President’s Report 2019

It is my pleasure to deliver this, my second report on ITS Australia’s activities and achievements for the 2018/19 financial year.

First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of ITS Australia’s members. For the past two years it has been my privilege to travel around Australia, and across the globe, to speak on behalf of you, and on behalf of our industry. It has been an opportunity for which I am sincerely grateful.

ITS Australia Events

This year the 7th Australian ITS Summit was held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (28-29 August 2019). The Summit connected transport technology leaders from across the globe to explore the role of future technology in the context of international collaboration and rapidly evolving standards.

It was very gratifying to see such a strong turnout for the event. The Summit was attended by more than 500 industry stakeholders; featured a two-day program of 45 speakers, from leading Australian and global ITS organisations; and incorporated a busy exhibition hall with twenty-five industry exhibitors. From major industry players like Cubic and Kapsch, to new mobility innovators Via and Liftango, as well as technology and mapping specialists Aimsun and Here, the ITS Summit represented the full ecosystem of the ITS industry, both on the exhibition floor and the presentation stage.

The Summit took place alongside a meeting of the Michigan-Australia Exchange (MAX) on Future Mobility, a partnership between the State of Michigan and the Australian Government that came into being with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in October 2018 in Melbourne.

With more than 500 registered attendees this was a stand-out event for the year. Media interest was also high with a number of articles reporting on the event.

Our Industry Business Networking Events held around the country throughout the year had more than 800 industry professionals attending events in Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and for the first time, Hobart. All of these events continue to grow, with our Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne events each attracting well over 200 attendees. We look forward to continuing this program in 2020.

Looking back almost a year, the ITS Australia National Awards 2018 was a truly outstanding night in Brisbane. As always it was a pleasure to formally recognise the outstanding work that was done across the year, as well as to recognise those organisations that have now been members for over 10 years. Organisations reaching this 10-year milestone are recognised at the annual awards night.

In 2019, ITS Australia held the National Electronic Tolling Conference (NeTC) in Brisbane in June, as well as our second Mobility as a Service (MaaS) conference in Melbourne in May. Both events had very strong attendance and highly engaged attendees. In 2020 the MaaS conference will return to Sydney and NeTC will be incorporated into the ITS Asia Pacific Forum program as the conference’s Transport Pricing, Tolling and Charging stream.

An exclusive offering for our Platinum and Gold members, our Thought Leadership Dinners continued in 2018-19 bringing together leaders in our industry with Government Ministers. We’d like to thank The Hon Mark Bailey MP and The Hon Jaala Pulford MLC for their time and attention at the events in Brisbane and Melbourne this year.

The Thought Leadership series continues to be possible because of ITS Australia’s relationships with government and industry, the organisation’s ability to manage high level, multi-dimensional events and a continuing agenda of industry issues and opportunities. The feedback from these meetings continues to be positive from all sides of the table (members, ministers and government departments) and as such the Thought Leadership Series will continue in 2020.

The recent 26th ITS World Congress in Singapore was a great success. We had the largest ever Australian delegation at a World Congress held outside of Australia: more than 300 Australians representing over 100 Australian organisations working in ITS. Additionally, ITS Australia hosted a pavilion with 13 industry co-exhibitors. We continue to find that a collective approach to these international events provides a base for all Australian organisations to congregate. On the stand we held a morning tea celebrating Inclusive Mobility, and an informal networking function, both of which were exceedingly well attended. With upcoming Congresses in Los Angeles, Hamburg, and Suzhou we will continue securing great locations in the exhibition halls at these international events to showcase the best of Australian transport technology.

17th ITS Asia Pacific Forum

In May next year ITS Australia will host the 17th Asia Pacific Forum on Intelligent Transport Systems in Brisbane. The overarching theme for the event is ITS Innovation Creating Liveable Communities.

All of us at ITS Australia are very excited about the event and we have a large number of stakeholders from across the industry participating in the various committees that have been formed to shape the event.

The call for papers for the event closed in September and we received 197 total submissions from 15 different countries, including 100 technical papers, 41 special interest sessions, 39 scientific papers, 17 commercial papers, and 7 Future Leaders submissions.

We are pleased that the Queensland Government has joined RACQ as a Premier Partner for the event. Those two organisations are part of a growing cohort of sponsors and exhibitors for the event. We are very grateful for the support we have received so far and look forward to bringing a truly outstanding Asia Pacific Forum to Brisbane next year.

