It takes a talented team of specialists to build a 1,600km freight rail track between Melbourne and Brisbane.
And the people who make up the Inland Rail team are essential in supporting the work being done to move Australia’s freight rail network forward.
Meet our Board
Interim Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chair – Robert Rust
Robert is a Civil Engineer with an MBA and is a Graduate Member of the AICD. He has spent the majority of his 40-year career working on major projects for both the private and public sectors, including several Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the economic and social infrastructure sectors, and working across the full range of delivery models. He has been involved in and taken lead roles in project development, procurement and delivery on both the client and contractor sides.
His public-sector work has been at the Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer level, involving both developing and delivering a portfolio of projects for NSW Health and developing and awarding the first two stages of the WestConnex Project in Sydney. In both cases he built an effective team with a proven record of major project delivery. He has a detailed understanding of the roles of the various agencies in the capital procurement and budgeting processes within government.
Most of his private sector work has been in joint venture, including with French, Japanese and Korean companies, and he has been instrumental in setting up and managing these arrangements. He has been Bid Director on several major projects and brings a strong commercial and technical focus to project development and delivery with a successful background in claims resolution.
Robert now provides consultancy services and has recently taken on the roles of Chairperson and Non-executive Director on both government advisory and private company boards.
Deputy Chair – Louise Thurgood
Louise Thurgood’s 25 years in complex, fast-growing global companies in the banking, finance, and infrastructure sectors have resulted in strong credentials in risk and finance. Through her executive career Louise worked for Macquarie Bank, Deutsche Bank and Babcock & Brown heading the agricultural commodities business, corporate finance infrastructure and as Group Treasurer respectively. She has led or been a crucial member of diverse, critical teams in often-distressed, high-pressure corporate circumstances. Her extensive capital and risk management experience extends across a wide range of industries both at C-suite, operational, and advisor level: including infrastructure, agriculture, construction, renewable energy, mining and consumables.
Louise is currently Non-Executive Director of global connector Advance, Chair of Hanrob, a member of the National Standing Committee on Energy & the Environment (NSCEE), member of the Advisory Board of Ultimate Soccer, along with being a director of Orion Mechanical Services. Past NED roles have included Moorebank Intermodal Company, Clearview Life Nominees, President and Chair of Emanuel Synagogue along with Chair of several NFP Boards.
Director – Erin Flaherty
Erin has more than 40 years of experience in both private and Government sectors in law, rail, and large infrastructure projects. She was Commercial Manager and Deputy CEO at Reliance Rail before becoming Executive Director of Infrastructure NSW in 2012.
In 2012, Erin was appointed by the NSW Minister for Transport to the Advisory Board for the North West Rail Link and subsequently became an inaugural director of the newly formed Sydney Metro in 2018. In 2016 she became a Guardian of the Board of the Commonwealth Future Fund.
Erin is currently a Non-Executive Director of Venues NSW, The Infrastructure Fund (TIF), and the NSW Transport Holding Entity. She is one of two independent members of the International Shareholders Committee for Mott MacDonald, a global engineering consultancy firm. She is a Trustee of Sydney Grammar School and a board member of NSW Police & Citizens Youth Clubs, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Erin is a member of Chief Executive Women (CEW) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).
Director – James Cain
James is a commercial advisor and professional practitioner with over 25 years’ experience in property and major capital works in the public and private sectors. James’ professional experience includes Director of M21 Advisory, Executive Director of Major Projects Victoria, the Victorian Government’s primary capital works agency, and 12 years with property and construction company Lendlease in various roles including General Manager for Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
James has extensive non-executive experience. He is the Board Chair at Hayball and a member of the Committee of the Melbourne Cricket Club (the stadium manager of the MCG). Previously James has been the Chair of ISPT, the Victorian Port Corporation, the Deputy Chair of the Port of Melbourne Corporation.
Director – Vivienne King
Vivienne is currently CEO of Airservices Australia. She excels at operational and service delivery, transformational change, and performance improvement across diverse sectors, including transport, linear infrastructure, education, government, and the private sector.
Vivienne has managed transport Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) contracts, delivered Australia’s first greenfield O&M Light Rail, and overseen transit systems in both Australia and Canada. As CEO of WestGo Consortium, Vivienne was responsible for the bid to deliver Sydney Metro to Western Sydney Airport project.
Director – Peter Duncan AM
Mr Peter Duncan AM was appointed Chair of the ARTC Board in February 2023. He has over 40 years’ experience in government and infrastructure, working at local, state and national level. He has held various senior public sector roles with local government, NSW Premier and Cabinet, Transport for NSW, Primary Industries and the Olympic Coordination Authority.
