We talked to Alec Tattersall, President of the AITPM Queensland Branch
I’m a proud Lancastrian transport planner who calls Brisbane home with my wife Shona and daughter Polly.
What is your current role?
Company Director & Director Transport Planning Projects at PSA Consulting and AITPM Queensland Branch President
What first attracted you to get involved in the transport industry?
Reading Geography at the University of Durham gave me an appreciation of the concepts of space, place and scale which is really what transport planning is all about. The early stages of my career in local government in England focused on environment and communities which along with my academic studies gave me a solid grounding for work in the transport industry.
Could you explain some key opportunities in your career and how they contributed to your development?
Following my academic studies I chose a job opportunity in local government over continuing my studies with a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning (Transport). Whilst I would never discourage anyone from undertaking further studies, for me, taking the job was a defining moment and gave me practical exposure to communities, environment and transport sectors and diverse colleagues and experiences.
My second key opportunity is quite broad - having the privilege to spend time with and learn from experienced industry professionals (PS, JvdB and SS) at a key developmental stage in my career – looking back I was like a sponge absorbing as much as I could.
What has been involvement with AITPM to date?
I’ve been a member of AITPM since 2012 and in that year also became a Queensland Branch committee member. In 2015 I co-convened the Brisbane National Conference and became Queensland Vice President in 2018 before becoming Queensland Branch President in 2019. Along with the rest of the Queensland branch we also had the dubious honour of organising four conferences but only delivering two during 2020 and 2021.
What are your aspirations for your contribution to the AITPM?
I'm passionate about growing the organisation whilst maintaining the partnerships and camaraderie that has been a key factor in my involvement over the last decade.
We are in a great position to do this through the springboard of increased online professional development opportunities and making national connections more than once a year at the National Conference.
What has been a memorable moment in your career?
My wife and I first met whilst working on the Inner Northern Busway (Kedron to Windsor) project so that project always has to be on my list.
I’ve been privileged to work on many of South-East Queensland’s major passenger transport projects, but managing the operational readiness for Stage 1 of the Gold Coast Light Rail and seeing the positive patronage response from the community in the weeks and months after the implementation was highly memorable.
What are your personal and/or professional career plans for the future?
Whenever I’m asked this the first thing that comes to mind is ‘sustainable growth’ as it encompasses both my professional and personal aspirations as a Company Director of PSA Consulting, and my plans for the society that we will leave for our children.
In South-East Queensland we are on an exciting journey to a more sustainable future through major passenger transport infrastructure investment and I’m looking forward to the role our profession has to play.
Do you have any advice you would like to share to professionals in the transport/traffic industry?
Get involved with industry bodies – we’re only as good as the contributions from our members. If you see opportunities for improvement get involved and push for change
Continue learning – you aren’t the finished product and in an ever-changing sector it’s important to keep developing
We’re all different so try to understand what drives and motivates you and use it to your professional benefit
What do you do in your spare time to unwind?
Watching Burnley Football Club (they don’t really let me unwind more recently though), playing golf, spending time on the beach or in the park or pool with my daughter.