20 Jul 2022

New RISSB CEO Announced

The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board’s Chief Executive Officer, Deborah Spring, has announced that she will step down as CEO on 29 August and will resume her former role as RISSB’s Independent Chair. She will be succeeded by industry leader Damien White who has been appointed RISSB’s new CEO, officially taking up the CEO role on 15 August.  David George, who currently serves as RISSB’s Chair, will continue his association with RISSB, reverting to the role of Independent Director at the end of August.

RISSB Chair, David George, said that Deb Spring has provided strong leadership to RISSB through a successful growth phase, driving RISSB’s contribution to the rail harmonisation and interoperability agenda in Australia.

“Deb has been relentless in her pursuit of operational and technical excellence and increasing RISSB’s contributions to industry and members in a range of areas.”

During the past three years under Deb’s leadership, RISSB:

  • membership numbers grew by more than 150%
  • took over stewardship of the Australian Level Crossing Assessment Model (ALCAM)
  • developed a framework for national harmonisation of rules
  • expanded its data and risk capabilities with a significant increase in the usage of the Australian Rail Risk Model (ARRM)
  • launched its culture tool – Culture Hub
  • increased its range of member engagement options including introducing MasterClass webinars
  • added online Learning Express courses to the RISSB training suite.

“We’re delighted to welcome Damien White to RISSB as its new CEO,” Mr George said.

“Damien is the right person to lead RISSB on its next growth phase. His track record, depth of experience and focus on transformative change makes him the ideal leader to deliver our new strategic plan and continue to build on the work of Deb and the rest of the RISSB team.”

“We wish him all the success in his new role as CEO.”

Damien’s previous positions include CEO of TasRail, Executive General Manager, Inland Rail Integration for the Australian Rail Track Corporation and most recently, Group Executive, Safety, Engineering and Technology for the Australian Rail Track Corporation.