October 30, 2023


Women In Rail. Inspiring Others.

‘Working with Fifteen Trees felt like a small but important way to give back and work towards minimising our carbon footprint, and inspire others to do the same’. McConnell Dowell



The AusRAIL ‘Women in Rail’ breakfast is held at the beginning of every AusRAIL event and represents an opportunity for members of the rail industry across Australia to network, share in achievements and celebrate women in rail.


Giving away unsolicited products is a risky proposition, with each person having their own interpretation of what is useful or superfluous. With more than 78 million tonnes of waste generated across Australia each year, McConnell Dowell is determined to do better, by its stakeholders, by the communities it works in, and by our environment, by planting one tree for every attendee at this event, in lieu of gifts.


This initiative by McConnell Dowell is just one in a wide range of measures by the company in recent years to reduce its carbon footprint and improve environmental outcomes in the communities in which it works. Read their ‘road-map to be operationally net zero by 2030’ here.


McConnell Dowell are proud to sponsor this event for the second year. Our purpose is ‘Providing a Better Life’ – today and into the future. Sustainability is considered in every project, process and product across our business. When considering an item to gift to attendees of the Women in Rail breakfast, we wanted to avoid another promotional item that would end up in landfill. Working with Fifteen Trees felt like a small but important way to give back and work towards minimising our carbon footprint, and inspire others to do the same.

Kate Balme | Group Senior Communications Advisor | MᶜConnell Dowell



The 400 trees sponsored by McConnell Dowell for the Women In Rail Breakfast, were planted went along Thistle Road, Maadi, in Tropical QLD (Djiru Country) by local community group Brettacorp Inc. Over 35 difference native species of trees and shrubs were planted. They included: Bleeding Heart, Alexander Palm, Blue Quandong, Queensland Maple, Blue Ginger, Dianella, Black Bean, Cordyline, Flame Tree, Figs, Glochidon, Ulysses Butterfly Tree, Umbrella Tree and Acacias.


Brett and his team from Brettacorp.


Over time, these trees will provide a food source for endangered species, especially the Southern Cassowary (endangered species). The trees will also improve the waterways dramatically and lead to longer water retention across the seasons as well as providing homes for frogs and other small aquatic insects. This reforestation project will extend and connect native remnant forest and fully rejuvenate the site with native flora.


The planting site.


Some of the native animals that will benefit from this project include; Southern Cassowary, Broad-shouldered Dove, Emerald Dove, Imperial Pigeon, Bee Eaters, Currajongs, Sun Birds, Scrub Fowls, Eagles, Kites, Hawks, Bats, Green Frog species, and native mice and small marsupials. This area is also home to the Ulysses Butterfly, and the Cairns Birdwing Butterfly. This area is an absolute paradise.


A huge thank you to sponsors of Fifteen Trees and in particular McConnell Dowell for helping us create new habitat that supports endangered species in the Cassowary Coast region of Tropical North Queensland. With your help we are making homes and providing food for our native fauna. Thank you.

Brett Krause | Founder | Brettacorp Inc


With an Australasian reach, McConnell Dowell Creative Construction have been operating or over 60 years. Their main mission is to service companies with complex projects needing innovative solutions. Think building, civil, electrical, fabrication, marine, mechanical, pipelines, rail, tunnel, underground construction and beyond.

We love that McConnell Dowell have a strong history of supporting women in business, as we do too! Therefore, AusRAIL is the perfect event to recognise and celebrate the increasingly influential and important role women have in the railways sector. We also love that they love supporting the planet and are thrilled they chose us to plant trees for a better and greener planet.


If you would like to know more about sponsoring community tree planting projects and how we can assist you in running a small footprint event, please contact Colleen at <[email protected]> and also check out our blogpost on this very topic.

Writer – Lou Ridsdale

Lou a green thumb, Earth Lover, big-hearted nature freak, plus a savvy media and horticulture expert, who passionately believe that everyone can lead a more nourishing and sustainable life. Lou founded Food Is Free Inc., a unique grassroots food security platform specialising in food security education. She fell in love with trees after reading The Magic
Faraway Tree as a child. You can find Lou here.







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