2018 Transport Cluster Awards

As one of the biggest celebrations in the Transport calendar, the Transport Cluster Awards are all about shining the spotlight on individuals and teams who live our values and deliver fantastic results for the people of NSW. Our work in Transport touches the lives of millions of people every day, and it’s our people who are at the heart of our success.

Finalists and winners from the 2018 Transport Awards

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists, particularly those who are part of our Entry Level Talent Programs!

  • Elizabeth Tolhurst (Outstanding Talent of the Year, Finalist)
  • Liam Shephard (Outstanding Talent of the Year, Finalist)
  • Matthew Perez (Outstanding Talent of the Year, Winner)
  • Bianca Lao (Outstanding Talent of the Year, Finalist | Secretary’s Award for Individual Excellence, Outcome)

Big congratulations to Matt Perez, who as you remember not only won the Talent Participant of the Year award at the 2018 Talent Forum, but also the Outstanding Talent of the Year Category from talent across the Transport cluster. This award celebrates an individual who is part of an entry level program (e.g. Apprentice, Graduate, VET Cadet, and Scholar) and has exceeded expectations.

We would like to especially recognise the amazing achievement of Bianca Lao. Bianca won the Secretary’s Award for Individual Excellence which is hand selected by Rodd Staples and celebrates an individual who continuously goes above and beyond. As this is a Transport cluster wide award, it is an incredible achievement for anyone, let alone a Graduate to be presented with this award. So once more, massive congratulations to Bianca!

We interviewed Matthew Perez, Bianca Lao and Elizabeth Tolhurst to find out more about why they were recognised and asked them to share some helpful tips and advice.

Matthew Perez

Matthew was nominated for his project management role on the Memorial Dr Anti-Graffiti Mural project in Wollongong. The project involved painting 8m x 3m sound barriers with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal art to curb ongoing significant issues with graffiti in the area.

“There is a memory I have from my first rotation where I had a lot of trepidation towards a ’develop & deliver’ project I was assigned that was very new and daunting to me. It took me a while before finally getting into the task, and when I did, I learnt a lot about my own potential and gained a lot of new skills in the process.”

When asked what piece of advice to give to his younger self, Matthew stresses the importance to be confident in your abilities. Matthew encourages all participants to seize and capitalise on every opportunity that is provided to you.

“When you’re surrounded by people with so much more experience, or even fellow graduates who you feel know more than you, it’s easy to get in your own head about your performance and comparing it to others. As a Talent Participant, there’s never been a better time to get in there, ask numerous questions, make mistakes and learn from them. Best case scenario, you nail it anyway and everyone is impressed by your achievement.”

Bianca Lao

Bianca was nominated for her role in The Growth Project as part of the 2018 Smart Seeds Innovation competition. The Growth Project was a team that comprised of other young professionals from Transport, Lendlease, Sydney Water and RPS Group. They developed an urban farming precinct to help Transport utilise unused land and upskill disadvantaged communities. Bianca and fellow Graduate Ella Somerset have been trying to set up a pilot within the organisation to turn the idea into reality.

“As part of this journey, I also had the opportunity to present in front of 600 leaders from across the Transport cluster at the annual leadership event called Leader Alliance. It was such a surreal experience to talk about the project with esteemed leaders who were excited about the idea,” Bianca said.

Bianca was awarded the Secretary’s Award for Individual Excellence. Through receiving this award, Secretary Rodd Staples recognised the tremendous contribution that Bianca has made to the Cluster in her short but impressive career so far!

Bianca’s top tip is to take every opportunity you get!

“Make sure to build up your experience so that when it’s time to roll off your program, you’re equipped with lots of different skills that can help you land that dream job.”

If she could give advice to her younger self, Bianca emphasises that you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff and just take each day as it comes.


Elizabeth Tolhurst

Elizabeth’s nomination was for her role in leading and developing the Workforce Change Dashboard within the Change and Operations team at RMS. The dashboard is presented to the RMS executive team each quarter and provides a holistic view of workforce change across RMS. It also provides insights into the effect that change has on our people, business continuity and public money.

A great piece of advice Elizabeth shared is to talk to other graduates about placements they have done and managers they think would provide you with a good placement experience.


For more information on all 2018 Transport Cluster Award finalists and winners, check out the intranet article.

