Women in Transport

A great workforce reflects the people it serves. Women make up almost half of the staff at the Department of Transport and Planning, and we're starting to see this representation increase across the transport portfolio as a whole.

We want to encourage more women to join and stay in transport through initiatives like the Women in Transport program, which offers everything from undergraduate scholarships, to mentoring, a Male Allies program and targets for gender diversity.

There's never been a better time to be a woman in transport. 

On this page:

Women in transport

Women in Transport program

The Women in Transport program, the first of its kind in Australia, was initiated in 2017 by the then Minister for Public Transport, Hon. Jacinta Allan MP to address the gender imbalance in the public transport sector.

Investment in the program, which supports the Victorian Government’s Gender Equality Act 2020, has since grown from an initial $1.2 million to more than $6 million in 2021, with more members of the transport industry signing up to participate in the program. 

In the Victorian Budget 2019/20, $2.404m was allocated to the Women in Transport Program, to increase women’s participation in the transport sector.

The program is underpinned by the Women in Transport Strategy 2021-24, which aims to increase the number of women working in the transport portfolio to 30 per cent by the end of 2024 and senior role representation in public sector agencies to 50 per cent by the end of 2024 and in the private sector, to 30 per cent by end 2024.

There is still much work to do, which is why the new strategy has more ambitious targets and a more robust accountability framework. 

In 2020, the Women in Transport Network was established to bring together anyone in the transport industry who is interested in gender equality and diversity.  The Network is managed by a Committee of Management, currently chaired by Peta Olive, and includes office holders from across the industry. Network membership is open to people of all genders who are interested in gender diversity in the transport industry. 

Women in Transport Strategy 2021-24

The Women in Transport Strategy 2021-24 aims to remove the barriers that have limited diverse gender representation in the sector to improve outcomes such as participation and earnings for women, as well as our own business performance.

The strategic objectives of the strategy are:

  1. Dismantle the structural barriers 
  2. Change the culture
  3. Improve access to employment and career opportunities for women in the transport sector
The key focus areas of the strategy are:
  1. Social and economic development
  2. Leadership and accountability
  3. Setting industry standards
  4. Changing the culture
  5. Community campaigning

Targets under the strategy are:

  • Aggregated sector target: 30% women across the sector by end 2024  
  • 50% women in senior roles in the public sector agencies by end 2024
  • 30% women in senior roles in operators by end 2024
  • Maintain 50% women on  advisory boards in all public sector entities
  • Private sector entity boards to work towards gender balance
  • Aggregated sector target: 10% per year increase in women and people of diverse gender identities by end 2024 for areas heavily dominated by men as follows:
    • engineering, 
    • project management, 
    • asset management, 
    • driving, yard work and cleaning,
    • technical and trades,
    • planning,
    • data analysis.

Major initiatives in the new strategy include: 

  • Establishment of the Women in Transport Steering Committee chaired by the Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and attended by senior decision-makers and influencers from across the industry
  • Postgraduate scholarships awarded in transport-related fields to a value of $10,000 each
  • Undergraduate scholarships awarded to young, disadvantaged women to study in a transport-related field to a value of $30,000 each
  • Mentoring program for women 
  • Engineering Pathways Program for refugees and women asylum seekers
  • Funding for training and support and employment for women bus and truck drivers
  • Scholarships for women heavy vehicle mechanics
  • Vocational placements for postgraduate scholars in the transport sector
  • Partnership with the AFLW on an employment program for women players
  • Outreach program to secondary schools and universities about employment opportunities for women in transport.

The following event will be held this year:

  • Women in Transport Strategy launch on 20 September 2021. 

Visit the Women Victoria website for more Victorian Government gender equality information.

For more information, contact the WiT program manager.

Women in Transport Steering Committee

Chair:  Josh Bull  – Parliamentary Secretary for Transport    
[email protected]

Established under the Women in Transport Strategy 2021-24, this committee is an advisory body responsible for recommending industry targets and benchmarks, monitoring progress and endorsing sector-wide campaigns.

