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Women in Transport Leadership Development Scholarships

This scholarship program provides opportunities for career advancement for high potential women to rise to senior positions within the industry.

WiT Scholars 2023 Annual Event

What does the Scholarship offer? 

Three scholarships up to the value of $30,000 each are awarded each year (until 2024) for leadership development courses at an Undergraduate, Masters, Postgraduate, and executive level, relatable to a transport and infrastructure area.

Who is eligible?

Women in Transport (WiT) Scholarships are open to all women (including transgender women), non-binary and gender-diverse people, employed by Department of Transport and Planning (DTP) and within the public transport agencies, inclusive of VIDA and its projects, SRLA, VicTrack and V-line. Applicants must have completed their employment probation period.

WiT Leadership Development Scholarship Program recipients for 2024 announced!  

Congratulations to Courtney Buchanan, Cassie Min and Mariana Taraunekh who have been each awarded a WiT Leadership Development Scholarship, joining the prestigious WiT Scholar Alumni!  

Selected from 33 outstanding applicants by a panel of senior leaders across the Department of Transport and Planning and the Victorian Infrastructure Delivery Authority, the three new members will each undertake a post-graduate degree in their chosen field, relatable to a transport and infrastructure area.  

Each scholar was evaluated on their leadership skills, the potential of the post-graduate course to address a current industry challenge, and how they could help tackle issues with intersectional gender inequality in the infrastructure industry.  

The WiT Leadership Development Scholarship will support Courtney, Cassie and Mariana to pursue an advanced degree in the following areas:  

  • Courtney, a Heritage Advisor with the Department of Planning and Transport, will be undertaking a Master of Environmental Law at the University of Melbourne
  • Cassie, a Lead in Precincts Transport Advice with the Department of Transport and Planning, will be undertaking a Master of Transport and Mobility Planning at Monash University 
  • Mariana, a Senior Project Engineer with the Suburban Rail Loop Authority, will undertake a Master of Construction Law at the University of Melbourne. 

Our new WiT Scholars join an esteemed Alumni network, balancing full-time work, part-time study, and often, caregiving responsibilities.  

Since its inception in 2017-18, the WiT Leadership Development Scholarship Program has awarded 23 scholarships to empower high-performing women and gender-diverse leaders. 

About the WiT Leadership Development Scholarship program 

The WiT Programs (including the Mentoring Program) sit within the Industry Capability & Inclusion team at the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP). 

For more information on our WiT Scholar Alumni, see the WiT Scholar Profiles Booklet below, soon to be updated with the latest members from 2023 and 2024. 

To learn more, please contact the WiT Programs team via with any queries.  

Women in Transport Leadership Development Scholarship Program
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2024 Successful WiT Scholar Recipient Profiles

Image of Courtney Buchanan

Courtney Buchanan 

Courtney Buchanan is a Heritage Advisor for the Department of Transport and Planning and works in a state-wide capacity often acting in a coordinating role between project delivery teams, the regions and external contractors and stakeholders. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology, with a minor in Ancient History, from Sydney University, and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Conservation of Cultural Materials from the University of Melbourne.

Prior to taking on her current position, Courtney worked as a Heritage Advisor and Cultural Heritage Administrator for Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation. Courtney has significant archaeological experience and has worked closely with Traditional Owners in both Victoria and New South Wales. As a heritage professional Courtney has a passion for Traditional Owner-led land management and the conservation of intangible cultural heritage.

Outside of her heritage work, Courtney is a member of the Australian Women’s Epee Team. Courtney holds the position of Diversity and Inclusion Officer on the Board of Fencing Victoria, and works to create a safe, fun, accessible and inclusive community for all fencers.

Image of Cassie Min

Cassie Min

Cassie Min currently works as a Lead Precincts Transport Advisor within the Department of Transport and Planning, where she provides transport planning advice for priority precincts across Victoria, to achieve coordinated networks and integrated transport and land use outcomes.

Cassie is passionate about helping to create sustainable and efficient transport systems that enhance the places we live, work, and connect. She aspires to become a strategic transport leader, promoting and leveraging approaches that ensure sustainability, equity and liveability are considered when developing transport solutions.

Cassie is motivated to enhance her skills in this field, to tackle the complex challenges of modern transport and mobility planning. Her approved course, the Master of Transport and Mobility Planning at Monash University, unpacks the links between urban land use planning and transport and mobility, and explores how these relationships are challenged by emerging trends and technologies. This course will help her develop a deeper understanding of the interrelationships between social, economic, and environmental factors that drive the need for integrated transport. It combines theoretical foundations with practical applications and will equip her with skills that bridge several disciplines relevant to transport and urban mobility.

