agenda facing the public transport and mobility industry. She also shares stellar advice about how, as a professional female, she overcomes imposter syndrome and finds the courage to ask for a raise. A must-listen for any woman in public transport who aspires to become a senior executive too!
47:31
May 05, 2021
Julie Mitchell, Deputy Director General, Policy, Planning and Investment, Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland
Julie Mitchell, the Deputy Director General of Policy, Planning and Investment at Queensland's Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), is passionate about innovation in public transport. Julie shares her vision and drive for shaping the best possible public transport services for Queensland now and into the future, which she says will involve complex transformation on an unprecedented scale. Julie has had an illustrious career at TMR, starting as a graduate and rising through the ranks. Before becoming Deputy Director General, she was Chief Engineer, TMR's highest engineering position. The key to her success, Julie tells host Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), is always seeking opportunities to grow and develop professionally.
31:51
April 21, 2021
Megan Bourke-O’Neil, Deputy Secretary of Policy and Innovation, Department of Transport, Victoria
Megan Bourke-O’Neil, Deputy Secretary of Policy and Innovation at the Victorian Department of Transport, joins guest host Angé Anczewska, former General Manager of UITPANZ, in a heartfelt discussion about why public transport is so important to our communities. Megan shares that she loves working in a purpose-led field that can improve people’s quality of life by giving them access to jobs and services. She has lots of pragmatic advice and insights for public transport policy makers and leaders as well as women who are considering a career in this empowering industry.
42:30
April 07, 2021
Jenny Chetwynd, Executive General Manager - Planning and Investment, Auckland Transport
Jenny Chetwynd, Executive General Manager of Planning and Investment at Auckland Transport is passionate about how public transport can shape people’s lifestyles and the impact she can have as a public transport leader. Jenny and host Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), discuss the public transport outlook and how to tackle congestion in Auckland. Jenny also shares how she developed her leadership style and what has driven her throughout her 30-year career. Jenny’s advice for young transport professionals is “Don’t be afraid to aim high or take a leap into a job that you really want”. Tune in for even more insights.
43:60
March 24, 2021
Dr Josipa Petrunic, President & CEO, Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC)
Dr Josipa Petrunic, President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC), has a wide ranging discussion with host and UITPANZ Executive Director, Michelle Batsas, about the future of zero emissions transport, influencing decision makers to get initiatives funded  and dealing with imposter syndrome. Be empowered by Josipa’s inspiring journey and vision for public transport and more!
49:19
March 07, 2021
The Hon. Jacinta Allan, Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Coordination of Transport: COVID-19 and the Suburban Rail Loop, Victorian Government
The Hon. Jacinta Allan MP has held public transport portfolios since 2014. Jacinta talks to Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ) about her passion for ensuring public transport meets the needs of urban and regional communities. She's driven to create better connections and services for everyone. Through a range of projects big and small, including Melbourne's Metro Tunnel and the Level Crossings Removal Project, she's transforming public transport infrastructure across Victoria. She's also transforming the sector itself through the Women in Transport program, setting workforce targets and making sure women know about the pathways and opportunities available to them.
35:35
September 09, 2020
Hon Rita Saffioti MLA, Minister for Transport; Planning, Western Australia
Western Australia's Minister for Transport and Planning, the Hon. Rita Saffioti MLA, is transforming the state by planning transport projects that deliver better mobility and economic benefits. She's particularly proud of the local rail car manufacturing policy which she wrote in opposition and is now implementing as part of Perth's Metronet project, she explains to host Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ). She encourages women to join public transport to gain skills in a range of areas from engineering, signalling, driving heavy vehicles to customer service, that can also be transferred to other sectors such as mining and agriculture. For her, the key to success is focusing on work that makes you happy and being genuine.
39:31
September 02, 2020
Wendy McMillan, President Australia and New Zealand, Bombardier Transportation
Wendy McMillan, President Australia and New Zealand for Bombardier Transportation, has three decades of executive leadership experience. While workplaces have improved to be more inclusive for women, there's still a long way to go. Wendy wants to see organisations be proactive, "almost tenacious", in mandating and leading policies to create gender equity. Wendy shares with host Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), her belief that public transport can offer a diverse range of people exciting and varied careers. Leaders must create a workplace culture where different needs are met and everyone - from the new starter to senior executives like herself - is open to continual learning and not afraid to ask questions.
44:29
August 26, 2020
Hon Julie Anne Genter, Minister for Women, Associate Minister for Transport and Associate Minister for Health, New Zealand Government
The Honourable Julie Anne Genter is New Zealand's Minister for Women and Associate Minister for Transport and for Health. Her passion for urban and transport planning got her into politics, she explains to host Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ). She advocated for over a decade to have minimum parking requirements removed from district plans, to allow for more beneficial use of urban space. She highlights how the cost of subsidising public transport is much lower than the cost of another car on the road. She implores women to back themselves and fight for transport and the future of the planet.
