Transport is in Alan’s blood. He is part of a proud family of transport practitioners, starting with his father who has had a lifelong passion for rail starting with steam engines in 1930’s. Alan specialises in roads and traffic engineering while his son is forging an occupation in aviation. “There is no other industry I would rather work in,” says Alan.
Fast forward to 30 years today and Alan is as passionate as ever. He says, “The changing nature of transport still makes me excited. Whether it is aviation, roads or rail, these industries are dynamic and evolving before our very eyes. If we look back over the years, these modes of transport have changed society and made us more connected than ever before. As we start transitioning towards electric vehicles there is another transformation on the horizon. It’s exciting to be a part of!”
Believing in the value of teamwork, Alan has overseen the growth of the Perth Transport Business from just over 50 staff to now 98 and an overall growth in the state from 160 to 230 staff. He adds, “My goal as Regional Director is to make WSP the number one consultancy in the state. Whilst there has been a large amount of investment from the state government in infrastructure which in turn is driving growth, I think our success can be largely attributed to our focus on client service and the empowerment of our people.
“We foster a transparent, collaborative and family-friendly culture and I think this shows in our work and in the growth of our team.”
After visiting the WSP Singapore office, Alan quickly realised a drastic difference. He says, “It dawned on me that the balance of gender there was 50/50. It triggered a bit of a ‘why can’t we do that?’ moment for me and I have since been extremely passionate about elevating the conversation.”
“To me, a balanced workforce considers not just gender, age and ethnicity, but also other minorities like our Indigenous and LGBTI communities.”
Taking a proactive approach, Alan is determined to have all staff in Perth partake in a half day Indigenous cultural awareness training session to help us better understand our nation’s first people. Further, Alan also helped initiate the establishment of the Australian Vibe Council, a group dedicated to the LGBTI community. He also took part in the 2018 Pride Fest March in Perth.
As a Consult Australia Diversity Representative in WA, Alan is helping the group conduct research with Edith Cowan University to pinpoint the exact age when gender bias kicks in at school and girls start to take less interest in STEM.
He says, “I firmly believe that the issue starts with our education system. This is a critical piece of research for the whole STEM industry and one that I’m proud to be involved in. If we can better identify the root of the gender drop off, then we can better direct education and funding resources to help solve it. I want our next generation to reap the benefits of a balanced workforce.”
Not surprisingly, Alan’s passion for the transport industry has crossed over into his personal life. On the weekends, you will find Alan tinkering with his ‘97 MGF and taking it out for a spin when the sun is out. While cars are his passion, Alan’s love of sport keeps him well and truly occupied. Once a swimming coach, Alan has traded in the early mornings for the late nights as he follows his beloved Liverpool in their quest to end their long-awaited English Premier League title drought as well as the plight of the English Rugby team.
Apart from this, Alan is loving his time living the Australian dream. He concludes, “What is not to love about a sports-mad country with great weather!”
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