CEDA member profile: Aurecon




Marianne Cullen, Regional Director, ACT, Aurecon

Please tell us a little about Aurecon 

Aurecon is a privately owned, 7000-strong, global engineering and infrastructure advisory company, but not as you know it. We’ve reimagined engineering. Hardwired in our DNA is leaving a legacy through our work. We do this by working alongside our clients to co-create innovative solutions to some of the world’s most complex challenges – and always through the lens of the end-user and our client.

We won the Good Design Award of the Year 2017 for our design innovation on a new generation of flood resilient, elegant, accessible ferry terminals for Brisbane, and we are currently working on every major transport project along the Eastern seaboard, for example Inland Rail, Melbourne Metro, WestConnex and Western Sydney Airport and have advised various public sector clients on policy and strategy issues across energy, water, economic and social infrastructure and telecommunications sectors.

What is your role with the company? 

I’m Aurecon’s Regional Director, ACT, leading the growth of Aurecon’s Federal Government practice in Canberra. 

My role is very much about being the bridge between Federal Government and Aurecon’s advisory, digital, and technical experts, while staying true to our values of design eminence and innovation. When the opportunity at Aurecon arose, I saw immediate alignment between my 24 years in public service advising on, designing and executing major public policy initiatives and reform projects across aviation, rail, telecommunications, broadcasting, and government service delivery sectors and Aurecon’s needs. I’m excited about bringing Aurecon’s innovation, eminence and design-led thinking approaches to the Federal Government.  

What are some of your main responsibilities and goals in your role?

From an Australian perspective, one of my main priorities for the year ahead is to bring together and leverage Aurecon’s strong network and deep understanding of infrastructure development and delivery issues at all levels of government. The aim is to provide valuable and insightful advice and technical expertise, enhance and drive multi-stakeholder collaboration and community engagement, create project efficiencies and deliver project success. No minor task, but one that is highly rewarding both personally, and to the communities whose lives we will impact. 
Another priority is to leverage my Commonwealth public sector experience into the other geographies that Aurecon operates in. Governments in New Zealand and Africa are grappling with many of the same issues as we are here in Australia, and they are at varying stages of their journey. 
And our private sector clients sit at the heart of all of this. My team and I are very focused on providing these clients with relevant advice on government decision-making to enable more efficient and best possible long-term outcomes for them and the communities they serve. 

Which of your company’s top priorities are you most focused on for the coming year?

I’m focused on building Aurecon’s Federal Government practice, bringing our deep expertise in delivering major projects from inception to decommissioning to the decision-makers shaping the country’s infrastructure investment.
With the Australian federal, state and local governments sharing investment in upcoming billion-dollar infrastructure projects and managing them differently to how they have in the past, they need to have a deep understanding of how projects are delivered to better understand upfront policy implementation issues and challenges. 

Aurecon’s full service offering, including better connecting all the stakeholders at every stage of the project lifecycle, means they can navigate a world shaped by rapid urbanisation, an aging population, and increasing citizen expectations, driven by rapidly changing technology, all in the context of substantial fiscal constraints.

Why did Aurecon choose to become a CEDA member? 

Our people have long recognised the value of CEDA networks and research, having had high levels of participation for years. As an engineering and infrastructure advisory company, our day job is finding innovative solutions to create better results for our clients and communities. Therefore, we want to be at the forefront of policy issues and trends, so we can help our clients identify problems early and make informed decisions to drive the best outcomes. 

CEDA offers us the ability to contribute to policy debate, access leading insights, and work with a strong network of individuals and organisations who also care about the direction of our country.