37:15
August 19, 2020
Leila Frances, Chairman of the Board, Keolis Downer and President, Keolis - Middle East and India
As Chairman of the Board of Keolis Downer in Australia and President of the Middle East and India for Keolis, Leila Frances is a woman who moves many nations. As she explains to host Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), Leila has built her expertise through on-the-ground operational experience, understanding people and line management, then switching to the commercial side of the business and growing that into an international perspective. She oversees the world's largest tram network in Melbourne, Australia's first multimodal network in Newcastle, Gold Coast light rail and new automated metro systems in Doha, Qatar and Hyderabad, India. Reflecting on her career in public transport, Leila feels fortunate to work in such a forward-thinking sector that’s all about changing cities and people’s lives.
39:24
August 12, 2020
Loretta Lynch, Managing Director, Transdev Melbourne
Transdev Melbourne's Managing Director, Loretta Lynch, is proud to join the team delivering around 30 percent of Melbourne's bus network, with 1400 staff, 500 buses and 25 million passenger journeys a year. The jewel in their crown is Melbourne's first locally-built, fully electric bus, Loretta shares with host Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ). Loretta first got hooked on working in public transport when she delivered Stage 2 of the Gold Coast light rail upgrade, allowing three times the usual services to be run for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Career-wise, she highlights how her unique approach to networking, seeking out people she can help, rather than the other way around, has made the task enjoyable and led her to many professional opportunities.
24:37
August 05, 2020
Becky Wood, Managing Director, Transportation - Australia & New Zealand, Aurecon
Becky Wood, Managing Director, Transportation - Australia & New Zealand at Aurecon, describes to Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), how while working on the financial side of major rail infrastructure projects as a chartered accountant, she quickly discovered what really interested her was the tangible link between the assets she was getting funded and transforming the cities and communities they served. After years in the public transport industry, she is still inspired to benefit people from all walks of life. She’s passionate about using technology to enhance user-centric design and achieve smart outcomes where the needs of all citizens are considered.
48:03
July 31, 2020
Jessica Oppetit, Head of Operations, Via UK
ViaVan's Jessica Oppetit thinks public mobility has become a lot more dynamic in the last five years. It's a great example of how data and innovation can change and positively influence an industry, Jessica tells host Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ). Jessica outlines how demand-responsive transport can supplement fixed-route services and improve the public transport experience for users. She loves working in public mobility and believes if you love what you're doing today, you'll get to where you want to be tomorrow.
37:46
July 22, 2020
Nicole Rosie, CEO, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
Nicole Rosie, Chief Executive Officer of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, explains how she used her mastery of change management to lead the organisation through New Zealand’s level four COVID-19 lockdown, less than a month after she started the role. Bringing organisations, teams and individuals along with a new way of working and making it part of their ‘why’ to change was crucial to NZTA's swift response to the pandemic. Nicole has always been driven to make a difference or change, and public transport is her newest challenge. Hosted by Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ).
47:14
July 15, 2020
Leanne Redden, Executive Director, Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Chicago, Illinois, USA
Leanne Redden, the Aussie heading up the Regional Transportation Authority in Northeastern Illinois, oversees the second biggest public transport network in the USA. She discusses how public transport benefits everybody, even people who don't use it. She's been inspired by women who are bold and brave and tries to model that behaviour herself. Hosted by Michelle Batsas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ).
41:07
July 08, 2020
Elizabeth Mildwater, Deputy Secretary, Transport for NSW
Elizabeth Mildwater, Transport for NSW's Deputy Secretary of Greater Sydney, reflects on the present and future of public transport in Australia's biggest city, as well as transport workers' commitment to serving the public. In her interview with Michelle Batsas, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), Elizabeth shares how she's championing gender equality and reconciliation through better recruitment and procurement practices. Tune in to find out how! 
40:07
July 01, 2020
Michèle Dix CBE, Managing Director, Crossrail 2, Transport for London
Transport for London (TfL)'s Managing Director of Crossrail 2, Michèle Dix, is no stranger to a challenge, having implemented London's congestion charging regime and having previously held the position of Managing Director of Planning for TfL. She lives to serve the public, whether it's through major public transport policy innovations or the perfect cup of tea. In her interview with Michelle Batsas, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ), Michèle shares that the key to her success is always pursuing what you enjoy. Find out what Michèle has to say about all this and more on episode one of Women Who Move Nations.
38:56
June 24, 2020