Rodd Staples was appointed Secretary in December 2017 after heading up Sydney Metro for the last seven years. He lives in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire with his wife Maree and their three children Thomas, Anna and Jack aged 8, 10 and 11.
What excites you most about working in Transport?
Our people. I love meeting people in Transport that have a passion for what they do and a determination to make transport better for our customers, the community and staff.
Apart from landing Transport’s top job, what’s your biggest career highlight?
Without a doubt building the team that is delivering Sydney Metro. Seven years of constantly changing, growing and adapting to the challenges put in front of us and focusing really hard on behaviours and values. I made some mistakes, I learnt a lot and I’m really proud of the capability that we have built in the team and what we are building for the future of Sydney.
What does a weekend in the Staples household look like?
At the moment, with three kids, it goes something like: sport, sport, washing, sport, ironing, sport, sport. I don’t get to spend a lot of time with family during the week so I try pretty hard to centre my weekend around what my wife and kids are doing. I like to give the kids new experiences, whether that is around food, activities or going to new places.
How would your kids describe you?
Funny — a bit of a joker — and on the odd occasion very scary! I think the funny bit will wear off as they get older.
What do you value most in the people around you?
Integrity — a passion to make the right thing happen and caring about the people around them.
You’ve been in the role roughly six months, what’s the biggest learning so far?
The breadth of what we do is staggering, from Sydney to the regions, from public transport to roads and maritime to freight. The demands of the immediate operations of the roads and public transport network day in, day out are also very high. My learning is that it is very easy to be drawn into a single, immediate issue, and not prioritise time and decision making for our people, the bigger picture and the longer-term. So I now keep an eye on that!
You can see what Rodd’s been up to on LeaderBuzz
8 FAST FACTS
1. Favourite holiday spot?
Paris for experience. Locally, Lake Conjola on the South Coast to relax.
2. Book you’re reading now?
Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford. He argues that we are undervaluing work that rewires our hands and head, like trades, not just our head.
3. Favourite regional town in NSW?
Yass. I had a chance to live and work there as a young engineer. Very happy memories.
4. Favourite type of music?
Rock. I’m currently listening to the band Train. I grew up in a household that only listened to Country and Western, so I can also belt out a few Willie Nelson tunes!
5. Dogs or cats?
6. Favourite food?
Avocado and eggs.
7. Your specialty in the kitchen?
Anything to do with eggs — I know that sounds pretty poor but that’s all I’ve got.
8. Favourite pastime or sport?
Chilling out and water-skiing with family and friends down on the South Coast. I also love cricket, the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Swans!