His current appointments include Chair of Water NSW, Deputy Chair and Commissioner of the NSW Independent Planning Commission, Non-Executive Director of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, and Advisory Board member of NSW Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation and the Office of Projects Victoria. He is also the principal of his own advisory business.
In addition, Peter was previously Chair of InfraSol Group, the NSW Corrective Services Advisory Board, the Australian Road Research Board and Austroads, and was also formerly Chair and Advisor for Project Control Groups and Precinct Board at the University of Sydney. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia and a Companion of the Institution of Engineers Australia.
Meet our leadership team
Director Business Services – Neil Burlison
Neil joined Inland Rail in June 2017 and has held the positions of General Manager Finance and Director Finance and has recently been appointed as the Director of Business Services.
Neil’s 30-plus years’ professional experience, gained internationally and within Australia, spans the disciplines of international business, finance, accounting, commercial and ERP system implementation.
Neil’s career started with BP Plc in 1985 where he held a number of global senior Finance and Project leadership positions over 23 years, while based in the UK, the Middle East and Europe.
On leaving BP in 2009, Neil held the roles of Director, Company Secretary and CFO for ITS Energy Services, an oilfield service and rental business headquartered in the UK, before joining Origin Energy in Australia in 2011. As Origin’s Group Manager Finance, Neil was responsible for financial and management accounting, budgeting, and forecasting and planning for the $14 billion upstream Australia Pacific LNG project, before moving on to Sentinel Property Group where he established a resource investment fund.
He brings a wealth of operational and project management experience, and a proven track record of value-added performance delivery to Inland Rail.
Neil graduated with a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Accounting Studies from Exeter University, England, holds an MBA from Brunel University, is a Fellow Chartered Management Accountant (FCMA), and attended MIT Sloan School of Management – Project Academy.
Director Safety, Environment and Engagement – Stephen Jones
Steve is a chartered health, safety, environment (HSE) professional that has over 20 years’ rail infrastructure experience in the public and private sector both within Australia and overseas.
Steve is responsible for continuing Inland Rail Program’s ongoing commitment to HSE, at work, in the community and at home.
Steve has undertaken a range of diverse leadership roles during his career, working on some of the largest high-profile project and operating businesses. He has led the development and implementation of all aspects of HSE policy and frameworks and has a passion to deliver global best practice outcomes which has seen him receive recognition through peak industry awards.
Prior to joining Inland Rail Steve held executive positions in Transport for New South Wales and was responsible for all operational readiness activities to deliver Australia’s first driverless railway on the New South Wales Government’s priority infrastructure Sydney Metro project.
This diverse background has allowed Steve to implement the best the public and private sector offer in terms of people management, problem solving and project delivery.
Director Pre-Contracts – Rob Storey
Rob joined Inland Rail in 2017 as Project Director and in 2021 assumed the role of Director Pre-Contracts. He is accountable for leading the Pre-Contracts phase which spans through the development phases to the awarding of contracts.
Rob brings a wealth of experience to the Program, having previously led large business units for leading global engineering firms. He has an innate ability to inspire and lead multi-disciplinary teams in highly complex environments, while mitigating risks, optimising value and managing competing stakeholder requirements. His strong relationships with federal and state government leaders – forged by over 20 years of proven capability – facilitates greater engagement from all levels of government.
Having held senior leadership positions during the delivery of landmark projects throughout Australia, Singapore, South Pacific and New Zealand, Rob holds a deep understanding of the complexities of mega-projects throughout the entire lifecycle. Through his deep technical expertise, coupled with his emphasis on team culture and industry collaboration, Rob is driving the critical Program level activities that facilitate the on-time and on-cost delivery of the Inland Rail Program.
Director of Engineering, Integration and Assurance – David Fogwill
David Fogwill is the Director of Engineering, Integration and Assurance for Inland Rail and is responsible for managing key development, detailed design, and construction. As Inland Rail moves towards delivery, David will continue to ensure that the Program meets the needs of our stakeholders and is successfully integrated into ARTC operations.
David has 20 years’ experience in project delivery, integration and engineering across the transport and energy sectors.
Prior to joining Inland Rail, David held several leadership positions with Sydney Metro, including Associate Executive Director Project Integration and Director Project Engineering and Design (City and Southwest Metro), where he was responsible for the delivery of integration, assurance, engineering and design outcomes across all projects.
David’s extensive experience and diverse background will be an asset to Inland Rail as we move closer towards Delivery.
