Week Five of the Critical Infrastructure Summit

The Future of Infrastructure

A look at what's next for the industry – skills and training, funding/economic predictions and more

September 30th - 2.00pm

The way people live, work and move around Australia’s cities has changed dramatically due to COVID-19, and while some things will soon go back to normal, there is likely to be a significant transformation of transport, utilities and social infrastructure in the future. 

Now is the time to take stock and look at what the future of the sector could look like, so critical infrastructure owners can start planning and preparing their assets. 

The Future of Infrastructure gathers the industry’s leading experts to explore their predictions for future trends and what these can mean for the sector and individual organisations.


Conference Program

2:00pm Jessica Dickers, Editor, Infrastructure magazine and Conference MC

Welcome remarks

2:05pm: Adrian Hart, Associate Director - Construction and Maintenance at BIS Oxford Economics

Future trends – the strongest and weakest sectors, the impact of Covid-19 on activity, choosing the right projects based on new behaviours, better procurement and delivery of projects for a sustainable industry, and meeting our climate change goals through infrastructure.

2:35pm: Yale Wong, ANZ Market Lead (Public Transport), Cities Forum

Beyond the pandemic: Lessons for public transport, infrastructure, procurement and the future of our cities

3:05pm: PANEL - The future of skills and training

  • Caroline Wilkie, CEO, ARA
  • Claire Parry, Managing Director, Infrastructure Skills Advisory
  • Radmila Desic, Queensland Women on Tools Committee Member and Lifetime Member, National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)

4:00pm Close of conference

Meet The Speakers

Adrian Hart - Associate Director, BIS Oxford Economics

Adrian has over 20 years of economic analysis and consulting experience with BIS Oxford Economics, focusing on the infrastructure, building, maintenance and mining industries.

Adrian has undertaken a wide range of consultancy projects for the public and private sector based on his detailed understanding of construction, mining and maintenance markets, their drivers and outlooks, the range of organisations operating in this space and the issues they face. This work includes deeper industry liaison, contractor and competitive analysis, pipeline analysis, demand and cost escalation forecasting, and capacity and capability projects for the public and private sector.

He also undertakes briefings and workshops for senior management, board members and industry associations, and facilitates and chairs roundtables between government and industry. Adrian holds a first class Honours degree in Economics from the University of Sydney.

Claire Parry - Managing Director, Infrastructure Skills Advisory

With over 20 years’ experience in education, major projects and the private sector, Claire Parry is an internationally recognised expert in social procurement, workforce development and industry participation. Claire is Managing Director of Infrastructure Skills Advisory, a specialist consultancy that enables government, industry and businesses to deliver socio-economic outcomes through major infrastructure projects. She advises organisations that commission, procure or deliver jobs, skills development, diversity and inclusion and industry outcomes.

Claire works with education and industry to develop and deliver new competency frameworks, qualifications and training programs, and industry training facilities for infrastructure, construction, engineering and rail.

Claire’s experience spans major infrastructure projects in Australia and internationally, including Sydney Metro, Regional Rail, Inland Rail, WestConnex, Sydney and Canberra Light Rails and Crossrail, UK.

Yale Wong - International Transport Advisory

Yale Z Wong, PhD, is an international advisor in the public transport and intelligent transport systems (ITS) sectors; ANZ Market Lead at the Cities Forum and Honorary Associate at the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS).

With deep technical expertise and a global outlook on future mobility (including mobility as a service), business transformation, operational management, market entry, institutional reform, research and policy development, Yale’s extensive experience cuts across government, bus/coach operators, industry associations and vehicle manufacturers/suppliers. 

Yale is a frequent keynote speaker, media commentator and powerful industry advocate, having won the David Willis Prize (2018), ITLS Research Prize (2018), and selected by ITS Australia as Youth Ambassador to the World Congress (2019), and as recipient of the Young Professional Award (2019).

Radmila Desic - Queensland Women on Tools Committee Member and Lifetime Member, National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)

Radmila began her career in the industry as an apprentice Carpenter Joiner in 1992. Throughout her career on the tools Radmila actively participated in programs such as Trades Women on the Move and Wider Opportunities for Women which are programs that actively promote non-traditional careers to women. She also evolved her construction career to include a broad range of knowledge regarding the training system, apprenticeship and traineeship models and guidelines. She now uses this knowledge to further develop strategies for better engagement and retention of women in construction.

In 2010 Radmila received the 1st Place Gold Winner of the inaugural 2010 CLW’s National Advancement of Women in the Workplace Award (AWWA) for developing and implementing a state-wide strategy for Women in Construction, and in 2013 Radmila was a Finalist in the BMAG Brisbane Person of the Year. In 2019, Radmila received NAWIC Life membership and is now the NAWIC representative on the Housing and Public Works Exemplar Building Project aiming to have 30 per cent female representation.

Caroline Wilkie - CEO, Australasian Railway Association (ARA)

Caroline commenced as the Chief Executive Officer of the ARA in February 2020. Caroline served as the CEO of the Australian Airports Association (AAA) for over nine years. She brings extensive policy experience to the role at the ARA, with a strong understanding of the nation-building impact of infrastructure investment and how critical transport networks are to connecting urban and regional communities.

With a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Sydney and a background in Communications and Public Relations, Caroline was appointed National Manager of the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) in 2003. This, coupled with her role at the AAA, gives her a unique insight into the rail industry.

She believes the rail industry touches the lives of so many people in both Australia and New Zealand, whether they are catching passenger trains, trams or light rail in our cities for work or are a business that relies upon the rail freight network. Rail is essential to drive economies, increase productivity and shape the development of industries across both Australia and New Zealand.

Caroline will continue to develop the ARA’s strong focus on safety, regulation, skills development and the implementation of new technologies within the rail industry as well as defining a new future agenda on behalf of our members and the rail industry.