Building a diverse and successful career with Aurizon, Renee shares her story
Renee Johnson joined Aurizon’s Graduate Program just over 10 years ago and has built a diverse and successful career across the business. Today she is the Manager of Transformation and Integration, driving innovation and process improvement in one of Aurizon’s largest businesses.
Renee Johnson didn’t know a lot about trains when she joined Australia’s largest rail freight company as a HR graduate in 2011.
“When looking at graduate positions towards the end of my degree I was keen to work for a market leading ASX company with a structured graduate program. I wanted to work for a company that would give me exposure to various parts of its operations, in various locations, in a supportive environment,” Renee said.
With many opportunities on offer, Renee embarked on a rapid learning curve, working across multiple disciplines - HR, Industrial Relations, Maintenance, Operations, Safety and Transformation – and in various locations - Brisbane, Ipswich, Newcastle and Mackay.
Nowadays, she is the Manager of Transformation and Integration in Aurizon’s Coal business with a laser-like focus on making rail operations the safest and most efficient they can be for our customers and for the success of our business.
“This wide range of experience has made me a better team member, a more rounded leader and has given me a solid foundation to continue building my career on,” she said.
“The transition to operational leadership roles has been both terrifying and exciting. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, learned so much and had the support to develop my skills and capabilities.
“I have worked in many different teams, in different business units, disciplines and geographical locations and everywhere I have been the people I get to work with have been amazing.”
Renee is based in the regional city of Mackay, on the tropical Queensland coast. It’s a stone’s throw from the Great Barrier Reef where Renee spends weekends fishing and relaxing with her husband.
She enjoys the relaxed lifestyle of living in a regional city with great dining, entertainment and recreational facilities, and only a few minutes commute to work. It provides the lifestyle balance for her busy and challenging leadership role at Aurizon.
Mackay is also the heart of the Queensland coal industry which produces high-quality metallurgical coal, a critical input to steel-making. Queensland is the world’s largest exporter of metallurgical coal, in high demand globally as a necessary part of infrastructure, construction and manufacturing.
Aurizon trains and rail infrastructure are an important part of this export supply chain. We are focussed on ensuring it operates efficiently and our teams are committed to continuous performance improvement to support Australian coal exports remaining globally competitive.
“My team is responsible for developing and implementing process improvements to enable safe, reliable and cost-effective delivery of coal train services for our valued customers,” she said.
“Partnering with the operations, maintenance, customer and planning teams, we’re responsible for managing and influencing the regional strategy, crew deployment efficiency and technical and process improvements.”
While the work is challenging, Renee enjoys working for a Company that promotes a positive workplace culture and where diversity and inclusion is embraced.
“Valuing the role and contribution of each person – and the different perspectives they bring - is fundamental to how we operate our business,” she said.
“Increasingly we are seeing more and more people from outside the rail industry coming to work at Aurizon. They bring fresh perspectives, often have transferrable skills, and can see new solutions. And there are so many different opportunities on offer especially as we continue the technology transformation happening in the business, including digitisation, data management and artificial intelligence."
To view current job opportunities available with Aurizon click here.