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The role of the Executive is to manage the day-to-day operations of the RTAA.

The Executive is comprised of office bearers who are elected annually at the Annual General Meeting, held during AusRAIL.  

More information on our Executive is provided below.

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Thomas Kerr


As RTAA President, Thomas’ vision is to encourage and inspire the younger generation to live their dreams, take calculated risks and ensure they do not take for granted the knowledge and wisdom their seniors have passed down to them. 

Thomas is a Chartered Professional Project Manager, Civil Engineer and a Tutor with nearly 10 years of experience in the construction and maintenance of railways. He has completed a Bachelor of Civil Engineering, a Diploma of Project Management and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. 

With extensive expertise in rail, Thomas has a broad understanding of different railway modes such as heavy rail, metro and light rail. He has achieved many accolades including Sydney Trains Gold Award, RTAA Young Rail Specialist Award and Transport for NSW’s Employee Excellence Award. 

Thomas thoroughly enjoys working with his teams, challenging the norm and working in such a diverse and vibrant environment that is transport industry.

Jonathan Barnes

Vice President

Jonathan has worked in the rail industry for the last 15 years, having started his career with Swetha in 2000. He spent his early years in Rail Safeworking and corridor management, while studying civil and computer engineering at Western Sydney University. He joined RailCorp’s Intern program in 2008, working in the Civil Major Construction group, and has subsequently worked across a range of areas. He is currently the Rail Inspection Services Manager for Sydney Trains.

Jonathan joined the Management Committee in 2013 and has played a key role in the Rail Industry Field Day as well as improving the RTAA’s engagement with young members. In 2014, Jonathan was honoured to be elected Vice President.

Complementing his role with RTAA, Jonathan is an active member of various panels and groups of Engineers Australia, including holding a position with the Sydney Division Committee.

Orla O’Sullivan

Vice President

Orla is the General Manager of Management Commercial Engineering (MCE) Pty Ltd and has approaching 13 years of diverse experience, skills and knowledge gained from working in the infrastructure sector in Australia, Europe and the UK.

Orla started her career in the UK in architectural practice before relocating to Australia to work in the transport industry from 2010.

Orla is passionate about efficiently delivering infrastructure for tomorrows generation and has been an active member of the Rail Track Association Australia (RTAA) Management Committee for 4 years. She has taken a keen interest in the promotion of women in rail and advocates a diverse and inclusive rail industry. Orla devised and curated the RTAA Women in Rail Publication, launched in 2017. Orla’s effort and commitment was recently recognised by the infrastructure industry by being elected as the Vice President for the Rail Track Association Australia.

As RTAA’s Vice President Orla intends to utilise her industry contacts and influence to enthusiastically promote a diverse and inclusive industry enabling more effective collaboration to deliver better infrastructure.

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Kieran Navin


Kieran has worked in or around the UK and Australian railways for the past 13 years.  He’s interested in fixing complex problems, be they technical, strategic or human. As a result, he likes to be where teams are in trouble or the obstacles are seemingly insurmountable.

During his career, Kieran’s varied roles have included stints operating tamping fleets, ­managing welding teams, supporting enormous bids, running small businesses and relentlessly searching for the next and newest technology (or management theory) to help with the next unsolvable problem.

Kieran’s been a fixture on the Management Committee for several years, and joined the Executive as Treasurer in 2018.  He also has an unofficial role as IT support and SharePoint archivist.

Kieran is currently Managing Director of Riddell View Pty Ltd, a consultancy firm offering Project and Bidding Leadership expertise, and he’s always on the lookout for the next problem!


Abbie Thomas


Abbie holds degrees in Science and Mechanical Engineering and has 12 years’ post-graduate experience, of which 10 of those have been in the rail industry mostly in track maintenance and construction.

Abbie started her rail career in ARTC’s standards division in Adelaide, and then relocated to Sydney to take up a role with Macmahon Rail in their rail maintenance team. Abbie then moved over to John Holland as Project Engineer on the North Strathfield Rail Underpass, Sydney Metro Northwest (Tunnels), and Sydenham Metro Upgrade.

Abbie has recently joined Pacific National as a Project Manager, working with the Asset Management team to deliver transformation initiatives that target an overall Pacific National performance improvement.

Abbie is passionate about promoting the rail industry as career option. Abbie has been a personal member since 2015 and joined the Management Committee in 2017, contributing to the portfolios of the Field Day, Young Professional, and Diversity sub-committees.