The revitilisation of Newcastle is set to be the centre of attention this week as 29 of the brightest young professionals present their solution on how “The Hunter Can Get Smart About Transport”.

These young professionals participated in this year’s HunterNet Future Leaders Program and formed into five multi-disciplinary teams to consider how Newcastle can leverage off the investment in light rail and develop a truly integrated transport system drawing on smart transport technologies to ensure maximised benefit to the region. The teams worked in a competitive environment using the skills they attained throughout the program where 12 Leadership topics were delivered by leading academics and business leaders from the region and nationally.

The teams were assigned mentors that are senior leaders in their own right who guided the teams in the development of their integrated transport solution, which involved producing a 20 page report and delivering a 30 minute presentation. This year’s mentors included:

  • Paul Hughes, former CEO Newcastle Airport and now Board Member of RDA & Petersons Wines
  • Andrew Mears, CEO & Founder, SwitchDin
  • Lyndell Fogarty,CEO, Perform HR
  • Soozy Smith, CEO, ANZ Breast Cancer Trial Group
  • Steven Wait, Business Manager, The Business Centre

The program encouraged each of the teams to think outside the box when researching and scoping their integrated transport solution. This included looking within and outside the Newcastle CBD, current and future transport modes and current and future technology. They were required to explain how their proposal will be smart from the customer’s viewpoint and how it will transform the daily lives of people in the Hunter.

The submissions and presentations were judged by stellar judging panel consisting of some of the most experienced and credentialed leaders in our region.

  • Anna Zycki, Coordinator General Transport for Newcastle, RMS
  • Wayne Johnson, General Manager Customer Service and Operations – Hunter Valley, ARTC
  • Hennie du Plooy, CEO, Port Waratah Coal Services
  • Tony Cade, CEO, HunterNet
  • Gunilla Burrows, Chairperson, Eighteen04

The judging panel have deliberated over the submissions and presentations and assessed each of them on their merit. The winning team will be announced at the HunterNet Future Leaders Annual Gala Dinner this Friday 4th November 2016.

The Chairperson of the Program and Vice Chairman of HunterNet Steve Tolley said:

“We have received five cracking submissions, all of which are able to be implemented and could transform transport in the region. The program is very fortunate to have such a high calibre judging panel and a group of mentors that were focused and committed to the development of our regions young leaders. I look forward to the announcement of the winner on Friday.”

1. Team Hill – H.O.T

2. Team Obelisk – New Ride

3. Team Scratchley – Transport Freely

4. Team Harbour – MoveSmart

5. Team Nobbys – Hiccup