Helping Melburnians connect

Emma Tranchina, Director - Communications and Engagement

Emma Tranchina, RPS Director of Communications and Engagement stands in front of water fountain in Carlton Gardens in Melbourne CBD.

A specialist with more than 15 years’ experience developing and implementing communications and engagement programs for major projects, Emma Tranchina has made a career shaping the future of Victorian infrastructure. Here, Emma shares her thoughts on why she loves working in infrastructure, why the pandemic will ultimately help us create more community-centred solutions, and why everyone should probably just slow down a bit.

QTell us a bit about yourself, what are you currently working on?

I’m a Director of Communications and Engagement in the Melbourne team, and I’ve been a part of the RPS team for almost ten years.

At the moment I’m working on the Suburban Rail Loop project, specifically Suburban Rail Loop East, which is a new underground rail line connecting Melbourne’s south-eastern and eastern suburbs. It’s an exciting proposition for Victorians because we’re so used to having to go in and out of the city by train to get from one part of the suburbs to another. This will make that journey much more direct.

Quick Q&A

Best Melbourne coffee spot?

Traveller Coffee! All day every day.

How long have you lived in Victoria?

I’m originally from Queensland but have been in Melbourne for over 30 years now.

Favourite place to spend time?

I love the water. Walking along the shared paths near St Kilda, or anywhere bayside for me.

Best Melbourne band?

I love a bit of Tim Rogers! I think he’s technically from Sydney, but he lives in Melbourne now so that’s good enough for me.


QYou’ve been with RPS for nearly a decade. What projects are you most proud to have worked on?

I don’t know that I could name a particular project, but what I love about working with RPS, and the thing that keeps me so engaged and passionate about my work, is being part of projects that are bigger than me. I love the notion of contributing to infrastructure that’s going to last much longer than I will and that will continue to deliver benefits for communities well beyond the initial years after it’s built.

I also really love the planning part of projects because you have to consider what the communities of the future will be doing and how they’ll be using this infrastructure, and then figure out how we’re going to enable those uses.

QWhat opportunities do you think Melbourne is well-positioned to capitalise on going forward?

I think we can use the disruption of the last few years as the impetus for changing how we build things, the way we run things, and the options we provide for people. I feel that the pandemic brought a lot of things into sharp focus for so many of us, and the insights stemming from that period can and should be harnessed to drive improved or more suitable outcomes from the projects we’re contributing to and the infrastructure we’re building for the future.

Whether it’s better connections to open spaces, providing more and better places for people to interact in, or even the way transport operates and connects communities—opportunities really do abound right now.

QWhat would your dream project look like?

I’m working on it! Suburban Rail Loop represents a commitment to making places better through amazing transport infrastructure integrated with precinct planning, and it’s a real project for the future because of that.

QWhat piece of advice would you give to a younger Emma at the start of her career?

Don’t be so impatient! A lot of younger people I’m working with are so keen to get ‘there’, wherever that is. They want to rush towards a goal, reach it, and then rush towards the next goal – but you can only learn and gain experience through time. You rob yourself of valuable experience and learnings when you don’t give yourself the time to think deeply about what you’re currently doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have that impatience! I want to get to the next thing, I want to grow, I want to learn, I want to challenge myself – but there’s a degree of patience required to enjoy and learn from what you’re doing right now, rather than always looking ahead to the next task. Don’t be in such a hurry to get ‘there’.

QWhat's the best thing about Victoria?

I feel like Victoria’s such a state of opportunity, living here is almost like choosing your own adventure. I also think there’s a certain bold inquisitiveness we have as Victorians—a real desire to ask questions, get to the heart of things, and use what we find to move in a positive direction. We all want to make things better, whether it’s energy, transport, healthcare, whatever. We know we can do it better, so let’s do it.

Want to know more about our work in community engagement and communications? Get in touch!

Emma Tranchina

Director - Communications and Engagement

Community engagement services

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