By completing this course, Cassie aims to apply and promote best practice approaches in transport, fostering greater collaboration among experts to drive more robust and innovative outcomes. She is committed to improving diversity within the transport sector, and keen to make a positive impact on the community through her work in the Victorian Public Service.

Image of Mariana Taraunekh

Mariana Taraunekh

Mariana is a Senior Project Engineer at the Suburban Rail Loop Authority where she is fortunate to be a part of the team focused on delivering safe, accessible, and reliable infrastructure for the fastest growing city in Australia. Growing up in a family of engineers in industrial Eastern Ukraine, Mariana always wanted to do meaningful and result-oriented work, introducing positive changes for her community and a leaving a legacy for future generations. When she moved to Australia, this desire inspired Mariana to study civil and infrastructure engineering at RMIT University. Later, these aspirations led her to apply her engineering and project management knowledge to delivering Victoria’s most exciting and critical projects while working at Rail Projects Victoria and the Level Crossing Removal Project. She enjoyed leveraging her local government and private sector experience when building successful stakeholder relationships on these projects.

Mariana feels extremely privileged to receive the 2024 WiT Leadership Development Scholarship to study the Master of Construction Law at the University of Melbourne. Combining her experience delivering major transport infrastructure projects with vital legal and commercial knowledge will enhance Mariana’s ability to navigate complex challenges, and exercise sound judgment in decision making processes, for a project the scale of the Suburban Rail Loop.

A few days before receiving the news of becoming a WiT Leadership Development Scholar, Mariana also became a first-time mother to a baby girl. She is excited about this new chapter in her life and is looking forward to conquering the challenge of balancing work and study with being a mother. Responsible for a little girl, she more than ever feels the importance of continuing to dismantle barriers, using the opportunities she has been given to encourage and inspire women to pursue their careers and develop their leadership potential. 

WiT Scholarship Alumni

This year’s four newest WiT Scholars join the WiT Scholar Alumni who are rising to the challenge of full-time work, part time study and in many instances caring responsibilities. The WiT Scholar Alumni continue to give back to the WiT programs and its network through WiT program promotion, guest speaking opportunities, as WiT Mentors and more recently become buddies to our newest WiT Scholar members.

The inaugural WiT Leadership Development Scholarship Program Alumni meet and greet session was held in November 2022 and in November 2023 the now annual event ran for the second time, also welcoming senior and executive leaders from the transport industry to showcase the capability, leadership potential and achievements of the WiT scholars and alumni. 

WiT Scholar and Alumni List 

WiT Scholar YearNameCourse Name
Esther Warren
Master of Business Administration, Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne
Melissa Webb
Master of Design Futures, RMIT
Dishita Masalia
Master of Business Administration - Business Management, University of Canberra
Alexandra Morey
Master of Systems Engineering, The University of New South Wales
Janine Lara
Graduate Diploma of Property, Deakin University
Julia Jenvey
Master Urban Planning and Environment, RMIT
Kim Achkar Roumieh
Master of Engineering Management - Project Management, University of Melbourne
Marion Carrabin
Master in Infrastructure Engineering and Management, Monash University
Kate Stapleton
Executive Masters in Cities, London School of Economics
Annie Xu
Master Business Administration, Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne
Helen Cui
Masters Infrastructure Engineering and Management, Deakin University
Aditi Sachdeva
Master of Professional Management, University of Melbourne
Rhiannon Drummond-Clark
Masters of Environment and Climate Emergency, Curtin University
Tamara Preuss
Master of Laws, University of Melbourne
Penny Papoulidis
Master of Construction Law, University of Melbourne
Mamode Osikoya
Master of Environmental Engineering, Griffith University
Kat Li
Master of Business Administration, Deakin University
Taru Jain
Women in Leadership Program, Melbourne Business School
Courtney Buchanan
Master of Environmental Law, University of Melbourne
Cassie Min
Master of Transport and Mobility Planning, Monash University
Mariana Taraunekh
Master of Construction Law, University of Melbourne

WiT Programs Team

The WiT Programs Team role facilitated by the Industry Capability & Inclusion team at Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) has a keen focus on continuous improvement and welcomes feedback on this process and program.

Please contact the WiT Programs Team via if you have further queries.