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Practical strategies to make diversity and inclusion a reality in Australian rail workplaces

Wednesday 30 August 2017
6:00pm - 8:30pm
The Westin Sydney - 1 Martin Place, Sydney

The RTAA is proud to host Diversity Discussion - a panel aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion in rail, with realistic and proven strategies from practitioners. Key focus areas will include Indigenous participation, cultural awareness and employment of people with disabilities.


New Speakers Confirmed!






Michael Francis
Operational Support Team, Account Management

Michael has worked in the Disability Employment field for almost 8 years after working in sales for both the Woolworths Group and Coca Cola. Michael specialises in tailoring solutions for employers who are keen to employ someone with a disability or who have found someone for a role and are unsure what services and supports are available to assist them. Michael is skilled in the areas of job redesign to fit an individuals and business need, understanding and gaining access to the supported wage system available under the modern award structure and assisting in gaining access to workplace modifications assistance through the Commonwealth Government Job Access program. He is also able to assist in advising on available wage subsidy offerings which may be available to support the induction and training costs of a new staff member.


Heidi Van Gender
Operational Support Team,
Account Management

Heidi has worked in the disability employment field for almost 8 years after initially building her career in hospitality and tourism. Heidi specializes in the development and execution of pre and post employment training and education for people with disability, tailoring these packages to the specific needs of the individual and the recruiting business. Heidi is also highly sought after by both employers and the new recruits to offer post placement support and mentoring to ensure longevity of the new employment relationship. Heidi specialises in working with youth and has created highly successful pre and post employment offerings to the customer service areas or retail and hospitality. She has more recently turned her hand to working in the development of opportunities in the construction sector, working on proposals for Sydney Metro developments and increasing access for women to enter trades roles and has recently engaged with Salt Australia to assist in building a profile.






Kees Hoefsloot
Partner and Globalist
Culture Resource Centre

Kees is a Partner and Globalist with the Culture Resource Centre. Kees who is originally from the Netherlands and fluent in both Dutch and English holds a Bachelor Degree in International Business. He developed a keen interest in cultural aspects of the workplace through his career with Philips and IBM, where he travelled extensively for international work engagements while working in International Sales and Marketing. His career at IBM included partner management across Europe, US and Asia, and residing in Singapore for three years. His international experience and cross-cultural management expertise allowed the development of highly practical applications to address the challenges of modern day multicultural and international workforces and the ongoing globalisation of corporations. Cultural Diversity - How to Leverage its Potential Kees Hoefsloot's interactive presentation will provide insight how to create a culturally diverse team environment, based on understanding colleagues' perspectives and strengths and conducive to building an inclusive work environment, delivering results and providing opportunities for everyone.






Sharon Gray
National Aboriginal Engagement Manager
John Holland

A focal part of Sharon's career has been Indigenous education, training and employment. Her experience includes working within the Corporate Sector as a Diversity Advisor, Human Resources; with community organisations as a Training Supervisor and Youth Support Co-coordinator – Indigenous Youth Mobility Program (IYMP); for State Government including TAFE, Education Queensland, Child Safety, Department of Communities and Youth Justice; for the Federal Government with the Department of Education Science and Training and a Job Network as an Indigenous Youth Employment Consultant. Sharon has also held Executive Board Member positions for a number of Aboriginal and mainstream community based organisations.

Gold Sponsor:





Sydney Trains is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce and culture. The Sydney Trains Diversity & Inclusion strategy is focused on three objectives:

  • Increasing the representation of females across our leadership levels and more generally across the organisation
  • Increasing the representation of Aboriginal people across all levels and roles and
  • Defining and embedding the concept of flexibility within Sydney Trains, particularly as a portion of our workforce moves to new agile workspaces.

Silver Sponsors:

Silver Sponsor $2,000 inc GST (1 only)

Supporter $500 inc GST

For a full list of entitlements, please contact Lynne Greenaway This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.