Naomi Young, Aboriginal Participation Liaison Officer from Ventia's Sydney Roads Asset Performance (SRAP) sadly passed away in September 2022. 

Her family has confirmed this article can continue to be featured on Ventia's website as a tribute to Naomi's life. 
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following article may contain images and voices of deceased persons.


Naomi Young, Aboriginal Participation Liaison Officer

Career opportunities don't always present themselves in an obvious way. Sometimes a job title or description isn't an obvious fit for your current experience or role, but a little digging can uncover amazing opportunities.

Naomi Young joined Ventia's Transport team in June 2021 as the Sydney Roads Asset Performance (SRAP) contract's Aboriginal Participation Liaison Officer. With a background in education and not-for-profits, a transition to the transport sector wasn't something Naomi says she'd actively considered. 

Naomi says it was only after chatting to Kara Lamb, from Ventia's Indigenous Employment team, that she felt encouraged to apply for, and secure, the role. 

"I've been involved in writing job descriptions before, so I know sometimes you have to include information that's quite specific to an organisation or a contract," Naomi says. "But often it has the effect of putting applicants off as they don't realise how that connects to their experience and skills." 

Naomi's specialty, as her job title would suggest, is Indigenous support and engagement, so she knows what's important to those employees and how to engage them. 

One initiative Naomi is keen to implement on the SRAP contract is an Aboriginal network to encourage collaboration and connection between Aboriginal employees. 

"It's important for all employees to know there's a support network available to them in the workplace," Naomi explains.

For our Indigenous employees, I am hoping it'll give them a feeling of home, and like they belong here. We all want to belong, right!

Developing leadership pathways 

Another area in which Naomi hopes to have influence is in helping develop pathways to leadership for her Indigenous colleagues. 

"When you can see that there are managers and supervisors just like you, it shows you what you can achieve," Naomi says. "The more diversity we see in our leadership ranks, the more diversity we'll build throughout our business." 

The nine-year contract to provide road maintenance and asset management services for the Parklands zone in Western Sydney for Transport for NSW commenced 1 July last year and includes a strong focus on local community engagement.  

"One of my goals is to build our presence in Greater Sydney, and a rapport with community groups through meaningful relationships," Naomi says. 

My ultimate goal, and what I am most passionate about, is breaking the stigma and stereotypes surrounding Aboriginal people and helping create better social outcomes.

Naomi says to achieve this she wants to celebrate Indigenous-owned businesses and walk alongside Aboriginal people as they grow and develop their careers. 

"I want to be able to support employment seekers to obtain information, confidence, qualifications and empower them," she says. "I want the community to see that Ventia and the SRAP contract share the same vision and are committed to making a difference." 

Naomi has already been connecting with colleagues across Ventia who will be able to provide support and information as she rolls out various programs across the contract.  

"I am excited about the journey we are all on together."