Director Program Delivery (Narromine to Gowrie) – Heather Parry
Heather joined Inland Rail in 2020 as Project Director and in 2022 was appointed to the role of Director Program Delivery (Narromine to Gowrie). She is accountable for the safe delivery of all works between Narromine in New South Wales to Gowrie in Queensland, including detailed design, construction and commissioning and handover of the completed assets to the operating business.
Heather has over 28 years’ experience in design, estimation, delivery planning, development, execution and commissioning of a range of construction and operational projects including rail, highway, mining, gas drainage/processing, building, power and telecommunications.
Before joining ARTC, Heather was the New South Wales Operations Manager for Thiess overseeing operations at Mt Arthur South Operation (BHP), Mt Owen Operation (Glencore) and Mt Pleasant Operation (MACH Energy) including full-service mining to run of mine and prior to that held project and bid leadership roles in various operating businesses of the CIMIC group.
Heather is one of the founding members of the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which achieved ARTC’s first RAP in 2022 and is the RAP team champion for First Nations procurement.
Director Program Delivery (Albury to Parkes) – Melvyn Maylin
Melvyn Maylin is the Director Program Delivery for the Albury to Parkes section of Inland Rail.
With a background in project engineering, Melvyn has more than 20 years’ experience in transport infrastructure leading multi-disciplinary teams in completing significant projects and driving organisational change. He has worked internationally in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Melvyn first joined Inland Rail in 2020 as the Delivery Director accountable for delivery of all phases of the Albury to Parkes projects, and subsequently accepted a governance role with respect to the Tottenham to Albury projects (now delivered by ARTC Major Construction Projects), and also responsibility for finalising completion elements of the Parkes to Narromine project. Combined, these projects cover half the length of Inland Rail.
Prior to his role at Inland Rail, Melvyn was the Major Projects Manager Asia Pacific South for Cardno and held several senior roles at Opus International Consultants, including Group Director Transportation and Managing Director, Australia.
Melvyn has won numerous awards for his technical excellence, including several Association of Consulting and Engineers New Zealand Gold Awards and an AustRoads Bridge award.
Director Program Management – Sam Cook
Sam is an experienced program manager who has worked in project delivery and advisory roles on many of Australia’s largest rail infrastructure projects – including Sydney Metro, Parramatta Light Rail, North-West Rail Link, as well as Thameslink (UK).
He was also integral in the initial development stages of Inland Rail between 2014 and 2018 as a member of the leadership team focused on commercial and governance arrangements.
In his role as Director Program Management Sam oversees program management and governance including cost, schedule, risk and governance across the Inland Rail Program.
A member of the Australian Institute of Project Management and Australian Institute of Company Directors, Sam’s professional experience is bolstered by a Master of Business and Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons).
Acting General Manager Strategy and Corporate Affairs – Johanna Marsh
Johanna joined Inland Rail in 2021 as a Senior Project Manager and in 2023 was appointed to the role of Acting General Manager Strategy and Corporate Affairs.
Prior to joining Inland Rail, Johanna consulted on major infrastructure programs across Australia and led the development of significant government policy change as it relates to both procurement, commercial models and sustainability.
Johanna fosters a collaborative approach to project delivery, bridging technical and non-technical aspects to drive best-for-project outcomes. She has significant crisis management experience and brings from that perspective the unique skill set required to guide a complex project of this scale from planning to delivery.
As the key project liaison for Shareholding Departments, Ministerial Offices, Federal and State MPs and key external stakeholders, Johanna’s role is integral in ensuring that the Inland Rail project continues to deliver in line with government and stakeholder expectations.
Meet some more of our amazing team members
Help us build Australia’s largest freight rail infrastructure project
After years of planning, we’re well on our way to delivering something great.
Our mission is to build one of the world’s most significant infrastructure projects – a 1,600km fast freight rail track connecting Melbourne to Brisbane in less than 24 hours, shifting more freight onto rail and transforming how we move goods around Australia.
And we want you to help us make it a reality.
November 20, 2023
People of the project: Team player and quality assurance master Mike Harris
In our last interview of the ‘people of the project’ series we catch up with passionate Project Quality Lead, Mike Harris. Mike explains the role of quality assurance in rail construction and what happens now that major construction on Narrabri to North Star is finished.
November 8, 2023
Inland Rail Skills Academy poster
The Inland Rail Skills Academy (the Academy) partners with education and training providers to deliver programs that upskill local people and businesses.
November 7, 2023
Inland Rail takes total spend with local businesses to nearly $400 million
Latest performance statistics have revealed that Inland Rail has now spent nearly $400 million with local companies on the Inland Rail alignment since beginning construction in 2018, with around $85million spent over the last year.