I’m not one of those people who likes to brag about my achievements, and I know many of us in the trucking industry are exactly the same. However, one of the risks of this aversion to the spotlight is that good work is rarely recognised. And that’s why it was terrific to celebrate trucking’s best and brightest at the National Trucking Industry Awards at the Trucking Australia 22 conference recently.
The awards bring our attention to the people who go over and above every day to ensure the industry keeps delivering for Australia.
For example, take Darren Nolan who won the Don Watson Memorial Award. Darren has worked in his family’s 110-year-old business, Nolan’s Interstate Transport for more than 25 years.
He’s passionate about the trucking industry as a career and says there’s a role for everyone, from driving through to IT, administration and mechanical. Darren was also on the TruckSafe board and spent a lot of time assisting industry associations and government departments. He is clearly a shining example of someone who lives and breathes trucking.
In typical humble fashion, Darren will tell you that his award belongs to his family and the staff who are such a big part of the Nolan’s business.
Another excellent example of a trucking quiet achiever is the winner of the Outstanding Contribution to the Trucking Industry award, Phillip Hodges.
Phillip is a renowned and respected transport industry veteran and founder of Transport Certification Services. With over 50 years of experience, Phillip is a stalwart of the Australian Trucking Industry.
Phill is an advocate for diversity of thought, experience, and opinion and regularly encourages collaborative discussions and problem.
The National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year is Leanne Dyer from On the Pads and is a Social Media Administrator and advocate for multiple online transport forums. She can be found online almost 24/7 in some situations, specifically in times of flood, fire or major accidents.
The awards really highlighted the fact that some people have dedicated their adult lives to the trucking industry. Take National Professional Driver of the Year, Denis Thompson. Denis has been in the business for 46 years.
Denis was recognised as an outstanding driver and was inducted into the hall of fame in Alice Springs 2011 for his outstanding service to the truck industry.
Congratulations should go to National Training Excellence Award winners, Followmont Transport, who’ve been operating since 1984, where they delivered magazines out of a small office in Stones Corner, Brisbane. Now, they’re the state’s largest family-owned transport company and the preferred Queensland carrier with 850-plus staff, 1,000-plus vehicles, 19 company-owned regional depots, and a network of local contractors.
The winner of the TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award, A & R Magill Pty Ltd, has demonstrated a constant commitment to safety and compliance. This Parkes-based company is the embodiment of how a trucking company puts the safety of its staff and the public front and centre.
Congratulations to these winners. I hope you’ll forgive me shining the spotlight on you in this column, but you deserve to be celebrated.
- David Smith is Chair of the Australian Trucking Association.