Not even recent Covid restrictions could keep the industry away from the Queensland Trucking Association’s Road Freight Annual Awards held at the Royal International Convention Centre at the weekend.
With over 350 guests in attendance, the night certainly was much anticipated after the cancellation of the 2020 event.
The event brought industry colleagues, mates and friends together to stop and enjoy a night to celebrate the hard work the road freight sector has done to keep the country moving over the past 18 months.
In attendance representing government was Mark Bailey, Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Shadow Minister Steve Minnikin, Senator Susan McDonald and Senator Murray Watt.
QTA president, Paul Kahlert said the awards are a true representation of the strength, resilience and professionalism of the road freight industry in Queensland.
“Our members recognised tonight are outstanding and the QTA is proud to have them as representatives of the association,” said Kahlert.
“On behalf of the QTA board of directors, I offer congratulations to all who have been honoured tonight, all are very worthy winners.”
The 2021 winners are:
Industry Excellence Award: Owen Lange, South East Queensland Hauliers
With over 55 years of service to SEQH, Lange has been involved in every stage of development and growth in the business during that time. Lange can definitely speak from experience from having worked in every facet of the business. From his upbringing in Clifton, Lange was always one to have a go at anything and through the years at SEQ Hauliers, he has been instrumental in growing an innovative and dynamic road transport operation specialising in container transport. A quiet achiever with a calm demenour, Lange’s contribution will be well remembered by those in the industry long after his retirement.
QTA Trucking Woman of the Year: Annastasia Denigan, QUBE Logistics
Denigan is a career safety and compliance professional who has held senior roles with Toll, DGL, Cement Australia and now with QUBE Logistics. Her career commenced as a transport clerk however she swiftly found her way into the specialised area of safety and compliance. Denigan quickly recognised the challenges of working in the road transport sector and while learning to navigate them, was focussed on honing her skills into a safety and compliance professional.
Young Achiever of the Year: Jessica Ash, The Marschall Group, Goondiwindi
If you ask any employer, there will always be a story to tell about that one young person who just puts in day in day out, never complains and is willing to have a go at anything. Jessica Ash is this person. This award recognises Ash for having a passion for the road freight industry and who is willing to go the extra mile to do her job and do it well. Having worked at Marschalls for seven years, Ash is known to be a motivated and hardworking employee. Kind and compassionate, Ash shows great care towards her co-workers and also every aspect of her role in the general freight division. Ash’s talent for allocating, managing routes and dealing with customers shines through and is reflected in the positive feedback from the Marschall clients. Her ‘can do’ attitude and her willingness to get the job done is outstanding.
Professional Driver of the Year: Melvin (Glenn) Williams, Willows Bitumen Haulage
Driving for over 55 years, Williams is considered a true gentleman of the industry. Williams started out driving when he was 18 years old carting agricultural chemicals. He then decided to buy his own truck and became an owner driver before eventually working for a number of large employers, none of which ever wanted to let him go. Williams has an outstanding safety record which should be commended, and a strong personal commitment to not only his job but his co-workers and is always willing to lend a hand to help a mate out. An experienced mentor, trainer and professional driver, Williams is highly valued at Willows and they are extremely proud to have him as part of their business.
Training and Skilling Award: Followmont Transport
Followmont Transport is one of Queensland’s leading family transport businesses with a large footprint of depots. In an industry where you learn on the job, Followmont saw a need to create a leadership program to increase the capability of staff to grow into new roles in a way that was practical and engaging. The development of the Front Line Leader and Safety Leadership Program has been an integral step in supporting their staff to thrive and excel and has increased attraction and retention rates in the business.
Innovation and Safety Award: Steward Morland, IOR Petroleum for the installation of the IOR Roma Livestock Cross Loader Facility
The commitment shown by Morland and IOR to get this infrastructure installed is a marker of the importance the company places on the role of the livestock transport operator and their health and safety as they transport livestock around the State. The IOR Roma Cross Loader facility is strategically located at the end of the triple road train route where drivers must break down and ‘cross load’ on to B-doubles. The use of the cross loader significantly reduces the risks that come with working at heights and interacting with livestock.
Daimler Emerging Leader of the Year Award: Ben Blennerhassett, Blenners Transport, Tully
Blennerhassett is currently the operations manager at Blenners Transport head office in Tully. Since entering the business, Blennerhassett has progressed through the ranks from the ground up and has gone from strength-to-strength. He is a truly dedicated individual whose motivation and drive to succeed is perfectly complimented by his ability to learn from those around him and apply that knowledge. Blennerhassett’s work in the scholarship program focused on the challenges of working in a family business and strategic business planning to better plan operations and maximise efficiency.