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AECOMs Ashley Lang takes part in community-shaping projects

AECOM's Ashley Lang takes part in community-shaping projects

 January 02, 2024

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Looking to forge a varied and inspiring career in a global organisation? Take inspiration from AECOM Regional Managing Drector, Ashley Lang, for Victoria and South Australia.

Ashley provides an insight into her inspiration and work as part of AECOM's People Spotlight series, which gives an inside look at the company's technical experts around the world.

Ashley joined AECOM 26 years ago after working in the government sector. She has held various major program delivery, operational and work-winning leadership roles in Australia and Asia, including leading AECOM’s Asia Pacific oil & gas business and, most recently, as Environment & Energy regional business line director in Australia and New Zealand.

Playing a role in community-shaping projects

AECOM Australia Ashley Lang

Talking about inspiration to join the industry, Ashley shares: "My dad was a high school mathematics teacher, and he encouraged me in this area from a young age. My interest in science and engineering also grew over time, and I wanted to play my part in leaving a healthy planet for future generations.

"I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to play a role in many community-shaping projects, from iconic infrastructure to land remediation and renewal."

Looking at her favourite projects with AECOM, Ashley says: "Earlier in my career, I led an asset decommissioning program for one of our global Energy clients across Southeast Asia. These were former fuel storage facilities, some of which were in close proximity to residential areas. It was my second time working in AECOM’s Asia business and another opportunity to work with teams and communities from diverse cultural and experiential backgrounds."

Working on technical projects 
AECOM Australia Ashley Lang

A key challenge in the program was receiving feedback from the communities adjacent to the works and engaging with them on technical topics in an authentic and culturally appropriate way.

"We overcame this challenge by recruiting additional support from our native-speaking team members and client representatives. We also worked with community leaders to hear concerns and communicate how we would mitigate them," shares Ashley. 

"While quite challenging for me at the time, I reflect on this as a formative period in my personal and professional growth. I was tested to apply my knowledge and experience in new and different ways and was pushed outside my comfort zone like never before. I have applied the lessons that I learned from this experience in my other roles."

Positively impacting the community

AECOM Ashley Young

Ashley has had the opportunity to work on many large-scale urban redevelopments throughout her career, including the iconic Docklands precinct — one of Australia’s largest urban renewal projects, reconnecting central Melbourne with its historic waterfront.

Formerly industrial development dating back to the 1800s, these inner-city areas were identified for revitalization, and AECOM played a lead role as a technical advisor to the government.

"Over several years, I worked on the precinct and infrastructure master planning, contaminated land investigation and large-scale remediation," explains Ashley. 

"Today, Melbourne’s Docklands is a mix of commercial, residential and community spaces, including parks and recreational facilities. Our AECOM office is also located here, and when I come into our office and enjoy the community spaces with my family, I think of the immense community value our technical and project work has delivered."

Take yourself out of your comfort zone 

Sharing her career advice, Ashley advises to: "Say “yes” to opportunities when they present themselves and go outside of your comfort zone."

"Moving from Australia to a technical leadership role in Vietnam and, two years later, transferring to Singapore as a country manager propelled my professional development. With the encouragement and support of my AECOM leaders, I took the leap, and went on to gain some great leadership experience."

Enjoy a varied career in a role with AECOM 

AECOM offers employees the chance to work on varied projects that positively impact the community. 

Channel expertise and enthusiasm into a new challenging role. 

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