Press Release

December 16, 2020

AECOM appoints Richard Barrett as regional chief executive of Australia New Zealand


Kerry van Donderen named chief operations officer for Australia New Zealand and James Rosenwax to lead NSW ACT region

BRISBANE (Dec. 8, 2020) — AECOM, the world’s premier infrastructure consulting firm, today announced the appointment of Richard Barrett to the role of regional chief executive for the Australia New Zealand (ANZ) region. Mr. Barrett, who has been the ANZ chief operating officer for the past six years, replaces Todd Battley, who joins AECOM’s global executive team as chief strategy officer. Kerry van Donderen, previously regional managing director (RMD) for New South Wales and ACT (NSW ACT), is replacing Mr. Barrett as ANZ chief operating officer. Meanwhile, Mr. James Rosenwax takes over as the new RMD for NSW and ACT.

The appointments recognise the significant achievements of all four leaders, who have overseen a sustained period of revenue growth, improved client service and project delivery, and increased employee engagement.

“Todd, Richard, Kerry and James have been instrumental in leading the ANZ region through a period of sustained profitable growth”, said Lara Poloni, AECOM’s president. “Their client service mantra and collaborative approach to leadership have helped them manage through the ups and downs of economic uncertainty while driving a digital transformation agenda and creating a more flexible and diverse workforce.”

As chief strategy officer, Mr. Battley will be responsible for ensuring AECOM clients get the best experience irrespective of their industry or geographic location.

Reflecting on his appointment, Mr Battley said, “I’m delighted to take on this new role at a time when there is so much change and opportunity in our market. Whether it is helping our largest clients to transition to a clean energy future or more efficiently delivering projects that are critical to economic growth, the work we do has never been more vital to the communities we support. Further, it is reassuring to have Richard replacing me as ANZ chief executive, after six outstanding years as head of operations.”

Mr. Barrett added, “Over the past nine months, we’ve successfully navigated the ANZ business through the COVID-19 pandemic, seamlessly transitioning our entire workforce to remote working while continuing to meet our clients’ expectations. We are now entering a new period where, through the rollout of AECOM work-from-home kits for 3,500 staff, we are reimagining our workspaces, investing in digital tools and systems to change the way we deliver for our clients. I’d personally like to thank Todd for his leadership over the last three years and wish him well in his new global role.”

“I have worked closely with Kerry for 15 years”, continued Mr. Barrett, “most recently as she guided our New South Wales ACT region through a period of growth and I’m delighted to have her alongside me in her new role as Chief Operating Officer. Following his successful tenure as our ANZ Buildings + Places leader, James Rosenwax is ideally placed to drive the continued growth in our NSW and ACT region.”

Further information:

About Richard Barrett
As Australia New Zealand chief executive, Richard Barrett leads a team of 3,500 designers, engineers, planners, scientists, and project managers in 18 offices across the region. Based in Brisbane, Richard has overall responsibility for AECOM’s ANZ operations and the implementation of its regional strategy. He is also a member of AECOM’s Global Executive Leadership Team. Prior to studying civil engineering at James Cook University in Townsville, Richard undertook a drafting cadetship with Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads. After completing his engineering degree, Richard joined the AECOM Townsville office in 1989. Before becoming chief executive, Richard was AECOM’s ANZ chief operating officer for six years. In this role he was responsible for all operations, including key strategic priorities and enhancing delivery capabilities for AECOM’s service offerings throughout the ANZ region. As chief executive, Richard is a Consult Australia Male Champion of Change and Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Pay Equity Ambassador.

About Kerry van Donderen
Before her appointment to the ANZ chief operating officer role, Kerry was the regional managing director of AECOM’s New South Wales and ACT business. Based in Sydney, she is a chartered civil engineer with 25 years’ experience in the design and project management of infrastructure projects, and has successfully managed both integrated delivery project teams, and led business operations. Kerry is an advocate for diversity in the workplace and flexible work practices. She has been actively involved in promoting participation of women into the engineering workforce throughout her career, both within industry and the community. Kerry believes a diverse and inclusive workplace is key to fostering new ideas, innovation and growth, and is looking forward to continuing to support our industry to overcome historic gender biases and to support the next generation of women leading the industry. She will also serve on AECOM’s newly created global Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

About James Rosenwax
Prior to becoming the regional managing director for New South Wales and ACT, James was responsible for leading the Buildings + Places business across Australia and New Zealand. James’ background in landscape architecture, environmental management and business leadership gives him a unique point of view when providing strategic advice and direction on multidisciplinary urban development, city shaping infrastructure and public realm projects, at local and international scales.

AECOM is the world’s premier infrastructure consulting firm, delivering professional services throughout the project lifecycle – from planning, design and engineering to program and construction management. On projects spanning transportation, buildings, water, energy and the environment, our public- and private-sector clients trust us to solve their most complex challenges. Our teams are driven by a common purpose to deliver a better world through our unrivaled technical expertise and innovation, a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion, and a commitment to environmental, social and governance priorities. AECOM is a Fortune 500 firm and its Professional Services business had revenue of $13.2 billion in fiscal year 2020. See how we deliver what others can only imagine at and @AECOM.

Media Contact:
Johnny Sollitt-Davis
Director, External Affairs Australia New Zealand
+61 (0) 431 134 850