Diversity Policy

Consistent with our diversity policy ITS Australia now monitors gender diversity across our various activities and are pleased to report back to members. It is important to note that while overall diversity is the goal, gender diversity has been selected as an initial focus on the basis that enhanced gender diversity has been shown to provide a pathway to improve overall diversity.

This graph highlights that the industry we operate in, based on our membership and event delegates, has 22% or less female representation. Across our other organisational activities the gender profile is generally more balanced, however, our board and of the speakers at our events, both typically composed of more senior industry representatives, still skews male.

As an initiative to support diversity, and particularly the retention of women across the various stages of their careers so that they can move into more senior roles within their organisations, ITS Australia has committed to offering complimentary registrations to our events for members on parental leave for three or more months. The intention is that this will enable members taking extended leave to stay connected with their professional networks and keep up to date with developments in the industry. We also invite members on parental leave to consider participating in one of our committees as another avenue to extend professional networks and remain active in the industry during a career break. Members who have employees who are interested taking up this invitation are encouraged to contact the office for more information.

Industry Engagement

The ITS industry is a highly transformational one. Those members who routinely attend our events will no doubt notice the ever-increasing number and variety of organisations that make up our industry, with new start-ups, representing new and emergent technologies, routinely entering our space. At ITS Australia it is our challenge to keep pace with an increasingly diversifying industry whilst also continuing to provide outstanding service to our existing member base.

The board, committees, and staff of ITS Australia continually seek to improve the range of services that we offer to members. Currently our team are working hard on the redevelopment of ITS Australia’s website to create a new and improved member experience in the digital space, and to provide a brand-new platform to promote the tremendous work that you, our members, do.

The MaaS National Reference Committee was convened following the positive reception to the report MaaS in Australia: Customer Insights and Opportunities published by ITS Australia and project partners through iMOVE. With more than 50 representatives from government and industry, the Committee has met for two highly productive workshops in 2019 and sub-committees working on specific areas of interest have also met throughout the year. ITS Australia will be publishing a high-level report outlining these activities and actions.

In this sector, industry consultation is essential, and the Australian Government at all levels has been undertaking an impressive range of stakeholder engagement activities on an equally impressive array of issues. ITS Australia has made several submissions on behalf of our members; including the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy, NTC Regulatory Impacts Statements, and we’ve also published a statement on Connected and Automated Vehicles.

ITS Australia is currently leading a research project, Unlocking Shared Mobility, though iMOVE with research partners RMIT. The project will allow us to understand better how we can collaboratively work to increase the options for customers to access car-share services to improve outcomes for our transport networks and communities.

Following our events, slides and presentations are posted on the website, accessible to members only. Over the past 12 months more than 3,200 people visited this section of the website.

Across social media, our number of followers have increased across both Twitter and LinkedIn and we continue to have regular coverage in industry publications including ITS International, Smart Highways, Thinking Highways, Highway Engineering Australia, Infrastructure Magazine, and Traffic Transport Today.

Industry Leadership

As an industry leader ITS Australia continues to promote the industry, facilitate collaboration and foster partnerships. In addition to direct member interactions, ITS Australia and its members continue to represent the industry on a number of external boards, bodies and associations, including:

  • Industry Partner in Michigan-Australia Exchange (MAX) on Future Mobility, a partnership between the State of Michigan and the Australian Government
  • Facilitator – Austroads CAV Industry Reference Group
  • Formal partner with the University of Melbourne’s Australian Integrated Multimodal EcoSystem (AIMES)
  • Formal participant in the iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre

Over the year ITS Australia has worked closely with national and international ITS communities to strengthen ties through these important networks. International engagement has included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the State of Michigan and the Australian Government, high-level policy round table at the Singapore World Congress, as well as facilitating visits of a number of international delegations and industry workshops to work to shape future transport.

With a career spanning more than 50 years, Brian Negus is one of Australia’s most respected and influential transport and mobility leaders. In 2018 Brian was awarded the Max Lay Lifetime Achievement Award, following that honour, was inducted to the ITS World Congress Hall of Fame at the recent congress in Singapore. Brian is the first Australian to receive this honour.


I am extremely proud to be President of ITS Australia. I am also very grateful that I have the opportunity to represent an industry that is as dynamic and engaged as ours. One does not become President of an organisation such as this one without first being a proud member. I am fortunate to count myself as one amongst an extraordinary group of individuals and organisations that make ITS Australia one of the leading ITS organisations in the world.

Finally, I must mention ITS Australia’s CEO, Susan Harris, and her team, who do a marvellous job day to day in providing our members the sort of representation they deserve in both our own backyard and internationally.

Dean Zabrieszach
President, ITS Australia
November 2019

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