As one of the biggest celebrations in the Transport calendar, the Transport Cluster Awards are all about shining the spotlight on individuals and teams who live our values and deliver fantastic results for the people of NSW. Our work in Transport touches the lives of millions of people every day, and it’s our people who are at the heart of our success.

Finalists and winners from the 2018 Transport Awards

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists, particularly those who are part of our Entry Level Talent Programs!

  • Elizabeth Tolhurst (Outstanding Talent of the Year, Finalist)
  • Liam Shephard (Outstanding Talent of the Year, Finalist)
  • Matthew Perez (Outstanding Talent of the Year, Winner)
  • Bianca Lao (Outstanding Talent of the Year, Finalist | Secretary’s Award for Individual Excellence, Outcome)

Big congratulations to Matt Perez, who as you remember not only won the Talent Participant of the Year award at the 2018 Talent Forum, but also the Outstanding Talent of the Year Category from talent across the Transport cluster. This award celebrates an individual who is part of an entry level program (e.g. Apprentice, Graduate, VET Cadet, and Scholar) and has exceeded expectations.

We would like to especially recognise the amazing achievement of Bianca Lao. Bianca won the Secretary’s Award for Individual Excellence which is hand selected by Rodd Staples and celebrates an individual who continuously goes above and beyond. As this is a Transport cluster wide award, it is an incredible achievement for anyone, let alone a Graduate to be presented with this award. So once more, massive congratulations to Bianca!

We interviewed Matthew Perez, Bianca Lao and Elizabeth Tolhurst to find out more about why they were recognised and asked them to share some helpful tips and advice.

Matthew Perez

Matthew was nominated for his project management role on the Memorial Dr Anti-Graffiti Mural project in Wollongong. The project involved painting 8m x 3m sound barriers with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal art to curb ongoing significant issues with graffiti in the area.

“There is a memory I have from my first rotation where I had a lot of trepidation towards a ’develop & deliver’ project I was assigned that was very new and daunting to me. It took me a while before finally getting into the task, and when I did, I learnt a lot about my own potential and gained a lot of new skills in the process.”

When asked what piece of advice to give to his younger self, Matthew stresses the importance to be confident in your abilities. Matthew encourages all participants to seize and capitalise on every opportunity that is provided to you.

“When you’re surrounded by people with so much more experience, or even fellow graduates who you feel know more than you, it’s easy to get in your own head about your performance and comparing it to others. As a Talent Participant, there’s never been a better time to get in there, ask numerous questions, make mistakes and learn from them. Best case scenario, you nail it anyway and everyone is impressed by your achievement.”

Bianca Lao

Bianca was nominated for her role in The Growth Project as part of the 2018 Smart Seeds Innovation competition. The Growth Project was a team that comprised of other young professionals from Transport, Lendlease, Sydney Water and RPS Group. They developed an urban farming precinct to help Transport utilise unused land and upskill disadvantaged communities. Bianca and fellow Graduate Ella Somerset have been trying to set up a pilot within the organisation to turn the idea into reality.

“As part of this journey, I also had the opportunity to present in front of 600 leaders from across the Transport cluster at the annual leadership event called Leader Alliance. It was such a surreal experience to talk about the project with esteemed leaders who were excited about the idea,” Bianca said.

Bianca was awarded the Secretary’s Award for Individual Excellence. Through receiving this award, Secretary Rodd Staples recognised the tremendous contribution that Bianca has made to the Cluster in her short but impressive career so far!

Bianca’s top tip is to take every opportunity you get!

“Make sure to build up your experience so that when it’s time to roll off your program, you’re equipped with lots of different skills that can help you land that dream job.”

If she could give advice to her younger self, Bianca emphasises that you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff and just take each day as it comes.


Elizabeth Tolhurst

Elizabeth’s nomination was for her role in leading and developing the Workforce Change Dashboard within the Change and Operations team at RMS. The dashboard is presented to the RMS executive team each quarter and provides a holistic view of workforce change across RMS. It also provides insights into the effect that change has on our people, business continuity and public money.

A great piece of advice Elizabeth shared is to talk to other graduates about placements they have done and managers they think would provide you with a good placement experience.


For more information on all 2018 Transport Cluster Award finalists and winners, check out the intranet article.

Page published: 29 March 2019, 14:48