Current committee members are listed below.

Name Title Organisation Contact Details 
Alice McDonald Acting Manager Economic Strategy and Industry, Office for Women Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) alice[email protected]
Ellen Rule Senior Policy Officer Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH)

[email protected]

Kim Caldow  HR Manager Ventura Bus Lines  [email protected] 
Fiona Reed  Chair   Mary Jane Lewis Foundation  [email protected] 
Kelly Maslin  Vice President and ED of Operations, People and Place  Jacobs Group   [email protected] 
Victoria Clift  Acting Director of Diversity and Inclusion V/Line  [email protected]
Melissa Hogan  GM People and Culture (RTS)  Downer Group  

[email protected] 

Elina Islamova  Diversity and Inclusion Manager Metro Trains Melbourne 


Paul D'Alessio  Chief Operations Officer  Yarra Trams  [email protected]
Duncan Elliott  Chief Executive Officer  North East Link Project  [email protected] 
Kieran McIvor  Director Business Strategy  North East Link Project  [email protected] 
Antoinette Battista  Executive Director, People & Culture  Department of Transport and Planning

[email protected] 

Brad Giddins  Director, Inclusion & Diversity  Department of Transport and Planning

[email protected] 

Matthew Gault  A/Chief Executive Officer  Level Crossing Removal Project   [email protected] 
Lisa Ryan  Director Planning and Property  West Gate Tunnel Project  [email protected] 
Jacqueline Brotherton  Chair  Transport Women Australia  [email protected] 
Donna Jones  Consultant – transport expert  Asheville Consulting Group  [email protected]
Olivia Jones  Group Manager, Legal  VicTrack  [email protected] 
Bruce Moore  Executive General Manager, Telecommunications Group  VicTrack   [email protected] 
Jeff Wilson  Chief Executive Officer  CDC Victoria 

[email protected] 

Paul Giusti  Group Manager Service Delivery  Dyson Group  [email protected]  
Peta Olive  Chair WiT Network  Department of Transport an Planning

[email protected] 

Lissa van Camp  Director Land Planning & Environment  Suburban Rail Loop Authority  [email protected] 
Lisa Maksimovic  Director Corporate Affairs  Suburban Rail Loop Authority  Lisa A Maksimovic (SRLA) 
Amanda Threlfall  Assistant Secretary  Victorian Trades Hall Council  [email protected] 
Praveen Reddy  Executive Director  Freight Victoria 

[email protected] 

Adam Begg  Chief Executive Officer  Kinetic Group Services 

[email protected] 

Oscar Goodwin  Manager of Industry Development  BusVic 

[email protected] 

Catherine O’Mahony   Manager, People Strategic Projects Office of Director General, Major Transport Infrastructure Authority  catherine.x.o'[email protected]
Joe Monforte  Executive Director Policy and Reform, Department of Transport and Planning

[email protected] 

Ben Phyland  Head, Rolling Stock Development  Department of Transport and Planning [email protected] 
Django Love  Manager, Women in Transport and Gender Equality  Department of Transport and Planning

[email protected] 

Rebecca Clark

A/Director, Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions 

Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions  rebecca.clark@ecodev.vic.gov.au
Sophie Ridwan 

Manager, Innovation & Job Creation – Workforce Development & Demand 

Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions  [email protected] 
Dimity Smith

Chief People Officer


[email protected] 

Melinda Button Project Director – Business Development Transdev  [email protected]
Sally van Bragt
Organiser Rail, Tram and Bus Union [email protected]
Vik Sharma
Branch Secretary Rail, Tram and Bus Union [email protected]
Mem Suleyman
Branch Assistant Secretary  Transport Workers Union [email protected]
Mike McNess
National President Transport Workers Union [email protected]

Careers in transport

Interested in a career in transport? Visit the following pages to learn more about opportunities in this portfolio.

Public sector agencies:


Transport construction partners: