We talked to Venuri Jayatillaka, social media coordinator for the Queensland Committee, and regular contributor to industry news for the AITPM newsletter.
I am a transport modeller at Veitch Lister Consulting and have been working at VLC for about 4.5 years. I joined the company as an undergraduate just before completing my bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from UQ. Since then, I have been involved in various kinds of very interesting and exciting projects for clients from the private sector and all three levels of government.
What is your current role?
Senior consultant (Transport Advisory) at Veitch Lister Consulting
What first attracted you to get involved in the transport industry?
I think my background of my mum having worked in the transport industry first led me to being interested in all things transport. Her area was more in road and bridge design, but I found more interest in something that involves people and solving things that directly impacts their day today life which is the reason why I found modelling to be very appealing. I think it’s interesting to understand how travel decisions we make change in different situations.
Could you explain some key opportunities in your career and how they contributed to your development?
I started at VLC towards the end of my final year at uni and since then have come a long way. I think every single project that I was involved in since joining VLC contributed to my development in different ways. Every project and every opportunity gave me unique experiences and lessons. Most of all the people at VLC and all the people I got to work with along the way have shaped me to be the person I am, both personally and professionally.
What has been your involvement with AITPM to date?
I have been a member of AITPM since 2018 which is when I first started with VLC as a graduate. I only recently became a QLD committee member, since July 2021 to be exact and in this small span of time I have been lucky enough to be able to help out in different parts of AITPM. I was able to lend a small helping hand with the 2021 online conference series and have since helped out in organising young professional network events and online webinars. I am also the AITPM QLD social media coordinator and in that role, I help out in managing the AITPM LinkedIn page and the fortnightly newsletters.
What are your aspirations for your contribution to the AITPM?
One of my main goals in joining the AITPM committee was to make AITPM have a better reach through social media and to provide even more opportunities within AITPM for young professionals and undergraduate students looking into joining the transport industry to interact and connect with industry professionals.
What are your personal and/or professional career plans for the future?
I want to keep doing what I love, strengthen my expertise, and help in providing optimal solutions to our clients. We currently live in a very exciting world. Every day we hear either about a new technology or an innovation or new research, especially in the transport industry and there’s much to learn and I want to keep learning. I also aim to interact more within the industry, meet new people and expand my network.
Do you have any advice you would like to share to professionals in the transport/traffic industry?
I haven’t been in the industry for too long, but I’ve learnt a few things in my professional life so far:
Do what you love and enjoy, it will both help in achieving great outcomes and having a positive mental well-being.
Everyone makes mistakes even if you are 1 year experienced or 20 years experienced, and the important thing is to learn from them.
You don’t always have to be the smartest person in the room as long as you are confident in yourself and what you know and don’t know.
What do you do in your spare time to unwind?
My go to way to unwind is to put on a Netflix show, usually a thriller or anything crime related. Aside from that I enjoy working out and doing hikes with my friends on the weekends and also spending time with my family and specially my dog Joy.
Anything else that you’d like to share?
I would just like to say that AITPM is an excellent platform for transport professionals in gaining invaluable knowledge, in keeping up to date with updates within the industry and to expand your network. I have met many people through AITPM, and it has been a wonderful experience so far and I’m looking forward to other opportunities that will come my way.